OneFamily’s Senior Youth Division for bereaved youth ages 18-24 spent a week in London to bond, forge lifelong friendships, and take the time to heal in the supportive environment of the Highgate Jewish community.
They returned refreshed, inspired, and eager to build on the positive energy they experienced throughout the week.
During the week, they also found time to visit the attractions in London, including stops at Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, and The Tower of London. They also experienced the theater production of the Lion King, which features the theme of coping after losing a parent.
“We truly felt the love, that people care about us and want the best for us,” Said Raya, who lost her father in a rocket attack. “It was simply an unforgettable experience with the group, away from worries back home.”
On Friday night the group ate dinner with the members of the community, and had a chance to share their stories. The hosts not only opened up their homes to the youths but also their hearts, building connections that will last long after the trip ended.
“I connected deeply with my hosts, said Amitai, whose brother Shalom was stabbing to death in 2015. “I felt very close with them, and I can’t thank them enough.
“This trip gave me the feeling like I’m loved and supported from so far away, that I’m not alone in the world and in my situation,” he added.
“I really enjoyed the dynamic of our specific group,” said Chen, whose brother was killed while serving in Gush Katif. “No one ever felt alone. Being together with others like ourselves let aus be ourselves without having to feel different from everyone around us.”
The hosts also said they were moved by the strength and courage of the young terror victims. “Your gift to us is immeasurable,” one of the hosts said. “It was a personal and inspirational experience that will last a lifetime.”
Another member of the community said she was already making plans to see the girls who stayed at her home the next time she comes to Israel. “It really has been an incredible week. We feel so privileged to have been a part of it.”