Daily Israel Report

Social Workers in Itamar: There is an Emotional Impact on All

Social workers and psychologists have been working to help the residents of Itamar deal with the brutal murder of the Fogel family.
By Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 3/13/2011, 6:06 PM / Last Update: 3/14/2011, 5:15 AM

The brutal murder in Itamar on Friday night has brought out many social workers to the community, who are now facing the difficult task of providing services both to the family members of those who were murdered, as well as to the members of the community at large.

Regional Social Worker Supervisor Dr. Pinchas Gerber explained to Israel National News TV on Sunday about some of the services he and his colleagues have been providing.

“A group of social workers and psychologists have been in Itamar since Shabbat,” said Dr. Gerber. “Now we’re going to be meeting with the families and we’re also organizing groups for the men and women. In addition, we have psychologists and social workers who are going into the school systems and into the nursery schools in order to help the teachers and students.”

Dr. Gerber spoke of the emotional difficulty involved in his work. “22 people have been slaughtered in the Itamar community in the last 15 years, and it definitely has an emotional impact on everybody: the people who live here as well as people like myself and our teams of social workers and psychologists, who have once again been called to meet and to treat these families.”

He specifically addressed the difficulty of having to explain a delicate situation such as this to children, especially in light of the fact that there is no other way other than telling them the facts.

“The children in the community of Itamar have really lost their childhood,” said Dr. Gerber. “They lost their childhood many years ago because of all the attacks and the difficulties that they have. One of the things we want to do is to legitimize any feelings or experiences that they have, and also to help their parents to be able to nurture them, to be with them, to hug them, and help them understand that they’re not alone.”