Since its inception, One Family has grown into a large volunteer-based non-profit organisation providing much-needed assistance to thousands of terror victims throughout Israel on a daily basis.One Family has become the foremost organisation supporting victims of terror and is one the first places the Goverment of Israel turn to for help following a terrorist atrocity.One Family has centres in all major Israeli towns and operates daily support groups, counselling sessions, classes, as well as respite trips and residential camps.
Since 2001 One Family has distributed more than $12.2 million to over 2,200 victims and families of victims. One Family is currently helping more than 3,000 families, successfully reintegrating victims of terror back into everyday life through the care and attention that is so desperately needed.The major terrorist attacks of the past 10 years may have subsided, however a generation of victims have been left behind for One Family to support and nurture back to the life they once had.
One Family began with a selfless act by one twelve-year-old girl.Michal Belzberg was preparing for her Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem when a suicide bomber struck the crowded Sbarro restaurant in the city's downtown. The attack murdered 15 and wounded 130 Jewish men, women, and children. It was the most deadly attack in Jerusalem since the beginning of the Intifada in September 2000.In the wake of such sorrow and destruction Michal felt she could not hold a celebration, so she cancelled her Bat Mitzvah party in order to contribute the party's funds to victims of the attack. In addition to that, she encouraged friends and family to give the victims everything they planned on giving her.Michal and the Belzberg family raised over $100,000, but quickly realised that was not nearly enough to address the suffering of the growing number of Israelis affected by terror. In that moment, One Family was born.Since its inception, One Family has grown into a large volunteer-based non-profit organisation providing much-needed assistance to thousands of terror victims throughout Israel on a daily basis.
Michal and the Belzberg family raised over $100,000, but quickly realised that was not nearly enough to address the suffering of the growing number of Israelis affected by terror.
Through One Family’s international twinning program called Adopt-a-Family, communities and individuals around the world are embracing families by building relationships with them, and partnering with us in our work to help improve their quality of life. This is the most practical form of solidarity and giving. Nothing is more meaningful to those who have suffered the tragic effects of terror attacks. Through a careful process that takes into consideration the character of both the supporting community and the families in Israel, Adopt-a-Family creates a match that provides the families in Israel with a partner in life to provide long-term financial and emotional support. The community provides financial support of an agreed amount each month for a specific period (usually 12-24 months), and OneFamily provides the mechanism for maintaining contact with the family, getting updated information on their condition and their financial needs. In addition, the community is encouraged to provide emotional support by forming a friendship that often means as much to the victims as the financial assistance they are receiving.
Involvement and responsibility are a major component of Jewish identity – our own, and our identification with our brethren all over the world. Such identification is extremely important as a young Jewish person matures into an adult. As you celebrate your Bar or Bat Mitzvah, you are in essence joining the Jewish nation, with all the responsibilities and privileges that brings. And your involvement in Jewish life begins in earnest. Sharing your Bar or Bat Mitzvah with a child who has been harmed by terrorism is an amazing way to show your involvement and your sense of responsibility. It is the perfect way to show your areyvut with others your own age. And the OneFamily Fund Bar and Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program is the perfect way to do this. The OneFamily Fund is the central organization providing comprehensive assistance to victims of terrorism in Israel. Among the assistance we provide is financial help to pay for the costs of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration for a child harmed by terrorism. Often, we will arrange and host the celebration at our Jerusalem Center. But we can’t do it without the support and involvement of other Bar or Bat Mitzvah kids around the world. We need your help! For a donation, you can twin with a Bar or Bat Mitzvah kid in Israel. You will receive a profile of the boy or girl you twin with, and addresses, phone numbers and email addresses will be exchanged. We encourage the “twins” and their families to remain in touch, and when your family visits Israel, we arrange for you to meet with the family of your twin. The OneFamily Fund’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah Twinning programme has proven to be very meaningful for its participants as well. “Meeting Amit and his family puts my own problems into perspective,” one boy said after meeting his “twin” in Jerusalem. “After hearing about how he lost his father, and how his grandfather’s home was destroyed, I realize that my own problems are not that serious. I’m glad I was able to help him, and it was great meeting him.”
