Helping Victims

From the moment an act of violence takes place, CTVP’s teams are there, forging an immediate bond with the victims and their families, bringing them financial, practical, emotional, and spiritual support as they struggle to reclaim and rebuild their lives.

We stay with all these families for as long as they need us – whether weeks, months or years. There is no end point to our help except the family’s ability to re-enter their lives successfully. Only then do we move quietly into the background, but still remain available for those times when the horror inevitably reasserts itself and help is needed once again.

This is what makes CTVP so unique, we are there for the long-term.

A Special Gift

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Rabbi Krinsky, of the Rebbe's secretariat, greeting each of the family members.
Rabbi Krinsky gave each a Tehillim and an envelope with a shekel for charity he personally received from the Rebbe. We pray that these Tehillims and the Rebbe's shekels should bring them each great blessings and speedy redemption.

An Evening with the Hostage Families in New York


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Praying with the Hostage Families at the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Ohel

Ten days ago, a group of Chabad Shluchim and Chabad Terror Victims Project (CTVP) supporters from the United States came to Israel to volunteer and support the soldiers, displaced families, and especially the families of the hostages.

Some members of the hostage families mentioned they would like to go to the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ohel (resting place) to pray. The CTVP supporters immediately offered to sponsor such a trip. Yesterday (Monday, November 13), almost 200 family members of the hostages flew to NY to pray at the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ohel.

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(The following is a personal journal of a CTVP staff member who was privileged to be at the Ohel with the hostage families.)

I had the privilege of being at a very special and poignant event this evening. Close to 200 family members of the Jewish hostages held by Hamas came to pray at the Ohel.

It was a heartwarming evening of strength, resilience, and hope.
There were so many moments that I wish you all could have felt.
And I can’t choose just one. So I’ll share a few.

My heart was pounding as I waited for the families to arrive, sweating even though it was cold out.

My eyes teared as I saw them each come off the bus. I hugged the women, shared a word of encouragement with the men, and thanked them all for coming. And they, turning to me, thanked us for being there for them and with them. With so many people gathered to show their support, I couldn’t stop the tears.

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The words shared at the event by all the Rabbis and dignitaries were profound and full of hope, with shared prayers and words of encouragement.

When greeting the families, Rabbi Deren of Connecticut said, “I don’t understand the phrase, “Families of the hostages.” The families themselves are hostages: hostages to fear, hostages to terror, hostages to panic. Their lives are no longer normal. Their nights are no longer peaceful, and their days are full of turmoil.”

“And today, we, Jews throughout the world - as one nation, one family, Am Echad - are all hostages to the fear, terror, and panic you feel.”

Rabbi Lazar, chief Rabbi of Russia, shared beautiful words of encouragement and hope. And reminded the families that the people of Russia and the entire world over think of them and pray for them every moment of every day.

There was a beautiful video clip of the Rebbe that underscored the message of the evening: G-d is with us, especially in our times of pain. He hears us, and He is listening.

We ended the event by all going into the Ohel.

As we waited our turn, we could hear Rabbi Aharonov, head of Tzach Israel, organizer of this trip, beseeching on high in the name of all present as each hostage's name was read. One by one, in a solemn voice that broke through the quiet and the tears.

May the prayers of all the people gathered tonight go straight up on High, and


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Brief Update of Chabad Terror Victims (CTVP) Activities


Brief Update of Chabad Terror Victims (CTVP) Activities

With the help of hundreds of Chabad Shluchim and over 9,000 volunteers, we have been to every army base providing the soldiers with spiritual, physical, and emotional support. We are helping the displaced families from the Gaza and Lebanon borders with food, living essentials, and housing for many of them.

We have distributed over 10,000 food boxes and food cards, 42,000 toys, 54,000 Tzitzis, distributed countless pairs of Tefilin; over one million Shabbat candles; put on Tefilin, brought refreshments and made BBQs for over 200,000 soldiers; assisted 2,400 wounded, and, sadly, made 470 Shiva visits - and the list goes on.


