“When a terror attack is reported in the news, it seems to be an absurd numbers game,” David Rubin, founder of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund said at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday. “The media goes on to discuss the physical wounds, but the psychological trauma to individuals and communities is not usually discussed.”
Rubin spoke from personal experience. He and his son were critically wounded when operatives of the al-Aksa Martyr’s Brigade shot at their car while they driving home. Since then, healing victims of terror has become critical to Rubin him.
His fund, which helps children who experienced an attack or know someone who did, administers therapy through engaging activities.
Because traditional therapeutic methods of talking through trauma is not viable for small children, the fund offers various ways to help them cope. Music therapy, horse riding and bibliotherapy are just a few of the ways children learn to come to terms with what they experienced while still maintaining their innocence.
“Children, despite their seeming openness, when confronted with trauma, they bury it inside, and if not treated, it comes out in all the wrong ways – sleepless nights, sudden bursts of anger and panic attacks,” he said.
His daughter, Avital Rubin, who also addressed the conference, is all too familiar with those devastating symptoms. She spoke movingly of seeing her father and brother in bandages following the attack. She also addressed the traumatic effect that memory had on her as a child.
“I felt brave giving my father a hug, something so normal for a seven-year-old, but in this case, such a challenge,” Avital said mournfully.
She credits her time at the fund as instrumental to her healing.
“Trauma affects you and is expressed also years later,” she said. “It is not a battle that is over. We must contend with it all the time. My thoughts and fears don’t disappear, they just matured together with me and are part of who I am.”