Bereaved Parents Bond and Heal to prepare for Yom Hazikaron
Each year, OneFamily holds a healing retreat for bereaved parents on the Shabbat before Yom Hazikaron to strengthen the families as they prepare for one of the most intense and difficult and days of the year.
This year, more than 340 people took part in the three-day retreat, held at a hotel outside Jerusalem. The couples participated in bonding activities, therapeutic workshops, and group therapy sessions.
Most importantly, they spent time with one another, in a setting that allowed them to speak freely about the children they lost to terror. We call that The Power of Together. Instead of spending energy holding their feelings inside so that the bereaved parents were among hundreds of other people who understood the challenges they face. They were able to focus on their loss, so they could meet Memorial Day with strength and confidence.
Following the retreat, many of the parents wrote letters of thanks for helping them find the inner strength they need to face both the day of remembering and the coming year.
We congratulate you on the warm Shabbat you have given us. There is nothing like strengthening each other to overcome the crises that have afflicted us. And thanks to you we did it while getting a warm and loving embrace.
There is no doubt that each and every one of us takes with is this strength and strength for another year of coping with bereavement.
Continue with the blessed work and we will meet only in the celebrations.
OneFamily, you are a true family for us.
Thank you for a weekend of strength, support, and so many hugs.
You deserve huge thanks for all your blessed actions throughout the year on behalf of bereaved families.
You help us throughout the year, every year, and especially for the hardest days.
With appreciation and love.
These three-day holidays are always a welcome break from real life and even more so this time because the weekend fell between Holocaust Memorial Day and the Memorial Day for soldiers and families of terror victims.
Looking over the program, I laughed out loud because one of the items offered was a massage. Since we were meeting in a forest I thought this was a mistake. “A massage in a forest?” I wondered. But that’s exactly what it was.
There, in the middle of the forest was a big white tent with massage beds and smiling masseursses waiting to give us each a short but very welcome massage.
It was very clear that a lot of thought had been put into this weekend as in all OneFamily retreats. The staff were wonderful, taking care of us, bustling about,never resting for a minute.
I would like to give a big thank you to The Belzbergs and all their wonderful staff who are the ones who make these holidays as wonderful as they are.
The program was so full and enjoyable. On Friday we had a musical group Tzemed Rayim, who led prayers for Shabbat evening and the following day.
For me, it was so emotional. Tears overcame me when I came to the dining room Friday night. So many families fit together at the table for Kiddush.
Everywhere I looked, I heard the sounds of Kiddush. At that moment, I felt the strength and power to be with my friends, people like me who lost the people who were most important to them, a child who no longer exists. The pain is huge, but we find the strength to continue with our lives.
We want to thank Marc and Chantal the founders of the organization, OneFamily, for organizing the weekend.
To Batia Weinberg and Bosmat, to Nava, Pini, Dina, and Mindee. These are special people who care for my family throughout the year, thank you for this emotional weekend.
Thank you to Sivan Rahav Meir for the lecture, to Matan the financial reporter for Channel 2, to Dr. Keren Or Chen, the rabbis who spoke on Shabbat, the staff of the hotel that spoiled us.
You gave me support and strength for the week to come.
A giant thank you to all the families – who are all among the bereaved – for your support and warmth.