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Perpetual Motion: Assisting Victims of Terror

Last week, Pini Rabinovitz attended a memorial service for a soldier who

was killed in the Second Lebanon War, visited victims of terror being

treated at Soroka Hospital, provided financial assistance to families in

Sderot, and checked in on several individuals suffering from recurring

PTSD, a condition that has been exacerbated by the war in Gaza.  For

Rabinovitz, a core staff member at OneFamily, Israel’s leading national

organization solely dedicated to the rehabilitation of victims of terror

attacks and their families, it was just a typical day on the job.

While OneFamily provided extra support during Operation Protective Edge,

every member of the organization is as busy as Rabinovitz every day of the


“We assist victims of terror through emotional support, retreats, support

groups, and therapeutic workshops for bereaved parents, parents of injured

children, bereaved or injured young adults, soldiers, widows and widowers,

orphans, bereaved siblings, and wounded victims of all ages.  And those are

just the most basic services we provide.  Our work keeps us busy around the

clock,” explains Rabinovitz.

“Terror never sleeps and its aftershocks never truly fade away, so we must

remain vigilant.  That means being ‘on-call’ for victims of terror across

the country and constantly finding new ways to support them and show them

that we care.”

Like most OneFamily staffers, Rabinovitz wears many hats.  He is a sounding

board, a therapist, a confidant, and a legal advisor.  He describes himself

as a “Swiss Army Knife” for victims of terror in need.

At the height of the Second Intifada, Rabinovitz found that he provided an

invaluable service to the families of victims of terror by listening to

them and making important connections where he could.  Soon thereafter, he

left his job as a sales agent for Rubbermaid and started working for

OneFamily. “I decided to leave my job of 27 years and do work that would

feed my soul.  I have never looked back.”

In his role as Regional Coordinator of the South, Rabinovitz spends a lot

of time in his car driving from his home in Efrat to Beersheva, Ashkelon,

Sderot, Nitzan and Ashdod. “I often joke that I work 26 hours a day, and at

times it feels like it is true. I am either on the phone with families,

making house calls or facilitating a therapy group, but I am always


Rabinovitz moderates the long-term localized support groups in the

South for victims groups that meet weekly and monthly.  The workshops and

groups help the victims work through self-esteem issues, adjust to

socio-economic pressures, learn various techniques to cope effectively with

crisis or stress, and provide a platform for general growth and development

in a safe environment.  Though Rabinovitz does not conduct the meetings

himself, his presence and reliability is calming.  He is a familiar face

that the families know they can count on week in and week out.

“Immediately following a terror attack, the nation comes and visits the

families, there is an outpouring of support.  But then people have to get

on with their lives, and the victims and their families fade into the

background,” says Rabinovitz.

“But we can never forget.  We are their permanent family, providing the

support they need for years after their names disappear from the headlines.

Helping victims of terror is about more than just counseling. It’s about

helping these individuals regain their ability to live day to day.”

For the family of a victim of terror, that could translate into financial

aid or having someone pick up the medication they need on a regular basis.

It could also mean attending a memorial service to honor the memory of

someone who was killed years ago, or relieving a father who has been

watching over his son at the hospital.

“Terrorism has changed the lives of thousands of Israelis forever.  We do

whatever we can to make sure that they don’t bear these burdens alone.”

Despite the long, emotionally draining days, Rabinovitz can’t stop moving.

There are too many people in need and only a finite number of hours in the

day to help ease their pain.  Then again, time and space are no match for

this man on a mission.

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Posted by on September 7, 2014. Filed under Israeli News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.