As soon as parents from all across the country began arriving in Caesarea it was clear that the weekend would be special. Every participant on this retreat, shared one thing, they had all lost a child to terror.
Joined by Rav Yisrael Meir Lau, who addressed the group, the incredible energy continued through Shabbat, which was brought in with songs of hope from Yisrael Parnes and his son Shai. The empowering songs lasted throughout Shabbat, ending the weekend with a musical Havdalah, leaving the group encouraged and strengthened to face the upcoming week.
The annual retreat, taking place the weekend before Memorial Day, is designed to help bereaved parents gain strength before this difficult time. For some parents, this would be their first Memorial Day without their child, while others have been facing this challenging time for years. For every parent, the benefit of spending time with others who have experienced a similar loss cannot be overstated.
Throughout the weekend, opportunities were provided for parents to spend quality time together, in various therapeutic sessions and activities. Starting with a nighttime tour of Caesarea, the group appreciated the opportunity to learn about the history and spend time together in this ancient Roman city. The participants also split up into smaller groups, where they took part in a facilitated discussion to strategize for the following week.