OneFamily held a gala fashion show this week to raise money and awareness of issues related to the thousands of victims of terror in Israel. The show was for women only. Two hundred women came to enjoy the evening and support OneFamily.
The evening featured Mimi’s Spring Collection. The fashions were modeled by volunteers, supporters, and donors of OneFamily, as well as two victims of terror – Maya Rahimi, who was wounded in the shooting and stabbing attack on-board a bus in the Armon HaNetziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, and Dina Kit, whose son Ofir was killed stopping a terrorist while serving in the IDF in 2001.
BatGalim Shaer, whose son Gil-Ad was kidnapped and killed along with two other teens in the summer of 2014, served as the MC for the evening. She spoke about the 18 days when the entire nation joined together to look for the missing boys, and the pain in discovering they had been murdered.
“GIl-Ad –you are the reason we joined OneFamily,” she said. “OneFamily, its people and activities, strengthens us very much. What is unique about OneFamily is the concern, sensitivity and attention given to us, the families in the organization. Our five daughters do not miss one activity of OneFamily.”
She also spoke about different ways people feel joy at the time of Purim. “When we give to others, it gives us a good feeling and fills us with joy,” she said. “Our nation loves to give, and this is one of the amazing things, that many people give freely of themselves and this generates joy.”
Chantal said the evening was born when Mimi and Chaya from Mimi’s Fashions in Ra’anana approached her about a joint project that would raise funds for OneFamily and help Mimi and Chaya attract new clients in Jerusalem. A fashion show with models from the ranks of OneFamily seemed like the obvious solution.
“It was a fun evening, and it fits the festive atmosphere of the week before Purim, when a woman, Esther, stood up and saved the Jewish people.” said OneFamily CEO Chantal Belzberg. “We are also making an important statement of defiance against terror.
“Terrorists have targeted the people of Israel again and again during the current wave of attacks and all of the waves before it. And here we’re holding an
event where two victims of attacks are taking center stage,” Chantal added. “It’s incredible empowering for the women to stand up and say they will not be intimidated.”
She spoke glowingly to the women in attendance for supporting the bereaved and injured families of Israel. “Who doesn’t experience the frightening thought that it could have been me?
My child, my mother?” she said. “Every Jew in the world feels their pain.
“But thanks to you, who came to the show, who have stepped up to have a share in lightening their burdens and to bringing happiness back into their lives, we, together, are making a difference in each of their lives.”
Chantal also spoke about how the fashion show is in the spirit of Purim because it involves people dressing up. “Like in the Megilah, the victims of terror are usually in costume; hiding the pain they really feel inside, behind a smile they wear on the outside to pretend they are really doing fine.
“At OneFamily they feel comfortable taking off their masks, because WE know how they really feel and we give them a safe place to express who they really are. At OneFamily they feel comfortable revealing their true selves.”
Rachel Moore, a longtime friend of OneFamily who attended the evening said the experience had a powerful effect on her. “That moment when, after
an elegant, gorgeous meal at an elegant, gorgeous charity fashion show to benefit OneFamily, you get schooled on “The Joy in Purim” by Gil-ad Shaer’s z’l, mother, BatGalim. Every problem that ever bothered you suddenly feels really, really small,” she said.