It is your support that makes everything we do possible.

We know that if you were with us in Israel, you would be participating with us as we visit the soldiers, pay Shiva calls, and offer a helping hand to the displaced families, but living in the United States makes that impossible.

Still, everything we do is with you by our side.

Please join us with your financial support, and we hope that the next time we’re in contact, it will be with good news and Besuros Tovos.

Thank you.


Her name was Ohr which means light


Her name was Ohr which means light. She was 22 years old and never missed lighting Shabbos candles.

Last week, in the Gaza War, she gave up her life defending Israel.

We are giving out 1,000,000 Shabbos candles to Jews throughout Israel to honor her memory and bring more light into the world in this time of darkness

According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe: Darkness, no matter how ominous and intimidating, is merely the absence of light. Light need not combat and overpower darkness in order to displace it — where light is, darkness is not. A thimbleful of light will therefore banish a roomful of darkness.

This evening, before sundown, please light Shabbos candles in your own home and encourage others you know to do this also. Click here for candle lighting time in your area.

Let’s band together, Jews from all walks of life, and show the world the power of light.

Seven Families Celebrating Shabbat on Holocaust Remembrance Day…

Seven Families Celebrating Shabbat on Holocaust Remembrance Day…
…Seven Families Torn Apart by Terror

They heard shots being fired.

Eli and Natali, husband and wife, both ran outside and found a terrorist spraying bullets everywhere in front of the nearby synagogue.

Natali was administering CPR when she was murdered. Standing by his wife Natali, Eli was gunned down in cold blood.

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Bringing comfort to the grief-stricken families of Eli and Natali Mizrahi - married just two years - who were murdered as they tried to save the other victims.

On Friday night, seven families were celebrating Shabbat in Neve Ya’akov, Jerusalem. It was also the day set aside as Holocaust Remembrance Day…

…Now, this is a day these seven families will remember as the day their loved ones were murdered by those who once again wish to slaughter Jews.

Asher Natan was another victim, only 14, the oldest of 8 children. He’d gone to meet friends after the Shabbat meal. Suddenly his parents heard the sound of shots ringing out. Asher’s father ran to find his son. By the time he reached him, Asher was lifeless.

Shaul Chai, 68, had been at a relative’s house and was shot as he walked home, passing the synagogue where the shooting was taking place.

These are three of the seven victims whose lives were brutally destroyed.

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Consoling the Chai family as they mourned the loss of family member Shaul, who was walking past the synagogue where the shooting was happening.

With the help of the local Shluchim, we have been with these seven grieving families since the shooting – helping with funerals, shiva, and food and doing whatever we can to help them at this most horrific and tragic time.

Please help us help them. Your partnership makes everything we do possible.

We Want to Help…


We Want to Help…

They wanted so much to help as Israel faced unceasing rocket fire over 11 straight days.

So Dr. Lana M. Rifkin contacted Dr. Mendy Uminer of Chabad of Chestnut Hill and told him :

“Our organization, Russian Jewish Community Foundation (RJCF), has raised emergency funds for Israel.  We’re looking for a non-profit that is on the ground and has been, specifically during the rocket attacks and now during the cease-fire we hope will last.”


Rabbi Uminer immediately put Dr. Rifkin in touch with Chabad’s Terror Victims Project (CTVP).

Dr. Rifkin asked what CTVP was doing to help the suffering families. Moshe Gruenberg of CTVP told her that among many other things, emergency aid was being distributed to families who lost their homes from rocket strikes. CTVP was ensuring that the children of Ashkelon and Sderot were  being treated by post trauma professionals. Presents were being delivered to the children of the Eshkol region (over 1500 rockets fell there over the 11 days). CTVP is organizing a Bar Mitzvah for a child whose father was severely hurt in a direct rocket attack.

Moshe told her CTVP is there for the families of victims of terror and war and has been since the Six-Day War in 1967.  Dr. Rifkin  knew her organization had found the right people to most effectively utilize the funds they had raised.  

