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October 10, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 10, 2003

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H EERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 10, 2003 PAGE 11 On Sept. 18, the Friends of the Jewish Pavilion hosted "Girls Nite Out" at the home of Susie Kleiman, the group's President. More than 50 Women gathered that evening to shop for designer inspired handbags from It s My Bag, beaded jewelry from the Queen B'd and custom stationary by From the Heart Papers. While the ladies enjoyed light refreshments and each other's company, they also generated funds to benefit the Jewish Pavilion nursing home program. Each of these com- panies donated a percentage of their profits. The Jewish Pavilion is the preferred provider of long- term care for the Jewish Se- nior Housing Council, bring- ing programs that enrich their lives to Jewish residents in nursing facilities in central Florida. The Friends of the Jewish Pavilion auxiliary pro- vides a group of volunteers and an additional source of revenue for the Jewish Pavil- ion. For information on the Jewish Pavilion, the auxiliary, or to volunteer, call 407-648- 9363 or visit the new web site at volunteers cope with death By Loolwa Khazzoom TEL AVIV (JTA)--"When I shower, it usually takes me Seven minutes," says Hayim l oxman, a volunteer with Zaka, the fervently Orthodox rescue and cleanup organiza- tion that collects victims' body Parts after terrorist attacks. "But after I return home from a terrorist attack, it takes me an hour and 20 minutes." LOXman pauses. "And I don't ow if I am soaked from the Vater or my tears," hesays. Married and a father of four, I oxman says his work can be emotionally draining for his entire family. "When I return home after a terrorist attack, one of my children comes and says, 'Daddy, look wha!,I did in kin- dergarten today! And I re- iPond, 'Say thank God you are ring. What do I care what You did in kindergarten? Say you are happy you're alive ' " My kids look at me like, What happened to you?' "To- clay, three years after the Pal- .eStinians launched their ; tifada against Israel, OXman--like most Israelis .has acclimated somewhat to !ire under the strain of terror- ISI~I. I oxman and his wife have a . Stem for dealing with the Intense emotions that follow terrorist attacks. photo by Brian Hendler/JTA Volunteers of the Zaka organization's Hesed Shei Emet division pick up small pieces of flesh and body parts to ensure a proper Jewish burial for an Israeli victim ofa Palestinian suicide bomber in Kfar Saba, early in the intifada. of volunteers on motorcycles who arrive at the scene of inci- dents to administer first aid until ambulances can arrive. Usually, they're at the scene within four minutes of the in- cident. The Itur Vehilutz--or "search and rescue"---division specializes in the rescue of people trapped in cars and buildings. All volunteers in the Hesed Shel Emet division are fer- vently Orthodox men. The other divisions include women and non-Orthodox Jews. Zaka volunteers say their "They complained their husbands were becoming apa- thetic or agitated," Meshi- Zahav says. Zaka developed a psychol- ogy program for volunteers. But nobody sought counseling in the program---apparently for fear of seeming weak-kneed-- and the problems persisted. Zaka then adapted its psy- chological counseling pro- gram to 20-person workshops. In groups, the volunteers "can see that everyone has the same problems, and they can open up," Meshi-Zahav says. In addition to psychologi- "I have come to understand that when I come back from faith in Judaism gives them calcounselingforZakavolun- attack, I am extremely agi- the strength to keep going-- teers, there also is a, support tared for a few days," Foxman and is their reason for volun- group for volunteers wives. eXPlains. "My wife knows that teering in the first place. Thewomen'ssupportgroup a hen I come back from an The commandment to buryholds a national conference track it's . " bettertospeakwith the dead is one of the most every Chanukah, as well as about what happened, so central in Jewish law, explains smaller regional gatherings I will free myself. It's very Meshi-Zahav. Even a kohen, a throughout the year, accord- iaird for her to hear these member of the priestly cast ing to its founder, Yehudit ngs, but she knows that lis- forbidden to touch dead flesh, Weingarten. ning makes it much easier is allowed to bury a body if it is Zaka also holds two annual r We." The Foxmans' experi- otherwise left unattended, family days, where volunteers is tvnical of that of Zaka ' /hen the Jews left Egypt and their families come to re- r . %lunteer famthes, and crossed the Red Sea, the lax and have fun. z CCordingtoYehudaMeshi- Jews began to sing because Zaka volunteers say they who founded the orga- Egyptians were drowning, find the programs helpful. ', tionin 1989,volunteers--- Meshi-Zahav explains. For de- "In the beginning, it was mere are currently 900--and cades, Egyptians"killed Jews, extremely difficult," says their families commonly suf- made them suffer. But God Shimmy Grossman, who de- er o.mpost-traumaticstress. said,'Don't sing, even though scribes one particularly grue- . rou re talking about hu- they caused you grief. You some experience. not angels," Meshi- can't sing, you must give re- "I was at my sister's house says, "There are people spect.' "A dignified end to life and we heard an explosion on i .Saw one awful image and is a universal right, Meshi- the street right under her traumatized for the Zahav says. house. I went downstairs and of their lives." In addition Bringingthis dignity tovic- began taking care of matters. doing rescue and cleanup tims often triggers intense Suddenly, I saw the head of a a er terrorist at cks, Zaka feelings of grief among those baby. It made me crazy. For a lt nteers work at the scene collecting body parts, but it full week, I was delirious and " s cho crashes and building also has had a positive impact hallucinating. After p y - Pses around the country, on volunteers' lives, logical counseling, Grossman 9e organization's Hesed "1 value life more," Foxman got past his symptoms ofpost- ' met division which says. "I know that when a per- traumatic stress disorder. ,lates as "true righteous- son comes home from work, To deal with what they've ti -'--deals with the fatali- we need to thank God that we seen, one husband-and-wife ,from these incidents. Vol- returned." Another Zaka vol- team of Zaka volunteers uses t.eers gather the remains of unteer agreed: "You have to gallows humor. identify as many partsmake use of every moment "We try not to repeat it out- they can and bury as much that you get."When Zaka first side the house," laughs the i,ictim'sbodyaspossible-- started, volunteers' wives had wife, who asked not to be -rqUding blood--in onea difficult time coping, and named. She says her teenage Jr many of those married to children also have developed l,rh.e Hatzalah Mehira----or Hesed Shel Emet volunteers this bizarre sense of humor. r 1 l lO response"---division is asked their husbands to give "It s a family thing," she work says. Shopping at "Girl's Nite Out" (I-r): MIRIAM JOSEPHS, MARGIE HELMAN, HARRIET WEISS and JEANNIE GLICK. 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