Monday May 8th One Family UK held our Face of Hope dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel , attended by over 530 guests.
Everyone in the room heard from victims of terror in Israel who had all experienced tragic loss but have become the face of hope for us all as with the help of One Family they have rebuilt their lives.
Chen Hayoun -One day I wanted to buy a shirt. I was a senior in high school, full to the brim with wild hopes and dreams, often daydreaming about what my future would look like. I was doing just that as I strolled into the market at the Israeli city Hadera.
A moment later, my world was torn apart. A suicide bomber blew himself up, murdering five, and leaving me terribly wounded. I suffered major head and internal trauma, as well as grievous and extensive burns. For a month, I was hanging between life and death, with slim chances of survival.
But I fought. I fought for me. I fought for my family and friends. I fought for those who had lost their life that cursed day. And I survived. But I was a broken, shattered thing, and I needed help. A lot of it.
In the following months, I underwent many operations and other medical procedures, all designed to give me a chance for a relatively normal life. Most of them succeeded. Thank G-d I’m alive but with only 25% hearing and a body still full of shrapnel. Notwithstanding this I was proud to serve my country in the Israeli Defense Force’s Spokesperson’s unit.
I completed my law degree followed by a masters. I even got married. —all of this — would not have been possible without the help of One Family. They cared for me, they helped me, they funded my scholarship through law school and they deserve the lion’s share of the credit for who I am today, though maybe they would not have done so if they knew I would end up a lawyer.
I’m not sure I believe in heavenly angels. It’s hard to after the ordeal I went through. But today, with One Family, I believe in earthly ones.
One Family was my face of hope and I thank you all for making my life as possible as it is today
David Hatuel tells his story:
On 2nd May 2004 I lost my family—my wife Tali and our four daughters: Hila 11, Hadar 9, Roni 7, and Merav 2. They were shot by terrorists while driving from Gush Katif to Ashkelon to meet me. The car was forced to swerve off the road and then the terrorist approached the car and shot them at point blank range. My wife was nine months pregnant… with our unborn son.
I thought to myself that I could not go on. I’d lost everything but my friends from my neighborhood stood by me, supporting me and stayed with me at every moment. And if it wasn’t for them and for the support of One Family, I would not be standing here today. Every day a One Family counsellor came to me giving me the support I desperately needed. They were the face of hope and gave me tools to cope and get through those long days of despair. Day by day, slowly but surely I could see a way forward.
At times memories are what helps my heart continue pumping, to keep on progressing forward. For it is the recollections of good times, which enwrap within them the experiences, the smells, and the scenes which once were and will never return – awakening a desire to once again form new memories, to once again experience life.
Yesterday, was the 13th anniversary of my families’ murder. I lit five memorial candles last night and glanced at the burning flame. That same burning flame that is now inside me giving me the courage to come and talk to you this evening. For I know that without people like yourselves, supporting the work of One Family, this outstanding organization, the terrorists that decimated my life would be able to count many more victories. Thanks to people like you, I have been able to cope and move forward with my life.
I have married Limor and together we have five beautiful children. I am once again building a home. My new home is an addition and not a replacement of the home that was destroyed. My wife and children live inside me. I am like a tree whose branches were cut off and now they are growing again. I had two options: Fall down and be totally destroyed, or stand up and live. I am choosing to live! And as President of One Family, I hope I am helping others choose that same path.
Following the speakers Mary Dan Goor reiterated how One Family had helped her to rebuild her life after her son was killed in service to Israel.
Avigador has been a member of One Family since his parents, grandfather and brother were murdered in their family home in Elon Moreh, Avigdor when a terrorist infiltrated their home on March 28, 2002. His parents David & Rachel, both 50, maternal grandfather Rabbi Yitzhak Kanner, 83 and his brother Major Avraam Gavish, 20 were killed instantly. Avigdor’s world was torn apart on that fateful evening. Avigdor describes the feeling as “a radioactive bomb and the radiation keeps hitting us, even after many years” Avigdor was serving in the IDF at the time and was only 20 years old. The remaining six children, ages 15 to 22, managed to escape out of a second floor window whilst the terrorist was still in the house looking for them. For Avigdor and his siblings, the pain never goes away. Like other members of the Ophan’s division of One Family, the tragic and sudden loss of both parents in terrorist attacks undermines their very foundation, their sense of stability and security. Avigdor and his siblings were taken in by the One Family orphan division and it remains a huge part of their lives until today.
Together with one Family, his music and his ‘Emunah/belief’ , he has been able to cope and breathe once more.
Avigdor studied engineering but in the last 6 years he has focused on his musical career recently launching his first album “Yom Chadash-New day”. His album is the ‘bridge between pain and hope’.
One Family has been an intrinsic part of Avigdors life since the fateful terror attack and has encouraged him to follow his dreams. Avigdor recently went on a One Family retreat to new York, Avigdor Picture 6 with other members of the Orphan’s division where he fulfilled a lifelong dream playing the piano on the fabled stage at the Carnegie Hall. Avigdor Picture 7
Avigdor speaks through his music and will lead all of us with a toast to the President & the State of Israel playing the Hatikvah, which means hope – and is exactly what tonight’s evening is all about?
Guests at the dinner ;