Moshe said:   “We deeply appreciate that they want to stand with us and help us. As soon as it is possible to come to Israel, we invite them to go with us to the hospitals and areas hardest hit by the rockets.  RJCF and their community's monetary commitment will help bring these families support and their presence will bring  comfort. We thank RJCF and their community for their care and concern.”

And we pray with everyone around the world that the cease-fire will last.

Arutz Sheva interviews CTVP

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Rabbi Moshe Gruenberg, Director of Chabad Terror Victims Project, talks about the organization's work assisting victims of Hamas rocket attacks.

For over 50 years, the Chabad Terror Victims Project (CTVP) has been assisting and comforting Jewish families during times of conflict in Israel. The organization was started by the Lubavitcher Rebbe after the Yom Kippur War.

“Because of all the young soldiers who were falling, most of them were young husbands, and there were many orphans and widows, the Lubavitcher Rebbe started an organization that Chabad emissaries and widows of other soldiers that have fallen will comfort the families of the dead,” said Rabbi Moshe Gruenberg Director of CTVP), in an exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva.

Today, the help that CTVP gives involves many different ways of assistance.

“There are many different way of assistance. Both spiritual and physical material assistance,” said Gruenberg. “We help them in every sense with bar mitzvahs, conducting weddings, britot – whatever they need. And also financial means. We’re there for them throughout the year. We’re in touch with them throughout the year. At least once or twice a year we visit each one of the families throughout the country.”

During Operation Guardian of the Walls they were out in the field. They visited Ashkelon and Eshkol, Ashdod and Be'er Sheva. “We were there when the sirens were going off. We visited the bomb shelters in Ashkelon.”

They met a family at the Ashkelon Barzilai Medical Center. The father was “severely injured by a direct rocket at the home. When we met him he was crying, he had tears in his eyes. He told us my son’s having a bar mitzvah in two weeks. We’re thinking twice about conducting the bar mitzvah. We told them there’s no way, you have to do the bar mitzvah. We’ll take it upon ourself to do this bar mitzvah.”

Otherwise, the boy would be traumatized by not having his bar mitzvah, and it would be a win for Hamas. They “took it upon themselves to take care of (the bar mitzvah).”

They sent them shopping to get clothing. They hope the father will be able to leave the hospital and be part of “this amazing bar mitzvah. It’s going to be a real miracle.”

They also plan on taking him once he’s out of the hospital to the Kotel for a “thanksgiving party.”

Gruenberg said that it’s hard to understand what the people hit by rockets go through unless you visit them or are there during the attacks.

“It dawned on us what these people go through, a rain of rockets, over 1,000 rockets hit Ashkelon, 1,500 rockets hit Eshkol. The kids are traumatized.

And it’s been going on for 21 years.”

How can the worldwide Jewish community help those traumatized by rocket fire in Israel? There are 400 Chabad Centers in Israel with over 1,000 emissaries. “Each and every one of the Chabad Centers is actually a bridge, Chabad of Israel acts as a bridge to worldwide Jewry, the Diaspora. And the emissaries around the world ask ‘What can we do to help? Our community wants to help.'”

For instance, the Jewish community in Durban, South Africa sent special presents for the kids of Ashkelon. There was also money to help buy cheesecakes, and to send candy packages to families.

“It gives them a fulfilment that they feel they’ve here with us. We’re standing together as one large family,” he said.

With Operation Guardian of the Walls, everyone was trying to imagine what a “victory picture” would look like. “As we sit here there’s not just one picture. There’s thousands of pictures. And these are all those stories of the bar mitzvah, the wedding, all these people that we helped and assisted, these are the victory pictures. That we stand together, the Jewish community as a whole outside the country, stands together with the Jewish community in Israel.”

Searching through the rubble of their home they were so thankful

MG in Yahud.jpeg"You’re here. That’s all I need.”

(Wednesday evening, May 12th)

For the first time we were able to go out and help people in the areas hit by rockets and assist families in shelters.

One of the areas we visited was Yahud, a city close to Ben Gurion airport.

