OneFamily Canada hosted its second Taste for Life event, drawing nearly 250 people to hear the story of six victims of terror from Israel. The event also featured the premier of Matthew Shoychet’s film, The Faces of Hope, about the victims.
The first Taste for Life evening featured bereaved mothers. This year, all of the OneFamily guests from Israel were young women. They included:
- Shayna Applebaum, whose father Dr. David Applebaum was killed in a suicide bombing in 2003
- Renana Meir, whose mother Dafna Meir was murdered in her home in 2016
- Orit Mark, whose father Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark was killed and mother Chavi severely injured in a road shooting in 2016
- Maayan Etzion, whose father Zeev Etzion was killed by a mortar shell during the last hours of Operation Defensive Shield
- Yaffa Rothman, whose father Howie Rothman was murdered in the Har Nof massacre in 2015
- Michal Sitton, whose brother Avraham Chaim Sitton was murdered in his yeshiva in Itamar in 2002
The group was joined on the trip by OneFamily co-founder Michal Belzberg and Mayaan Rosenberg, a friend of Renana Meir’s who came to help. Canadian MP Michael Levitt and MPP Gila Martow, as well as the Consul General of Israel, Galit Baram, also attended the event.
Faces of Hope- A Taste For Life 2017 from OneFamily on Vimeo.
Samara Freedman, one of the evening’s hosts, said the community was deeply moved by the stories of the victims. “Their stories are so impactful,” she said. “It inspires Canadians in the community to want to help.”
The week-long visit to Canada was also therapeutic for the victims. “Everyone became so close and gave so much support to each member of the group,” Michal Belzberg said. “Even people who don’t usually like to talk about what they are going through felt that the trip provided them the space to open up and not hold back.”
They also had a really good time, laughing all the time, Michal said. “The trip game them the chance to talk about their pain while also having a great time together,” she added. “They were able to allow themselves to have fun because they were around people who understood what they are going through.”