OneFamily’s Big Brother program pairs university students with younger teens and children who have been victimized by terrorism, or who have lost at least one parent. Big Brothers commit to spending at least 4 hours a week with their younger partners, helping with homework, social issues, and serving as a role model for them when they need it most — during the difficult adolescent period which they must undergo with the added suffering that comes from their unique situation as victims of terrorism. We host weekly local Big Brother encounters, monthly regional events, and quarterly national events, providing a much-needed outlet for the young victims, and a helping hand as they try to adjust to their new circumstances while getting on with their lives. Elad and Asaf were paired a few months ago, and have been meeting twice a week ever since. They spend a lot of time playing on the computer, drawing pictures and painting (which Elad particularly loves), going to movies and sometimes bowling. A very close bond has developed between the two, and Elad feels a lot of security when he is with Asaf. Perhaps this is the reason that this time, Elad wasn’t scared to come – together with Asaf, it is less frightening…
The cornerstone of the One Family Youth Division’s activities are camps held for 300 young victims between the ages of 10-16, three times a year. Most of the kids who come to us are teens whose parents or siblings have been injured or killed. Some have been injured themselves. The camps are divided into three, one for boys, one for girls, and one mixed, and are run during the summer and the Chanuka and Pesach holidays. During the rest of the year, counselors and staff maintain contact with the participants of the camps, ensuring that one-on-one contact with each teen victim continues, and that there is always someone they can turn to for help. If you would like to take steps to ensure the future of young victims of terror you can help. Please contact us for more information.
Since 2001, OneFamily has been assisting terror victims in Israel along the tortuous journey of recovery. When a person is injured or a family member killed in a terrorist act, it is not only the physical pain that needs to be overcome, but the emotional trauma that they also must deal with. In one instant, whole lives are changed, or gutted, or ended. We must remember that each person killed or wounded in a terrorist attack is a world unto themselves, an existence that has, in some small way, made the world a better place in which to live. In this section, we present personal glimpses -- portraits -- of the people whose lives have been so devastated by terrorism.
After most terror attacks, many people are rushed to the hospital with injuries ranging from critical to minor. Often many more people are injured physically or traumatized, yet they go home [because they are able to get up and walk away] and do not receive immediate medical attention. Injuries require a lot of time, effort, resources and determination to overcome. People who have been seriously wounded require additional love and support from their families and friends. The OneFamily network reaches and meets these people in hospital and at home.This "Survivor Stories" section is dedicated to all the modern-day Israeli heroes that have had their lives torn apart by terrorists who hoped to destroy them. The attack happened in a flash. These heroes struggle to rebuild and renew their lives for months and often years. This is a growing collection of stories of their lives, to enable us to 'get to know' a little about them, their struggles and their hopes. Click here to read some personal stories.
We are all OneFamily. When a terrorist attack is launched, it violently shocks everyone who is in the vicinity of the crime as well as every family member and friend of those attacked. People who don't survive the attack leave behind their personal legacies for family and friends to remember them. Some lived long lives and others were brutally cut off at a very young age.
The love of a mother and father for a child is the strongest love in the world. When that bond is suddenly destroyed, lives are inevitably altered, hopes shattered, and hearts broken.Terrorism in Israel affects no one more than the orphans it leaves behind. These children grow up without one or both of their parents. They must deal with sudden loss, and the lack of a loving parent and role model as they grow up. Whatever difficulties they face in life are magnified astronomically by the absence of their loving parents.OneFamily is the family member every terror victim needs, and this is no less true for the 926 orphans of terrorism. In order to ensure that their needs are met in the personal and caring manner they require, OneFamily has set up a special Orphans' Fund to ensure that they get a fair start at life.