We joined a family frantically searching through the rubble of what had been their beautiful home. It had taken a direct hit from a rocket from Gaza at 3am.

Miraculously, miraculously, no one was hurt.

Their gratitude left me speechless. Here they were searching and hoping to find some remnants of their life, yet they were so thankful and grateful to us for being there with them.

As we were leaving – we had many other areas we had to visit before dark – I recognized the street, despite the devastation.

A young widow who we’ve been helping for the past three years lives on that same street. I told Rabbi Kutner we have to check in on her to see how she’s doing.

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What greeted me was the most incredible experience I have had since I joined CTVP.

When she saw us, she covered her face with her hands to hide her tears. When we asked her what she needs right now and what we could do to help, she just shook her head, but the tears didn’t stop.

“Last night,” she said, “when the rockets hit, the children were so scared, they were crying and wailing from fear. I too was as frightened as they were, but I knew I had to be strong for them. I’m alone with the children and I had no one to turn to. You’re here. That’s all I need.”

Then, we went to Holon, accompanied by the local Chabad Shluchim Rabbis Gorlik and Gurary, where we visited with the four wounded victims – two seriously, two moderately – by a rocket that hit next to a bus.

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Tonight, when I go to bed and say the Shema, I’ll be praying that I won’t be woken up by sirens or ground trembling rockets and that tomorrow I’ll wake up to a better day.

But I am grateful for today. Today, a young widow taught me that just my presence can be a blessing. What a gift.

Moshe Grunberg

When you make a donation to CTVP, you are there with our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel. It tells them loud and clear that Jews 6000 miles away will never forget them and will never abandon them.

Please stand with the people of Israel.

Please make the largest donation to CTVP you can during this emergency.

They need us and we need you. Thank you.


CTVP Mobilizes to Aid Victims of Fire All Across Israel

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 CTVP Mobilizes to Aid Victims of Fire All Across Israel

Immediately upon returning from the convention of Chabad Shluchim in New York, Rabbi Menachem Kutner, Director of Chabad’s Terror Victims Project (CTVP) and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Freiman, Shaliach in Zichron Yaakov, began visiting families in that area who have been impacted by the terrible fires that raged everywhere. Fires that are the newest weapon in the terrorists’ arsenal of violence.

This is just the beginning as Rabbi Kutner will be going to all the families and, with the help of the Shluchim in the Chabad Houses in their areas, will bring relief efforts to all the suffering families.

Rabbis Kutner and Freiman sat with several families the first day, listening to their stories and assessing what their immediate needs are so that they could provide not only emotional comfort, but replace the basic needs lost in the fires.

In one home the father was distraught. His tallis and tefillin had been burned and there was no trace of them. Rabbis Kutner and Freiman left and returned a short time later with a tallis, tefillin, a set of Jewish books, and a tzedakah box.  The father was overwhelmed with gratitude, tears falling from his eyes.

In another home, it became clear immediately that the family could not remain there, there was too much damage. CTVP arranged to have them moved to another apartment.  Rabbi Freiman invited them to come to all the Shabbos meals in his home.

One of the items this family lost in the fire was their washing machine which is critically important for a family with children. The government would eventually cover the cost of this, but it could take three months, so Rabbi Kutner told them not to worry. CTVP would provide one for them right away.

In another home, Rabbi Kutner said, it was eerie. The ground floor, which had mezuzahs on all the doorposts, was not damaged. The top floor, however, where there were none, was totally destroyed. CTVP is helping this family with basic needs now, and once the repairs are done, will provide them with new mezuzahs for the top floor.

We will keep you updated as Chabad’s Terror Victims Project (CTVP) and the 300 Chabad Houses across Israel move forward in relief efforts – efforts only possible through your partnership and generosity. Thank you. 

To make an emergency donation directly to Chabad’s Terror Victims Project, go to

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Tens of Thousands of Israeli Lives in Chaos from Fires in Israel

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Israeli Lives in Chaos

Since September 2015, terrorists have murdered 42 Israelis and wounded 573.

