One Family encourages teenagers who reach the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah to dedicate their simcha to helping terror victims. As you celebrate your Bar or Bat Mitzvah, you are affirming your place in the Jewish community, with all the responsibilities and privileges that it brings. By helping victims of terror to go on with their lives, your own life will be greatly enriched and your Bar or Bat Mitzvah will be one of the most meaningful experiences of your life.

“Twinning” with a terror victim enables them to celebrate their own Bar or Bat Mitzvah, if they are financially unable to do so, or provide other assistance to them and their families.

Why should you consider “Twinning?” “Twinning with a victim family offers an opportunity to connect on a deeper level, to really experience and help diminish their suffering. Often, you will find that the victim will become a part of your own family,” says Melanie Nesbitt, a Registered Dance Movement and Expressive Arts Therapist and coordinator of One Family Fund Canada’s Twinning Program.

Financial support at any level can make a big difference. Among its services, One Family sends children who have been affected by terrorism to special summer camps, where they can connect with other children who have experienced the same tragedy. Time spent in wonderful summer activities with the help and support of specially trained staff helps them to heal. One Family also provides educational funds for orphans and long-term financial and emotional support for entire families.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Image DescriptionIn 2006, Rachel Glowinsky became the first of her siblings to twin with an Israeli girl, Naama Didovsky. Through subsequent visits to Israel and the internet, a unique friendship blossomed. Rachel’s siblings Benji and Sam have each followed suit.  “Having direct contact with these Israeli families who have suffered exceptional hardship has enriched our family and strengthened our children’s connection with Israel,” says father Howard Glowinsky.  “In Israel, they are all part of our extended family.”  CLICK HERE TO READ RACHEL GLOWINSKY’S BLOG [1]

For his Bar Mitzvah, Zachary Freedman of Toronto twinned with terror victim Shawn Hen of Ashkelon.  “My Twinning project made me realize how lucky we are here in Canada,” said Zach. “Shawn’s family was affected by rockets 3 times, sustaining multiple injurirs.  During the last attack, a piece of shrapnel hit Shawn’s mother, leaving her blind in one eye. Shawn deals with anxiety problems and is scared to be alone.”

Image DescriptionAdds Zach, “I was so happy to share some of my Bar Mitzvah money with Shawn, which he and his family used to travel around Israel instead of having a Bar Mitzvah party, as they are not able to afford to travel or explore their own country.  It feels great to have helped Shawn and his family in this way.”

Personal Stories: By Jake Perlmutter

My family and I were on a trip to Israel and thought this would be the appropriate time to see my bar mitzvah twin, Kobi Levy. Since we were in Jerusalem for five days on our trip, we called One Family and they arranged for us to meet.

I was very excited about meeting Kobi, but knew it would be difficult to communicate because of the language barrier. His mother spoke close to perfect English and translated for us as much as possible. Although Kobi did speak more English than I can Hebrew, when he took me to show me his computer games it was a challenge to discuss about the game and what was going on. Despite this, it was a great experience meeting Kobi and I am very pleased I even had a chance to do something like this.

Letter from Or Levi to her Twin, Kate Sutton:

Dear Kate,

My name is Or Levi. I’m just finishing 6th grade in the elementary school of Science and Judaism in Hadera.

I would very much love to meet you up close and personal. I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I love to sing and write songs. I love to draw, and travel a lot. I have a younger sister named Schachar; she’s in 5th grade and we learn in the same school. I like to watch television as well. My favourite subject to learn is English. I really like animals as well: dogs, fish, turtles, various pets.

As you probably know, my bat-mitzvah date had already passed and I didn’t celebrate it the way I wanted to. I didn’t celebrate it with my family at all, but I had a party in school that my fellow students and teachers threw for me. G-d willing, I plan on celebrating my bat-mitzvah with my family and friends this upcoming month by having a big party. I want there to be fireworks, a barbecue and assorted salads. I especially want my favourite food, mashed potatoes, being served in the celebration. I plan on singing and giving a big speech as well. My 2 best friends are Nitzan and Rina.

I’m an orphan. My mother, Ayala (Z’’L), was murdered in a terrorist shooting at the public library of Hadera on October 28, 2001. I’m being raised by my father, Rachamim.
I’m very grateful for your generosity for now I can celebrate my bat-mitzvah as I had always wished to do so. Now you know many things about me and I’d love to ask you some questions as well:

  • How is life like where you live?
  • When is your bat mitzvah?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are your likes/dislikes
  • Do you have an e-mail address?
  • Which animals do you like?
  • How many brothers & sisters do you have? What are their names?
  • What are your parents’ names
  • Can you send me pictures of your bat mitzvah (if you already celebrated it?) I’ll send you pictures of mine after I’ve celebrated it.

Best wishes and once again, than you for everything!
Or Levi

Perlmutter and Hanson Families visit with their Twins in Israel

If you’re considering twinning with an individual, the experience of the Perlmutter and Hanson families will inspire you to do so.

The Perlmutters and the Hansons traveled together to Israel in December, 2007, where they visited Jake Perlmutter’s Bar Mitzvah twin, Kobi Levy, and Russell Hanson’s twin, Tzur. Kobi’s sister had previously been killed in a terrorist attack and Tzur himself had been shot in the head, suffering from reduced mobility and epilepsy.

“Overall, the trip and the visit with Kobi was an incredible experience for our whole family,” said Dawn Perlmutter, Jake’s mother. “We decided to twin because we had supported One Family before and Jake thought it would be great to use some of his Bar Mitzvah money to help a boy from One Family,” she added. “Both Jake and Kobi had their Bar Mitzvahs around the same time, and he was interested in seeing who he was helping,” said Dawn.

“Because Tzur himself had been a victim and had overcome such obstacles, it made the experience feel so real,” said Karen Hanson, Russell’s mother. Russell celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on December 24, 2007 in Israel, and on January 26, 2008 in Toronto.

“We told our Bar Mitzvah guests about what we were doing and as a result many people made donations,” she said, adding, “We thought it would give Russell more of a connection to meet his twin. Both Russell and Tzur have the same birthday and had the same Torah portion. It was wonderful meeting his parents, and at no time did we feel awkward – on the contrary, it was a great experience.”

If you have twinned with a victim or family and would like to share your story or experience, please contact us at 416.489.9687, info@onefamilyfund.ca

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