The Jewish Tribune – Published: October 24, 2013
Elie Klein – Special to the Tribune [ Click here to download the PDf version of article ]
On Sun., Oct. 13, 50 Canadians and more than 30 Israeli victims of terror gathered in Jerusalem for the sixth annual OneFamily Cross Israel Hike, a challenging 5-day trek to raise money and awareness for Israeli victims of terror.
OneFamily (www.onefamilytogether.org), Israel’s only national organization solely dedicated to the rehabilitation of victims of terror attacks and their families, established the event to present Canadian supporters with a truly unique opportunity to empower and connect with victims of terror.
“For its symbolism alone, hiking is a perfect way to show our solidarity. When we hike, we moved towards our goal one step at a time. By supporting victims of terror, we help them heal one step at a time, one family at a time,” explained Pam Albert, director of OneFamily Canada and a sixtime event participant.
This year’s group explored the natural beauty of Jerusalem and its surroundings areas, with an itinerary that included moderate, advanced and family-oriented trails in the Elah Valley, the caves at Qumran, theWadi Qelt canyon, and the Anne Frank Memorial Forest. Past groups tackled Eilat, the Negev, the Golan and Ein Gedi.
Albert added that the bonds of friendship forged with the victims compel the participants to return year after year, bringing friends and family with them.
“By listening to their stories and sharing this experience with them, we give the victims the strength to move forward. It’s a feeling that stays with them even after we return home.”
The hike concluded with a meaningful closing ceremony – a salute to Israel’s fallen – at Har Herzl, Israel’s military cemetery. Following the ceremony, the Canadian participants bade their Israeli counterparts farewell, promising to return next year for the seventh annual event.