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September 11, 2014 7:18 am

How an Israeli Hero is Helping Victims of Terror Begin Life Anew

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

A mosaic showing victims of Palestinian terror.

Since September 2000, Israeli society has been subjected to numerous deadly terror attacks. Since then, several studies have examined the stress-related mental health symptoms and coping behaviors of surviving family members of these barbaric acts.

Indeed, research has revealed that people who experienced an attack directly showed elevated levels of distress, lowered sense of security, and pathological reactions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Despite the psychological and emotional damage wrought by direct exposure to an act of terrorism, people such as Jacob Kimchy have channeled their unimaginable sorrow into the cause of a lifetime.

In 2002, Jacob’s father Rami Kimchy entered a nightclub in his hometown of Rishon Letzion to pick up a client. Rami was a dedicated family man and hardworking taxi driver. A few minutes after Rami had walked into the club, an 18-year-old Hamas suicide bomber entered it and blew himself up, killing Rami and 14 others instantly.

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Jacob was one of the first to arrive at the grizzly scene, which he refers to as ‘the devil’s playground,’ hoping to help any survivors. Only later did Jacob notice his father’s taxi parked out front.

In one horrifying moment, Jacob realized that his father was murdered.

Yet, after many months of indescribable agony, Jacob slowly came to the realization that one way to carry on living with such unimaginable pain was by reaching out to other victims of terrorism. In time, this coping mechanism would flower into a life mission. Jacob would go on to establish One Heart, a non-profit organization that since 2006 has brought hundreds of children and adults together from around the world for Survivors’ Circles and summer camps.

Jacob is also a noted public speaker on the subject of surviving trauma and terrorism, having appeared at international conferences whose audiences included heads of state, governors, ministers of parliament, and mayors.

Now, Jacob is embarking on the next phase of his mission to bring a bit of healing to the long-suffering.

Jacob is in the final stages of completing his first book, written in loving memory of his father Rami. The book, ‘A New Sunrise,’ details Jacob’s harrowing yet inspirational journey.

Jacob’s book is to be self-published. As such, he has recently launched a campaign to raise money for ‘A New Sunrise.’

According to Jacob: “I have met countless people with powerful and unforgettable stories, each of whom gave me a piece of their strength to persevere in the name of justice and life. Through my own journey, I have learned that to be a victim of terrorism is to live every day with pain, longing, and loss. It is never over. But I have also learned there is a light for each of us to step into, no matter what… Each person can find their new sunrise, but sometimes we need help to get there. My mission in life is to be that help for as many people as I can. That is my father’s legacy.”

You can learn more about Jacob Kimchy’s motivation behind writing ‘A New Sunrise’ in this short YouTube clip.

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