Original source: Article published in The Jewish Press – by Hana Levi Julian
Hundreds of children from the OneFamily foundation’s summer camp fly balloons in solidarity with their counterparts from the terror attack in Nice, France.Bereaved children fly balloons at the Israel-Syrian border, in the colors of the flag of France.
Photo Credit: Matan Portnoy & Oren Ohayon
Hundreds of children of bereaved families participating in the ‘OneFamily’ organization summer camp in northern Israel, gathered Sunday evening near the border with Syria and Lebanon to show their solidarity with the victims of last weekend’s terror attack in Nice, France.
The children sang songs and flew balloons in the colors of the French flag, noted the director of the camp, “so that everyone will see, even beyond this border, what our true strength is – the power of being ‘together.’” Around 300 children participated from various bereaved families, who lost loved ones from the terror attacks, military operations and wars of the last 15 years.
The event took place at the historic ‘Tel Hai’ site in the Galilee panhandle, not far from the border with Lebanon and the Border with Syria.
Chantal Belzberg, director of ‘OneFamily’ and one of the summer camp’s directors initiated the gesture of solidarity near the border.
“Sadly, in the past few days alone, dozens of new families have joined our ‘togetherness’, who suffered losses or saw a family member hurt in the recent terror attack in Nice, France.
“From here we want to tell them that: We stand by you. We know what you are going through. Your victory and our victory over terror will be done by the growth in spite of the pain. And it comes, among other things, through the ‘Togetherness’”.
The entire event, which was held under the banner of “The Power of Together”, included singing by the children and other artistic performances which took place at the historic site.
Na’ama Frenkel (8), little sister of Naftali Frenkel z’l, (murdered with two friends in 2014) shared her longing for her big brother and her way of coping with the pain.
“When I am sad, I talk to Naftali, I pull over, sit and talk to him. I have a notebook where I write to him and tell him about the things that are happening to me. In one of the days I wrote to him saying: ‘Naftali, I miss you. I hope there is nothing missing for you up there. I’m missing you. I want to get to you in heaven, I want to sit by your side and talk with you… With love, until we meet again…”
“Here with the feeling of ‘Togetherness”, it’s not like in school or anywhere else (…) the counselors are like Mom and Dad and also like friends to me. When I am sad, they come sit next to me and talk with me. They feel sad with me but they don’t cry. That helps me, it makes me stronger.”