Israel’s cafe culture, help capture a dream


Cafe culture is growing in Israel at a massive rate as in the rest of the world and it has helped fulfill the dream of a victim, we read in this blog how with the help of One Family victims of terror find their place in society following their trauma.

Chef- Shimon Salem works as a Chef in the cafe culture at one of Israel’s well known cafes, Café Café.

Shimon has been a member of One Family since his father Yirmiyahu Salem, 48, z”l was tragically murdered by Palestinian terrorists on 12 December 2001 in a terror attack in which 11 people killed in a terrorist attack which targeted an Israeli bus and several passenger cars near the entrance to Emmanuel. His father was travelling in the car which was ambushed. Shimon was 12 and half at the time, months away from his Bar Mitzvah.

At the age of 16, Shimon decided he wanted to become a chef, having always loved the art of food. He trained with the late Chef Gil Carow in Herzliya where he learned amongst other things:

  • Food Safety & Sanitation
  • Nutrition
  • Palate Development
  • Global cuisines: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, Asian, Japanese, Desserts & Pastry
  • Knife skills and more

His dream is to open a restaurant of his own one day, serving meat which is his specialty and he knows his father would have been so proud of his developing career. The growing cafe culture int he country has provided Shimon with a stepping stone to his future .

If you would like to help a victim fulfill their career dream please click or email

Cafe culture
Chef Shimon


Israel’s top 10 cafés

By Jeffrey Hyman at

At Café Café, they pride themselves on letting their customers take their time.

Café Cafe has made great strides since opening its first Tel Aviv branch in 2001. Today the café/restaurant has 105 branches around the country and in Europe.

Offering a more extensive food menu than most of its competitors, Café Café offers a relaxed, comfortable setting for its fare and confidently stands by its motto, “Take Your Time.”

Someone visiting cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa could be excused for thinking that the only thing Israelis do is sit at sidewalk cafés and drink coffee. It’s not true – they also eat the food at those cafés.

In the last 15 years, coffee chains like Aroma, Cup O’ Joe, Arcaffe and Café Hillel have proliferated to the point that their logos are as ubiquitous as McDonald’s signs throughout the country.

“Israelis love sitting, drinking coffee and talking,” explains Michael Reiner, a student of all things java and the CEO of Ava Coffee, one of the country’s leading coffee suppliers.

Whereas Israeli coffee drinkers once drank either botz, the dark, muddy Turkish coffee favored by Middle Eastern coffee drinkers for centuries — or, if you didn’t have the stomach for that, then nes, instant coffee with milk and sugar (a bastardization of the American Nescafé) — today the drink of choice is Tel Aviv cappuccino (café afuch), a frothy variation on the Italian classic.

“It’s becoming known abroad as the quintessential Israeli coffee,” says Nicole Fleisher, the administrator of the Israel Coffee Association, an organization formed by several of the leading coffee roasters and chains in the country to raise the level of coffee manufacturing and consumption and promote the industry.

“We have a high standard of coffee preparation in Israel, from the way it’s roasted and prepared until it arrives at the table. As a coffee drinker, I would say coffee in Israel is much better than it used to be.”

“The biggest increase in coffee consumption and in the quality and variety of coffee in Israel occurred mainly in the past decade – due to the proliferation of the ‘away from home’ market, encompassing espresso bars, restaurants and cafes,” says Ava’s Reiner.

While you can go to any street corner café today and get a great cup of coffee from any number of independent, family-run coffee shops, some establishments have raised the art of coffee culture in Israel to a new level. Visit to view the top ten.

One Family has helped Shimon by providing him support through meetings and trips with other victims.

One Family wish Shimon the greatest success! Visit to help victims fulfill their dreams.

One Family Summer Camp Brings Hope and Healing



One Family Summer Camp Brings Hope and Healing to Bereaved Children

Having fun in the boats at the One Family summer camp


One the happy campers with her Big sister having fun at the One Family summer camp
All together at the One Family summer camp

In this blog we will highlight the value of the summer retreat for children who are victims of terror in Israel and how their connection to One Family brings continuing support to them and their family.

