With a deeper understanding of what it means to face the enemy head-on than most of us will ever have, Israelâ€™s disabled veterans in the Tel Aviv area are opening their Beit Halochem center, their homes, and their hearts to 150 families from the north of Israel.
These are families of other disabled veterans who live throughout northern cities and who have come under daily fire from Katyusha rockets from Lebanon.They are coming from Nahariya, Haifa, Kiryat Shemona, Carmiel, Hatzor and a host of other cities, towns, Druze villages, and kibbutzim throughout the north.
They have suffered serious disabilities from combat, or they may have been civilian victims of terror. T he trauma of being in the line of fire, of again hearing the wail of sirens and the screaming of rockets is compounded by the nightmares of past battles, and they are reliving those nightmares.
Beit Halochem Centers, which are supported in the United States through the Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans, are rehabilitation and treatment centers throughout Israel for soldiers and victims of terror.They provide therapeutic and recreational facilities to help these young people re-enter life after suffering traumatic injuries.
The families from the north will be given temporary living quarters in the Beit Halochem facility in Tel Aviv. The sports halls, normally used for wheelchair basketball, etc., are being turned into sleeping accommodations with mattresses provided for some 400 people. The families will be able to use all the facilities of the building including the showers, kitchen, etc.A playground area is being set up outside for the children and various programs are being planned to keep the youngsters occupied during these difficult times
As well, members of Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization, the soldiers who use the Beit Halochem facilities, are being approached and ask to host others from the north. In characteristically Israeli fashion, they are opening their homes and their hearts to their fellow veterans.
As Israel struggles with war on two fronts, her â€œfinest,â€ her disabled veterans, are doing their part by opening their homes and their lives to their fellow veterans who are under siege, who are in the line of fire once again.
For further information, please contact Linda Frankel at Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans, 212-689-3220. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or in Israel, please contact Col. Ilan Egozi, 03 641 6674, mobile 52-255-0762, h 09-957-2555.
Beit Halochem Tel Aviv
49 Shmuel Barcay Street
Afeka, Tel Aviv61392
03 641 6674, mobile 52-255-0762, h 09-957-2555.
Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans, Inc.
1133 Broadway, Suite 232
New York, NY 10010
212 689-3220, mobile: 646 643-3440