Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate – support for victims of terror

A Day Out with One Family’s Young Adults

One Family, an organisation that supports victims of terror, asked the children to speak, release their burdens, and display the strength they found through coping with their tragic circumstances.

wine, cheese

 

Written by a One Family volunteer who joined the One Family Young Adults Division on an outing to the North.

The day started with a tour of a winery and a wine tasting at Har Galil. In true Israeli style, the winery staff could not find the key to the fence to let us in, so everyone had an extra adventure climbing the fence in order to start the tour.

Next, all of us headed to Tzfat for another factory tour and tasting, this time at a cheese factory. The day was rounded out with a hike and picnic outside of Tzfat, complete with all the dairy delicacies appropriate for the Shavuot holiday, which would start the next day.

I was fortunate enough to accompany the group throughout this adventure and see the dynamics of the members, all of whom have lost close family members – a brother, sister, mother, or father – to terror.

About ten of us started at the winery but more joined as the day progressed. By the time we came to the picnic, many people were joining the group, exchanging warm hugs, and partaking in the festivities.

These arrivals show most clearly what it means to be part of this group. There is a silent support network that comes from having a large group of people who have all experienced the same trauma. If someone is reminded of a lost loved one or has a negative experience, they are free to share with one person or the whole group. No one will judge them, or laugh, or think that what they are doing is not normal.

Because everyone there has felt the same way or done the same thing. Here, everyone can be themselves without holding back. There is no need to fear judgement because everyone knows what it is like to be in the same place. That’s what makes it so comfortable.

Bar

This group is a safe space away from the world. They are comfortable crying. But more importantly, they are comfortable smiling and laughing, because life does go on.

On this trip were people from all walks of life, at all stages. Some group members were studying, some were working, but all had the chance to step away from whatever they were doing for a moment and just spend the day with friends. At first glance, this was a typical group of friends out for a day trip. People broke off into groups to chat about their lives. And one person had his phone taken away when he was paying more attention to it than to his friends.

During the picnic, one young woman pulled out a mini coffee-maker and gas lighter and used them to make chocolate fondue for the group. Added to the cheese and campfire-style fondue was the knowledge that everyone there was there for each other. Everyone had a support network and was ready help those around them.

Picnic
wine cheese

Just as friends come together for a day trip, the Young Adult Division was able to spend some time getting away and celebrating the holiday in style. These trips help them maintain a connection to each other and to One Family. And you can see how much that connection means from the moment they say “hello.”

 

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Healing therapy flower sessions

In honour of the festival of Shavuot,  One Family members from central Israel enjoyed a special day of healing activities at the Rananna warm house.

 

healing

The  senses were awakened during a therapeutic healing floral workshop ran by staff member Sophie Vardi, who runs “Happiness through Flowers” workshops. The aim of the workshop, are to teach the ladies how to make hand tied bouquets with white flowers and wheat, traditionally used in floral arrangements for this festival to represent the harvest time but deeper than that, research has shown that flowers have a positive and healing effect on emotional well being. All the ladies commented how much they enjoyed the workshop and their faces were filled with light from this special morning.

The ladies also enjoyed a special challah baking experience with Karen Rosenberg Maoz, where Nicole Cohen, mother of Ophir, who was seriously wounded in Operation Protective Edge, made a blessing for his complete recovery.

healing

All the ladies then enjoyed a special dairy lunch followed by tasty cheesecake and received a blessing from Rabbi Kobi Pessel, who gave a talk about the days between Jerusalem Day and Shavuot and how we can take strength from this time. Rabbi Pessel, has been coming to One Family events at the warm house in Rannana for over a decade and he is the source of much strength for One Family members there.

Another important aspect of the day, was the coming together of all these ladies, gaining strength from each other. To see the positivity and energy these ladies experienced today despite the terrible pain in which they carry on a daily basis, it was an honour to be able to give them such an inspiring day. Chag Sameach!

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To make a donation to support these workshops please visit www.onefamilyuk.org/donate or contact Andrew@onefamilyuk.org