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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.

Santa Claus, the Jewish Version

 By Amit Tomer - Maariv Newspaper

Israeli soldiers serving in the Gaza region & those injured during operation Tzuk Eitan, are used to receiving candies, flowers, blessing and other gifts. In the past days though they have been pampered with expensive American gifts, a delegation from America came to say thank you and distribute smartphone/ipods, LeBron James sneakers & gift cards.

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The entrance to the orthopedic wing of the Sheba hospital is covered with signs supporting the injured soldiers who are hospitalized there. 55 soldiers are hospitalized in Tel Hashomer. Besides family members and friends, who don’t leave the soldiers bedsides, they have been visited by people from all walks of life. “Everyone has been here - Celebrities, soccer teams, representatives from the IDF” says Yael Porat, Erans’ mother, who was seriously wounded two weeks earlier by shrapnel and is now healing. “It is heartwarming, and gives a feeling of unity”.

The next group that entered the Porat room though was totally unexpected: 8 American citizens who only spoke English. “We came to say thank you to the soldiers for protecting us”, Bob Book (63), an American businessman, standing at the head of the group, told Eran.

In a joint venture with Chabad, Book who for the past 12 years, on his own accord, has been inviting wounded soldiers & Israeli citizens wounded by terror attacks, to New York in order to take them to see the Yankees play. When he saw on TV what was going on in Israel, and all that the soldiers were doing, he knew that it was time to put together a delegation.

“The Israeli’s are also protecting us, during this time we couldn’t be so far away and just stand by the sidelines and watch”, Book explained, “ We decided to come to Israel for a few days, not to tour and enjoy ourselves, but to uplift the soldiers spirits. We were planning this for a couple of days, and last Friday we were already on the plane from New York. I turned to Chabad and asked them if they could take to places where we could strengthen the soldiers. We were with them in Beer Sheva, where we meet the residents and also visited the wounded soldiers in Surka. We also visited army bases to make the soldiers happy.”

Inspiring & Difficult

The delegation did not arrive empty handed. In every base and hospital they visited the Americans gave out smartphones/iPods, LeBron James sneakers, Yankees caps & gift cards to the retailer American Eagle, the 3 children of Jay Schottenstein, CEO of American Eagle, were part of the delegation.

“On one hand it is amazing & satisfying, to know the joy we are giving the soldiers that do so much for all of us” said Joey Schottenstein the eldest brother. “But on the other hand it is very difficult to see the wounded. Young kids in such terrible condition because of this war. I have been to Israel many times, but never on a trip similar to this one. It is totally different and emotional”.

The soldiers in Sheba received the gifts excitedly.  “It is literally like Santa Clause, the Jewish version”, laughed Yael Porat,” My son is very happy with the gifts he received”.

Knesset representative Miri Regev, who was also in Sheba at the time the delegation was there, meet the delegation. She related to her friends that in the hospital there was a lone solider that was wounded in the operation. He decided to join the army, and his parents cut off all tie with him. “He has no one”, she told them.  Book immediately promised “we will give $10,000 and care for him in the future if further assistance is needed”.  

All the soldiers were told to stay in touch. “We will be here for Sukkot, and have a big party in our sukkah”, the American’s promised when they passed through the hospital beds. “Come there, by then you will be all better”.  

 

A Father Dies, A Daughter is Born...

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It was a heart-rending sight. As we walked into her home, the young Ethiopian-Israeli mother sat with her newborn baby on her lap and her other young children nearby.

She spoke softly and tearfully as she talked of her young husband, Kasahun Baynesign, a career soldier, who was killed during the Gaza war.

Just ten days later she gave birth to the couple’s fourth child. She named the little girl Tal-Or, which means “Dew-Light”. Gaylatu said that her husband always left for the army at the break of day, when light was just dawning, and there was dew on the ground. He had done so this time as well. She gave this name to the new baby so that all her children will remember their father and how dedicated he was to the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.

She said that her husband had missed the births of their first two children as he was always on army operations. He was there for the third child’s birth and had hoped to be there for the fourth, but now he will never meet this precious new little daughter.

We brought Gaylatu comfort as well as immediate financial support to carry through this painful time. And we brought toys and games for the children who have lost the father they adored, loved and respected.

Gaylatu told us she will tell Tal-Or all about her father and how brave and strong he was. And she will keep him in the hearts of the other children as well.

Since then we have been back several times to see how she is doing, to help with the children, to bring meals and help with the shopping. She is facing raising her four children on her own, without the man who was her constant support and confidante, her lifelong partner. She will need all the help possible and we will provide it for her.

 

 

Bringing Comfort to the Bereaved…

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CTVP staff and volunteers are continuing to visit the families of the bereaved who are still reeling from the shock of losing their sons, some not even yet out of their teenage years. 

We are vising these families day in and day out, and will continue being with them for as long as they need us, however long that is. We will provide emotional comfort and care, financial help, practical help like babysitting, bringing in meals, driving to appointments and much more.

Below are some more of the stories of our visits.  

TalOr3.jpgWe visited with Glaytu Baynishon wife of Danny Baynishon. As we walked into the home, the young Ethiopian-Israeli mother sat with her baby on her lap and her other young children near her. She spoke softly as she talked of her husband, Kasahun (AKA Danny), a career soldier, who was killed during the war at the young age of 39. Just ten days later she gave birth to the couple’s fourth child.  

She named their baby girl Tal-Or, which means “Dew-Light”. She said that her husband had missed the births of their first two children as he was always leaving on army operations. He was there for the third but now he will never meet this new little daughter. Always the couple parted at dawn as Danny set out, including this time. Glaytu commemorated this in the baby’s name. 

TalOr.jpgWe brought her comfort and financial support. And we brought gifts for her other children who have lost the father they adored, loved and respected.

 

 

We also visited the family of Meidan Maymon Biton, who just moments before he was killed, put on Tefillin with the help of Chabad.  During that moment, as Meidan prepared for battle with prayer, someone snapped a very moving photo. 

Biton2.jpgBefore we arrived to comfort his family that day, a Chabad team had come to pay their condolences and brought the photo with them. 

The family told us that this photo has been of so much comfort to them. The fact that Meidan’s last act was one of holiness brought them solace in a way nothing else had. They were so grateful for this and for our visit. Biton.jpg

We met with many other families that same day in other cities including the family of Hadar Goldin, 23, in Kfar Saba. He is the soldier who was first presumed kidnapped when a suicide bomber emerged from one of the tunnel and blew himself up. 

Later on it was discovered that Hadar had been killed.

Hadar was supposed to be married just a few weeks later. He left a bereft family and young fiancée. The family’s home was filled with sadness that was palpable in the very air. We did everything we could to bring them comfort.

Joining us on these visits were Rabbis and volunteers from abroad. Rabbi Yossi Amar of France; Rabbi Eli Popack of the Hamptons, the Ginewinih family of Montreal; and Freidy Yanover of Milwaukee. They added a special feeling to the visits, letting these families know that their sacrifices were for the entire Am Yisroel, no matter where they live in the world.  

All the soldiers who are wounded – and those who have been lost – are heroes of Israel and the Jewish People. Their families surely deserve everything we can provide for them, for as long as they need us.

This is what distinguishes CTVP. We are there for the long-term and will not leave these families – or any others under our care – until they are strong enough to regain their lives. Even if that is years, we will be there. 

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