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.

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.

A little 5-year-old girl was among the wounded.Holon.jpeg

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.


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