Survivor of Copenhagen Bat Mitzvah Terror Attack Appeals for Support in Battle With Cancer
A Danish woman whose daughter’s 2015 bat mitzvah was the target of a harrowing terrorist attack has appealed for support as she battles a cancer diagnosis, months after the family made Aliyah to Israel.
Mette Miriam Bentow and her family narrowly survived the February 2015 assault, when a gunman opened fire at Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue, where her daughter’s celebration was taking place. The terrorist murdered a Jewish volunteer security guard, Dan Uzan, and wounded two police officers, hours after perpetrating a separate shooting at a cultural center, where he killed one civilian and wounded three police officers.
In a GoFundMe fundraiser published last week, Bentow explained that the family had recently relocated to Israel, in part due to the aftermath of the attack.
“A bit sad to leave Denmark, where we were all born, but full of hope to build a better and safer life for ourselves, a life where our Jewish identity can thrive and flourish,” Bentow wrote.
However, she revealed that a cancer diagnosis she received in recent weeks has left the family facing financial difficulties, setting a fundraising goal of $70,000 to help with associated burdens.
“We are not without hope, there are treatments, and I have begun them,” Bentow wrote. “But it is hard on my body and soul. In addition, I am the main breadwinner in the family, so our financial situation is challenging since I have had to stop working.”
Speaking to The Algemeiner hours after the 2015 attack, Bentow struck a defiant note: “I am Danish, I am very proud to be Danish, Denmark without Danish Jewish history wouldn’t be the same Denmark.”
“No one can tell me where I can live my Jewish life, and I hope that this is the wake up call,” she insisted, while recognizing the uncertain future facing the country’s Jewish community.
“I feel that Denmark is our home, I have the right to live here, I want to live here, but I don’t know if my kids will stay here,” Bentow said at the time. “I don’t know if there will be a Danish Jewish life for them to live here.”