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      Stories of the Bereaved Became Works of Art

      The "Longing for a Hug" art exhibition gives a voice to bereaved Israeli children sending a message of "loving and living."
      By Kochava Rozenbaum
      First Publish: 9/15/2013, 3:14 PM

      From the exhibit
      From the exhibit
      One Family

      “Longing for a Hug” (“Ga'aguah Le'chibuk”) is a unique and powerful art exhibit about the trauma and healing of bereaved Israeli children on display at Tel Aviv's Old Railway Station.

      The exhibit, initiated by the One Family Fund - which is dedicated to the rehabilitation of victims of terror attacks and their families - includes 35 original works of art created by well-known Israeli artists to perpetuate the stories of children who lost parents, brothers or sisters as a consequence of war, military operations or terror attacks.  

      The artwork is based upon a book by the same name in which the memories of bereaved children wrote 150 stories of loss and longing during their healing processes. 

      "It's very Jewish," says artist and exhibit participant Jonathan Herson of the foundation. "It comes from the real ethic of what it is to be Jewish: to be able to help, to give, to support and to understand and to make it meaningful. And to particularly help these people with something which will never go away."

      Herson explains that "their stories celebrate life. The Universal message is loving and living." 

      Reli Wasser, artist and exhibit curator, says that the children have struggled through "the deepest pain of their life" and yet, "each one of them grows out of the ashes, and they have risen and they are smiling." 

      Artists participating in the “Longing for a Hug” exhibit chosen stories from the book, recreating the feelings of nostalgia, emptiness, and longing therein through several works, including painting, sculpture, and photography.

      The exhibit will be on display at Tel Aviv's Old Railway Station until September 29, 2013.