Now the terrorists are using arson to try to burn us out of Israel.

These devastating wildfires have raged throughout the country.

The homes of thousands of Jews have been burned.

They have nowhere to go.  Many have lost everything.

Schools are closed. 

Our help is urgently needed right now.

With over 300 Chabad Houses all across Israel, Chabad’s Terror Victims Project (CTVP), is bringing help to every corner of the country.

We are wherever the victims of the fires are - wherever there are homeless families.

Please help us bring food, shelter, clothes, comfort and more to those who have been left bereft, to those whose lives have been shattered.

Please make an emergency donation to CTVP today.

Together we will ensure that all Jews in Israel have the help they need now. Thank you.

They Had to Pay Shiva Calls to Each Other

 By Rabbi Menachem Kutner, Director, CTVP

Yesterday I visited Otniel, the home of the Mark family whose lives were irreparably shattered by a vicious terror attack on Route 60 last week. I was accompanied by the local Shaliach, Rabbi Yosef Dahan, and his son, Ron, who is the head of the Otniel Community Council.

We began our time there speaking with some of the young people of Otniel. They feel devastated and horrified that their small community has had 11 people killed in terror attacks, some living on the same street as the Mark family.  We offered them words of comfort and suggested some of the Rebbe’s ideas to them about gaining strength through good deeds done in memory of those who were murdered.

Then we met Rabbi Miki Mark’s brother-in-law, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Otniel Yeshiva, who reminded us about the horrific terror attack that had taken place in his yeshiva in 2002 in which four young people were murdered.

Then we walked into the Mark family home and sat down with them, our hearts aching for these beautiful children who had lost their father, whose mother and two siblings were wounded.  As we sat and talked together, they told us that their father’s family was related to the Rebbe and that Rabbi Mark had been studying the Rebbe’s teachings.

We gave them a large check to help them through this terribly, terribly difficult time.  They were deeply grateful and told us how Rabbi Miki, as he is often referred to, would always give any amount of money he could to help others.

Shlomi, Rabbi Mark’s oldest son, told us that he is married to a young woman whose family was also devastated by terror. The Mark family had embraced her family after the attack and ultimately he married her.

Then we learned something chilling.

Rabbi Mark’s brother had gone to pay a shiva call to the family of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffe Ariel, who had been murdered in her sleep in Kiryat Arba. Hallel’s father, Amichai, was an old and dear friend of Rabbi Mark’s brother who came immediately after the funeral to be with him.

When he was there, Amichai Ariel gave him a bottle of wine from his winery. Rabbi Mark’s brother said he was not knowledgeable about wines but would take it to his brother, Miki, for the following Shabbos, when they would be together, because he was very interested in and well-informed about wines and would appreciate it.

His brother, Rabbi Miki, was murdered the next day and Amichai then came to pay a shiva call to Rabbi Miki’s brother. The two families are inextricably linked through the pain they have suffered. We pray that peace will come to Israel and the world very soon. Shabbat Shalom.


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A Visit to the Kidnapped Soldiers’ Families

Related by Rabbi Menachem Kutner

Today I visited the families of the kidnapped soldiers from the Gaza War. They were in a tent opposite the Prime Minister's House in Jerusalem.

I spent time with the parents of kidnapped soldier Oron Shaul to express our solidarity with them and to pray for the release of their son and the release of Hadar Goldin.

I comforted them with words of blessings and consolation from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Oron’s brother took time out from planning future steps to help bring home his brother. He came over to me and asked to put on tefillin. Afterwards, he told me that he is going to put on tefillin every day from now in the merit of bringing Oron home. His words touched me deeply.

We pray for the release of kidnapped soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

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A Wedding and then Shiva Visits... The Reality of Life in Israel Today


Our Chabad’s Terror Victims Project (CTVP) group has just returned from making highly emotional shiva calls to the families of two young Israelis brutally murdered during the recent wave of horrific terror attacks sweeping across Israel. 

