Four hundred victims of terror from across the country came together this week to celebrate Purim in style. There was great food, an improvisational theater group, a hilarious standup comedienne, and, of course, a contest for the best costume.
It added up to a fun and festive evening that provided a night of levity and fun for the guests. But while the attendees were laughing at the comics and sharing jokes among themselves, the message from OneFamily to the victims was an emphatic “You are not alone!”
Zionist Union MK Revital Swid addressed the audience, telling them that it is because of their strength and courage that the state of Israel has endured.
Bereaved father Shalom Sarel, father of Major Benaya Sarel, who was killed in Operation Defensive Shield in 2014, spoke about joy on Purim, particularly for those who are bereaved or have suffered from terror.
Standup comic Noya kept people in stiches throughout her hour and 15 minute performance. Audience members were laughing so hard during the show that it provided a form laughter therapy for all who attended the celebration.
According to OneFamily Coordinator Pini Rabinovich, the positive energy from the evening stays with the victims long after the party ends. “They see the effort being made just for them – the great hotel, the food, the planning, the atmosphere – and it gives them a strong feeling that there are people who care about them and want to do this for them,” he said.
At the party, all OneFamily staff members came dressed as butterflies. Pini explained why OneFamily chose the butterfly theme.
“Butterflies make it their business to bring joy to each individual with small acts of kindness,” he said. “Each act brings smiles and joyful feelings and distracts people from their daily routine. Every minute they don’t think of their loss and clear their minds, it calms their souls.
The atmosphere also makes it easy for victims from different parts of the state to meet and share their experiences with each other in a light and open manner.