Unique Therapies Healing Child Victims of Terror in Biblical Heartland

March 22, 2017

3 min read

In Israel’s Biblical heartland, there is a disproportionately higher risk that a family on a day’s outing might find themselves facing a terror attack or worse. Yet Jews from all over the world continue to settle in the region. Most come for either ideological reasons, believing that God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, and therefore, all of the land must be settled, or as a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. 

Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms. (Ezekiel 37:21-22)

However, keeping families in the region physically and emotionally safe and strong is a continuous challenge.

“Following the life threatening yet miraculous terror attack that my young son and I experienced 15 years ago, I took upon myself to ensure that children living in the Biblical heartland would have the urgently needed therapeutic resources to  grow into healthy, strong adults and even become the future leaders of Israel,” explained David Rubin, founder of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund and former mayor of the Biblical town of Shiloh in Samaria, to Breaking Israel News. “Today, there are over 2,000 children in the region who need the benefits of studying in a therapeutic setting.”

The Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund has recently broken ground on a new therapeutic campus which doubles the size of its present campus. It will accommodate children in the area in need of help to heal from the traumas they have experienced, whether because they personally were in a terror attack or have family members who were killed or wounded in attacks.

Located in the Biblical city of Shiloh, which stood as the historic capital of ancient Israel for 369 years, the new campus will incorporate the many successful healing programs that the present campus houses. With the motto, “Help us be children again!”, the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund utilizes a wide range of innovative methods to help children to cope with and heal from the trauma that they have experienced. Techniques include music, art, horse and animal therapies.

“I learned through my experience that children require unique approaches to deal with trauma and to heal,” explained Rubin. “They often don’t have the vocabulary or capability to talk to a therapist. That is why expansion of this therapeutic campus is so crucial for the well-being of the children.”  

The present and future therapeutic campuses are designed to provide students with both formal and informal therapies. Certified instructors are trained to provide an empathetic approach necessary for not only traumatized children but also children with special needs. The campuses are also geared towards treating developmental challenges of children, including developmental delays, gross and/or fine motor difficulties, speech, language, and handwriting issues, organizational problems, and long-term challenges such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Hundreds of traumatized children have already been helped in the original campus. Children are encouraged to write songs through music therapy, draw how they feel, or receive comfort through the safety of caring for an animal or the confidence-building feat of riding a horse. All of these popular and most importantly, effective therapies, have proven the need for expansion.

“Because of the enormous challenges, it may sound like a paradox, but people do have a high quality of life in the Biblical heartland,” smiled Rubin to Breaking Israel News. “The mountain views, fresh air and pleasant climate take one’s soul back to the times when our forefathers lived in the Land. Now, we just have to ensure that our children have the facilities they need to prosper and, no doubt, the Messiah’s arrival will be just around the corner.”

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