Ziv Mizrahi was only 18 years old. He had been in the Israeli army for just nine months when he was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist at the Dor Alon gas station on Road 443 just outside Jerusalem. 

This was not the first time the Mizrahi family had their world shattered by terror. Twelve years ago, Ziv’s cousin, Alon Mizrahi, was murdered when an Arab terrorist blew himself up in an attack on Café Hillel in Jerusalem.  Ziv’s family lives on a street in Givat Ze’ev that was named for his cousin. 

21-year-old Hadar Buchris of Tzfat in northern Israel was also viciously stabbed by an Arab terrorist as she waited for a ride at the Gush Etzion Junction.  She was rushed to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem under sedation and on a ventilator.  Doctors tried desperately to save her but she died on the operating table. 

Two young Israelis tragically cut down because they were Jews. Two families left bereft and in need of the support and help that CTVP brings to every family shattered by terror. 

We were accompanied on these heartrending visits by students from five Chabad on Campus chapters in the United States and Canada. They heard the tragic story of the father and brother of Sarah Litman who were murdered in a terror attack just before she was to marry Ariel Beigel. 

The students responded from their hearts when they found out the young couple wanted the world to attend their wedding to show the strength and resilience of the Jewish people. 

The students raised money and sent representatives to Israel to attend the wedding. 

Then they joined us at CTVP to visit the families of two terror victims to bring them courage and support and to show their deep solidarity with – and love for – their brothers and sisters in Israel. 

We want to share the emotional words of Rabbi Yossi Witkes from Chabad on Campus in Israel as our CTVP group and the students returned to Jerusalem shortly before Shabbos after visiting the grieving families of Ziv and Hadar: 

Today was an incredibly powerful experience. The families were so-so appreciative of the collective hug we were giving them on behalf of Klal Yisroel. 

At the second house, we left something in the car so I went back to get it and came in late. An elderly gentleman, who I later found out was the grandfather, whispered to me as I walked in: 

“Sh, sh. You are not going to believe it. This is a group of students from America. They are speaking in English but someone is going to translate. It is unbelievable, mamash (truly) unbelievable.” 

He was shaking his head in disbelief that these young people had come all the way from the United States to see them during the shiva. 

This is how our CTVP group and the students were welcomed in each house and by each person. Their gratitude was overwhelming, their hearts moved with emotion at this outpouring of love.

This is what CTVP does day in and day out. Our mission is to bring comfort, hope, and support – financial, emotional, spiritual and practical – to victims of terror and war in Israel and their families. This is what we do – the only thing we do. 






He Had a 10% Chance to Live and Now…

Kiryat Arba resident Meir Pavlovsky, 31, was sitting quietly next to the Hazon David synagogue in his home town. He was studying Torah when a terrorist appeared out of nowhere and brutally stabbed him in the stomach.

As the terrorist fled, he stabbed Meir in the back as well.

Though severely wounded, Meir was able to get himself to a nearby IDF position and from there he was transferred to the hospital.

When he arrived, the doctors gave him a 10% chance of living, so brutal were the wounds that had been inflicted on him. The terrorist, who was just a teenager, fled toward Hebron and has not yet been apprehended.

Chabad’s Terror Victims Project (CTVP) immediately went to the hospital to be with Meir. He is alone in Israel, his parents in Ukraine. We became his family, visiting him numerous times during his ten-day stay in the hospital, including bringing him a young visitor from Vienna, Simon, who did not let the terror in Israel prevent him from coming there to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. He spent much time visiting many victims of terror including Meir.

While hospitalized, we helped Meir put on tefillin and brought him numerous gifts – and we brought him continual comfort, support and hope as he struggled to recover from the wounds inflicted on him by a 10-inch long knife.

When the attack took place, Meir had been planning to become engaged, so as soon as he was released from the hospital, we took him to buy new clothes and provided help and support to him and his Kallah (fiancée) as they began to plan for their wedding.  Meir also took time to visit the Rebbe’s room in 770 of Kfar Chabad to pray and offer thanks.

 This young couple is now well on their way to becoming married and CTVP will be there with them every step of the way on their journey.