One Family’s Youth Division helps bereaved children by forging relationships between them and their volunteer counselors. The counselors make regular visits to their homes, particularly on their birthdays and the anniversary of the death of their family members. They speak on the phone weekly.

The relationship is deepened throughout the year at One Family events. The pinnacle of which is Summer Camp, where the counselors spend a week with the campers, bonding and providing emotional support.

That’s why the 300 campers and 60 counselors look forward to the start of camp all summer. When they are under the weather as the camp is due to begin, one camper said, they’ll do whatever they need to do to feel better so they can be at camp.

At One Family Camp, children who have lost siblings or parents to terror do not need to stifle their feelings, as they often do in their everyday lives. They are free to be themselves with others who are struggling with the same challenges.

Twelve-year-old Talia said that One Family is a place where she can speak openly about her family’s struggles coping with the loss of two siblings who were killed before she was born. She’s been attending camp since she was in first grade.

“Next year, I’m moving to middle school. A new place with new people. I always find it hard when people ask me “How many siblings do you have?” she said.

“I’m always afraid to answer that I have four siblings, but that’s what I really want say. I do not know how to tell them that I have two siblings who are living and a brother and sister who are dead but that their souls accompanies me everywhere I go. I do not want people to pity me or think about me differently. I just want them to know and to understand the reality which I have grown up in.”

She said at the One Family camp, “we all have something in common and we all deal with similar things. I found it so much easier to talk and share with my friends here than my friends at school.”

That common ground makes it easier for the kids to make friends, and to feel at ease in their own skin. It is also an essential element in their healing process. By being with others who have experienced the same type of trauma and hearing their stories and struggles, the kids recognise that they are not alone with their pain and can allow themselves to process their loss rather than suppress it.

Six Days of Fun and Friendship

The One Family Camp is essentially a therapeutic experience that also includes a breathtaking amount of fun. In addition to circle time and trust-building activities, the kids get to swim, kayak, and go rafting, play sports and do arts and crafts. They have evening activities that help them bond, and special outings, including a chance to ride on the back of motorcycles, play laser tag, ice skate, and go bowling.  

This summer, the campers were treated to a special music workshop with musician Tal Ramon, the son of the astronaut Ilan Ramon. Tal lost his father in 2003, a few weeks before his bar mitzvah. In 2009, his brother Assaf, a noted pilot with the Israeli Air Force, was killed in a training accident. His loss made it easy for him to relate to the campers, who responded enthusiastically to his music.

Equally important to the experience, however, is the chance to form friendships with other bereaved children. The trust that develops between them over the course of the week makes it possible for the kids to open up and overcome their reluctance to share what they experienced.

Gala closing ceremony

During the gala closing ceremony, eight year old Naama Fraenkel, whose brother Naftali was one of three boys kidnapped and killed in 2014, told the camp about how her friendships with other campers made it easier to talk about her experience.

“At camp, one of the important activities we did was talk about what we dream about,” she said. “I wanted to talk about my dream that Naftali comes back, but I was really shy. I told them that I had a dream but I do not want to tell it. Today, now that I have become closer with the girls in my group I have told them about it and I am no longer shy.”

She also spoke about the bond that forms between campers and counselors. “One Family counselors are like father and mother as well as friends, when I’m sad they come and sit next to me and talk to me. They share my sadness with me but they do not cry. It helps me. It strengthens me,” she said.

Ayala, 9, has been a member of One Family since first grade. Her father was killed when she was 2 years old. She said the relationship she’s built with her counselor makes the camp experience much more enjoyable.

“I love my time in One Family,” she said. “When counselors come to my house, we cook together or hikes together. We dance and laugh. They spend time with me at home and make me happy.  They become friends with the whole family, and when they visit, we all sit together as a family, but also have time to be alone.”

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