Hineni [EN]

Hineni – Here I am – הנני

Survivors of Terror

Our aid is not limited to hospital visits and financial support. One of the initial recovery programs for survivors is a trip abroad to encourage the restructuring of their fear and sense of safety, through support and compassion.Our aid is not limited to hospital visits and financial support. One of the initial recovery programs for survivors is a trip abroad to encourage the restructuring of their fear and sense of safety, through support and compassion.

Our aid is not limited to hospital visits and financial support. One of the initial recovery programs for survivors is a trip abroad to encourage the restructuring of their fear and sense of safety, through support and compassion.
These trips begin with a Shabbat experience where the survivors are introduced to each other. This is a very important function. From the first time survivors are brought together, their experience of loneliness is transformed into relief and hope. Finally they can share personal experiences, emotions and problems with those who have encountered similar circumstances and can truly understand their trauma. In particular we see on trips abroad that they encourage each other to achieve things they have become afraid to take part in, such as traveling by bus, airplane, sitting in a restaurant or walking a busy shopping street.

The survivors are sponsored by Jewish communities around the world. Through the care and love of the host families their depression begins to lift and they regain their trust in society and hope for the future. The importance of this interaction cannot be overstated. Special ties are created between survivor and host. Many remain in touch and become like an extended family – creating a bond between those living in Israel and Jews living overseas.

Upon their return survivors are encouraged to participate in the follow-up programs we offer to further aid in their recovery and successful return to society.

For survivors of terror from Sderot the situation is extremely difficult. Every day they have experienced people being murdered, wounded and traumatized, as well as buildings being damaged by Kassam rockets. Therefore we organize special programs especially for the youth of Sderot, including Shabbats at our Hineni Jerusalem Center. These Shabbats are observed with songs, dance, and prayers at the Western Wall and is an excellent way of combining spiritual enrichment with the therapies of song and dance which continues throughout the Shabbat. The youngsters especially enjoy the sense of freedom walking through the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City reconnecting them with their Jewish Heritage and walking outside its walls without the continuous fear of Kassam Rockets.

Hineni Jerusalem also provides the Survivors of Terror with an opportunity to meet Israeli and foreign politicians, community leaders, media and the general public. This offers them an occasion to relate their personal experiences. For many survivors, expressing their feelings publicly is very important to the recovery process. It is a form of therapy that simultaneously allows the survivors to act as ambassadors for their country. In addition to helping individual survivors, this program has initiated and assisted Hineni Jerusalem in the production of many documentaries concerning various matters in Israel mainly for Dutch T.V. for the present.

Hineni Jerusalem receives and organizes many solidarity missions to Israel whose participants want to meet with these survivors and learn from their experiences. It has been noticed that survivors become stronger people following these sessions. They are transformed from victims into ambassadors giving them meaning and a sense of purpose through their suffering.

Manny of these survivors participate in the various therapies provided in our center including the gym with professional equipment for a therapeutic body workout. Due to scars and disfiguration from wounds there are survivors of terror who no longer feel comfortable to visit a public gym.

Survivors returning to society

Hineni has also initiated and sponsored a kindergarten that employ’s survivors of terror who, through work and therapy, are able to successfully return to society. The kindergarten also encourages the help of those who have lost a child by terror.

Working with children is great therapy to help in the process of bereavement and recovery while providing an income, a feeling of self esteem and a sense of belonging.
The children benefit from the sensitive care of those who have been so vividly reminded that life is a treasure to enjoy.

Program evaluation

An evaluation of Hineni’s programs for Survivors of Terror.

By the Director of social services from the Jerusalem Municipality.

Already by our first meeting I received the impression of a traumatized group of people. Some were still involved in therapy and physical rehabilitation; others felt abandoned by society after they were injured, and were in a depressive state. Most were isolated socially and occupationally. The overall program and therapy was very effective, the participants were able to open up The caring and love showered by the London Jewish community and the host families on the participants had a very positive influence on each of the tour members. We were able to observe them undergoing a process of return to “normative” life and happiness. In addition, we saw a supportive connection between the group participants. Beyond the therapeutic aspects, we could consider the group members as “goodwill ambassadors” bringing the message from Israel of what it was like to have been struck by terrorism. The encounters with the British Ministers of Parliament and the media also had therapeutic facets: the group participants came out of those meetings stronger people, as they stopped being “victims” of terror and became “information officers” who could explain and contribute to Israeli society.

To sum up: The program is very successful.

Sincerely yours, Avigail Danieli