On Sunday, a group of teenagers from the Samaria community of Itamar, where the heinous murder of five members of the Fogel family occurred just two weeks ago, visited the place where last Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem took place, near the International Convention Center. The purpose of the teens' visit was to strengthen the passersby and to convey a message of unity and shared destiny to Israel.
Itamar's youth coordinator, Pinchas Michaeli, spoke to Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website about the initiative and the comments the teens received from passersby.
“We set up a stand near the site of the terror attack to greet passersby and give them a sweet treat for the road,” Michaeli said. “The passersby were surprised to see our youth happy and especially to see them handing out something sweet.”
Michaeli arrived in Jerusalem with about twenty boys from Itamar, all of whom carried signs and notes on which they expressed a message of unity and partnership with the people of Jerusalem. “The youth approached the people, gave them a treat, and if the other side wanted to, they started a conversation,” he explained. “The passersby were very intrigued by the act of giving, especially when it came from residents of Itamar.”
Michaeli noted that the Jerusalemites happily embraced the teenagers.
“They expressed sympathy and asked if they can help in some way,” he said and added that no political arguments took place between the youth and the passersby. “I do not think that there was anyone there who wanted to argue or avoided aproaching the teens. People just do not feel the need to argue. These terror attacks unified people. We saw this during the Shiva when people came from all over the country to offer condolences.”
The Shiva (the Jewish seven-day period of mourning following the death of a loved one) to which he referred is that of the Fogel family, the parents and three of their children who were brutally massacred in their home on a Friday night by terrorists just two weeks ago.
Michaeli told how he, as a youth coordinator in Itamar, deals with the difficulties and concerns of the youth in Itamar following the barbaric murders.
“We are assisted by the Samaria Regional Council as well as members of the trauma unit and psychologists,” he said. “The youth of Itamar was exposed to trauma. This is not simple to deal with, but things are slowly returning to normal.”