Photo credits: Meir Pavlovsky 

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One one of CTVP's many visits to Meir in the Hospital  


 Meir's Wounds 


 Meir's Wounds  


Visiting 770 

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CTVP director Rabbi Menachem Kutner purchasing new clothing for Meir

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Meir and his Kalla  

Despite the Terror, They Came to Show their Solidarity

Delegations Led by U.S. Rabbis Visit Terror Victims in Israel 

Accompanied by CTVP staff, they spend time with those wounded in recent attacks and their families

By Staff   |   October 23, 2015 9:41 AM 

At Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem are Rabbi Peretz Chein, left, executive director of the Chabad House at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., who came with a local delegation to visit Israeli terror victims and their families. To his right are Rabbi Menachem Kutner, director of the Chabad Terror Victims Project; Rabbi Yisroel Naftalin, the hospital's Chabad emissary; and Brandeis student Tzvi Miller, far right, with his brother, Netzach, who lives in Israel.
At Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem are Rabbi Peretz Chein, left, executive director of the Chabad House at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., who came with a local delegation to visit Israeli terror victims and their families. To his right are Rabbi Menachem Kutner, director of the Chabad Terror Victims Project; Rabbi Yisroel Naftalin, the hospital's Chabad emissary; and Brandeis student Tzvi Miller, far right, with his brother, Netzach, who lives in Israel.

Israel is once again the hotbed of terrorist attacks, and it’s become an uneasy time for some people to visit the Holy Land. But for Rabbi Sholom Raichik, director of Chabad of Upper Montgomery County in Gaithersburg, Md., and Rabbi Peretz Chein, executive director of the Chabad House at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., now is the right time.

Working with representatives of the Chabad Terror Victims Project, both brought delegations from abroad to comfort victims of terror and demonstrate solidarity with the Israeli people.

Raichik’s delegation spent 36 hours in Israel. The group came straight from the airport outside of Tel Aviv to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva to visit those who had been wounded in the Oct. 18 attack at the central bus station there, in which a 19-year-old Israeli Defense Forces soldier, Cpl. Omri Levi of Sdei Hemed, was shot and killed. 

They also went to the grave of Alon Govberg, who was killed last week in a bus attack in theJerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv. Reported Raichik: “He has no family in Israel to visit his grave. We went today and had aminyan to say Tehillim and Kaddish, marking the end of the shiva [mourning] period.”

Hope and Encouragement

According to victims and their families, the visits brought hope and encouragement to their profoundly changed lives.

“People were most appreciative of our coming to Israel just to visit with them, to give thanks in the name of our community to the soldiers who are on the front lines, and to give support and comfort to the injured and their families,” said Bernie Schack, who toured the country with Rabbi Raichik. “We made an effort to go where the need was, not necessarily where it was easiest.”


Chein, right, writes messages of love and hope in the Chitat book (Chumash, Tehillim and Tanya) given to a wounded soldier. His hand was severely injured, prohibiting his return to serve his country.

Chein, right, writes messages of love and hope in the Chitat book (Chumash, Tehillim and Tanya) given to a wounded soldier. His hand was severely injured, prohibiting his return to serve his country.

Also accompanied by CTVP, Rabbi Chein brought a delegation from Brandeis University, with students on campus volunteering to publicize the trip and raise money for it. The group carried with them a school banner that also listed the names of students at Brandeis who stand in solidarity with Israel.

On their second day there, they went to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem to spend time in the hospital with attack victims and their families. The recovering ranged from an elderly man who had been stabbed near his brain and an Israeli soldier who was wounded by a terrorist to a family whose son lay in a coma and an elderly woman whose husband of many decades had been shot and stabbed; he, too, was in a coma.

Each stop along their way—as they sat and listened to harrowing story after story—they made it a point to sing inspiring songs, lifting spirits as best they could.

“So many people have been moved,” reflected Brandeis student Tzvi Miller, who traveled to Israel with the rabbi. “What I took away is how what happens here affects everyone. The people here know we came. We visited people about whom we read in the newspapers, and now they are here in the hospital.” 

