Renana Meir, who witnessed the murder of her mother, Dafna, in January 2016 in a terror attack in their home, was married in a ceremony near Jerusalem recently.
Her father, Natan Meir, remarried a few weeks earlier in a ceremony attended by close family in Jerusalem .
In March 2017, a year after the terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Otniel, Meir announced that he was engaged.
Dafna Meir, 38, a mother of four and foster mother of two young children, was stabbed to death in January 2016 at the entrance of her home by a teenage Palestinian attacker. She was fighting off her attacker in what is believed to have been an attempt to save three of her children who were in the house at the time.
Natan Meir thanked his children for their support and sharing in his happiness. Without them, he wrote, “I could not open my heart to love again.”
Renana Meir’s marriage to Or Cohen was celebrated at an sheva brachat hosted by One Family. The guests at the “sheva brachot,” included David Hatuel, whose four daughters and first wife, Tali, were murdered in a shooting terror attack in 2004, and Meir Pavlovsky of Kiryat Arba, who was badly wounded in a stabbing attack in Hebron a year and a half ago.
Chantal Belzberg, CEO of One Family, said: “We are so proud to host the Sheva Brachot for Renana and Or. It has been a tremendous experience getting to know Renana over the past year of her national service at One Family, and it’s astounding to watch her grow into a married woman before our eyes. We have all learned so much from her, just watching how she lives her life. She make everyone feel comfortable, even when they feel they should be the ones comforting her.”
“She speaks about choosing life despite the challenges, and she truly lives the way she speaks. We have grown very close, as all of us at One Family have been able to envelop her with love on a daily basis..”
Renana, who was 17 at the time of her mother’s murder, visited her mother’s grave the week before the wedding and placed an invitation to the wedding on it. She posted on social media a photo of the tombstone and the message, “We have put an invitation on your grave and I beg that you arrive. I leave one hand for you on the way to the chupah , please come to hold it.”Renana is a volunteer for One Family.
Summer camp for terror victims
Summer camp for youths who lost loved ones to terror attacks
For many kids who lost loved ones in wars or terror attacks, opening up about their suffering can be difficult. ‘One Family’ allows them to enjoy summer camps together; ‘Here, everyone understands. After the camp I feel stronger.’
From afar it looks like it could be any other summer camp for teens and children on their summer vacation. But in reality, this group, all wearing purple T-shirts, is one comprised of family members who have lost loved ones in terror attacks and wars.
During the summer months, we holds outings for Israelis who have suffered first-hand the tragedies of terror and wars.
“Whenever I would speak about my brother anywhere else people would just freeze. It was difficult for them to speak. Here the environment is easier. You can laugh about everything, speak about everything,” said Yitzhak Sarel, whose brother died during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Youngsters enjoy the camp (Photo: Avihu Shairpa)
Hundreds of these terror victims, intimately, albeit indirectly, affected by terror attacks and wars gather together at the beginning of what Israelis call ‘The Big Vacation.’
On the Monday for example, dozens of motorbikes were brought to the camp from the Israeli Motorcycle Club to a school where the youngsters are gathered. There, the youths were able to hop on the back and take a ride with one of the motorcyclists in the Golan Heights and the upper Galilee.
Photo: Avihu Shapira
“Anyone who knows the experience of riding on a motorbike knows how wonderful it is. It’s a feeling of freedom, space. To see the views from a slightly different angle without telephones. It allows them to demonstrate their presence and say to everyone ‘we are here,’” said Yaniv Yair, one of the riders who brought his stunning BMW bike for a spin.
Yaniv’s brother was also killed after a Katyusha rocket landed near Kibbutz Kfar Giladi during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Photo: Avihu Shapira
“I think this shared fate makes them trust me more. Only someone who has been there knows and understands what it means,” Yaniv explained.
Another one of the participants is Dvir, whose father Rabbi Yaakov Litman and brother Netanel were killed in a 2015 terror attack, also reflected on how it was to be with others who had shared experiences.
Photo: Avihu Shapira
“Here, everyone has gone through something similar. They have lost someone close to them and it makes it a lot easier to open up, to speak about it. Everyone understands that he doesn’t need to be embarrassed. Here, everyone copes with it in his own way. After the camp I feel stronger, with new friends, and more people who understand me.”
Terror attack at Temple Mount
Bereaved Jewish mother comforts mother of slain Druze officer
Relatives of terror victims visit the families of murdered Druze police officers to offer their condolences and share their experiences.
One Bereaved mother consoles another bereaved mother – Meir Pavlovsky
Hundreds of people visited the Druze villages of Hurfeish and Maghar recently to pay their condolences to the families of the two police officers murdered in last Friday’s terror attack at Temple Mount
One Family visits families of terror victims
Among the visitors were Israelis who lost loved ones to terrorism. The visits were arranged by One Family as part of our role assisting bereaved families and victims of terrorism.
Dozens of Israelis, Jews and non-Jews alike, answered the organisation’s call and bordered the buses to visit the families of Command Sergeant Major Hayil Satawi and Command Sergeant Major Kamil Shanaan.
Among the visitors who paid their condolences to the families was Hadas Mizrachi, the widow of Baruch Mizrahi, a resident of Modi’in who was killed in a shooting attack two years ago while traveling with his family to celebrate the Passover Seder.
Following the visit Hadas Mizrachi said: “Unfortunately, we remember that the people who came to visit after the attack gave us a lot of strength, and since my tragedy, I have been visiting families who have become part of the cycle of bereavement. I visited dozens of bereaved families after Baruch was murdered, and I saw with my own eyes how important it is and how much it helps. The support of people who have undergone a similar tragedy is necessary in dealing with loss.”
“I recently visited the family of Hadas Malka, the policewoman who was murdered at the Damascus Gate … As a police widow, I see it as my mission to empower others, and if I managed to get up and continue going on with five children who experienced the attack themselves after my loss, that that is proof that you cannot give up.
Chantal Belzberg, the CEO of One Family said: “Today we sent a message to the families of the policemen who were murdered in the terror attack on the Temple Mount last Friday – you are not alone. The State of Israel lost two dedicated policemen from the best of its sons, who served in the Old City of our capital in order to preserve the security of the State of Israel. We arrived today to console and strengthen the Satawi family and the Shanaan family, who unfortunately joined the list of bereaved families.”
We were joined by tourists from the United States and England, together with the residents of Jerusalem, and Dvora Gonen, the mother of Danny, who was murdered in the attack two years ago, to embrace and share their sorrow and to express the deep connection between the Jewish people in the Diaspora and the Druze. We want to strengthen our alliance with the Druze and to turn this from a bloodbath into a covenant of life,” she added.