Young Israelis whose lives have been shattered as a result of terror attacks have been on a recuperative break in London.
The visitors, aged between 19 and 30, were brought to Britain under the auspices of One Family, whose UK executive director Andrew Alexander explained that such trips removed them from an environment of grief.
One of the youngest in the group is Hila Leibovitch, 21, whose seven-year-old sister Noam was killed in a highway ambush in 2003. Another sister, Neria, was seriously injured in the same attack.
Ms Leibovitch, from Nir Etzion, a religious community near Haifa, was enjoying an itinerary which included the London Eye and the Tower of London, a theatre visit and shopping opportunities.
“It is nice to have this week away from it all,” she told the JC, “but what really makes a trip like this such a meaningful experience for me is the opportunity to meet people of my age who have also lost a sister or a brother, because they can really understand my problems.”
Although she had been to London before through One Family UK, many of the 22-strong had not previously travelled outside of Israel.
“It is so good for us to know that people all over the world appreciate what we are going through, and that they care about us and what is happening in our country.”
Members have been hosted by Golders Green, Hendon and Hampstead Garden Suburb families who have also arranged nightly dinners and parties.
On Shabbat, the group were guests of honour at a communal lunch at Hendon Synagogue attended by 280 congregants.