Rabbis Kutner, Chein and Naftalin, along with Brandeis student Miller, stand outside the room where a terrorist is currently being treated, just a few rooms away from where the people he attempted to murder are being cared for. Pictured with them is the soldier guarding the room.

Rabbis Kutner, Chein and Naftalin, along with Brandeis student Miller, stand outside the room where a terrorist is currently being treated, just a few rooms away from where the people he attempted to murder are being cared for. Pictured with them is the soldier guarding the room.

Continued Calls for MitzvahsTorah Study and Prayer

In addition to prayers for the wounded, there were also calls by rabbinic leaders around the world for increases in Torah study, prayer and other mitzvahs, in addition to donning tefillin. For suggestions of what Jewish people around the world can do to help their brethren in Israel, read the article 7 Things You Can Do for Israel Today here.

The tefillin campaign comes in light of instructions given by the Rebbe, RabbiMenachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, who had issued a similar call during other dangerous times in Israel. Before the outbreak of the June 1967 war, for example, the Rebbe prompted an active campaign for Jewish males over the age of 13 to perform the mitzvah of tefillin.

Wrapping tefillin is part of the Rebbe’s 10 mitzvah campaigns introduced between the years of 1967 and 1976, which formed the platform upon which the Rebbe’s far-reaching program to revitalize Jewish life and observance throughout the world was built.

The laying of tefillin instills fear in the enemy, explain the sages of the Talmud, quoting: “Then all the peoples of the earth will see that the name of the Lord is called upon you, and they will fear you.” (Deuteronomy 28:10). 

Chein, Kutner and Miller, along with Rabbi Ahronchik Prus, right, of the Chabad Youth Organization, visit soldiers guarding the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, where several terrorist attacks have taken place over the course of the month.

Chein, Kutner and Miller, along with Rabbi Ahronchik Prus, right, of the Chabad Youth Organization, visit soldiers guarding the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, where several terrorist attacks have taken place over the course of the month. 

New List of Injured is Released

As attacks continued, the Chabad Terror Victims Project ( released an updated list of those injured in recent terrorist attacks.

The public is asked to continue their prayers for their speedy and complete recovery. It is customary for petitions for recovery to be recited in synagogue on the Sabbath and on other days when the Torah is read in public.

Here is a list as of Friday, Oct. 23. Names will be added and deleted as they become available.

To assist wounded Israelis and the work of CTVP, which provides financial, emotional and practical support to those suffering from terror, see:

For more news, opinion, inspiration, advice and first-person articles on the October 2015 Wave of Terror in Israel, visit the special section here.


Rabbi Sholom Raichik, right, director of Chabad of Upper Montgomery County in Gaithersburg, Md.,and community member Bernard Schack bring gifts for Israeli soldiers in Be’er Sheva, where a deadly attack occurred last week at the central bus station.

Rabbi Sholom Raichik, right, director of Chabad of Upper Montgomery County in Gaithersburg, Md.,and community member Bernard Schack bring gifts for Israeli soldiers in Be’er Sheva, where a deadly attack occurred last week at the central bus station. 

Raichik and Schack also deliver tefillin to male soldiers.

Raichik and Schack also deliver tefillin to male soldiers. 

The Raichik group at the grave of Alon Govberg, who was killed in a bus attack one week ago and has no family in Israel. The men organized a minyan at his grave site to say Tehillim and Kaddish, making the end of the shiva (mourning) period.

The Raichik group at the grave of Alon Govberg, who was killed in a bus attack one week ago and has no family in Israel. The men organized a minyan at his grave site to say Tehillim and Kaddish, making the end of the shiva (mourning) period. 

Raichik helps a border policeman in Be’er Sheva don tefillin.

Raichik helps a border policeman in Be’er Sheva don tefillin. 

Saying prayers for the injured, as Jewish people everywhere can do to help.

Saying prayers for the injured, as Jewish people everywhere can do to help.

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