Printer-friendly format                   

By Israel National News Staff

Dec 05, '05 / 4 Kislev 5766

Americans who lost loved ones in the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center are in Israel to meet with Israeli terror victims as part of a healing retreat organized by the Koby Mandell Foundation.

The retreat will take place at the Dead Sea, beginning on Thursday, December 8th, with participants of diverse religious groups attending through the co-sponsorship of The New York Jewish Healing Center, where they attend bereavement support groups.

“For many of these people, it will be the first time that they will interact with their Israeli peers and share in the post-terror trauma of grieving and returning to daily life. For those of us who have lost a family member to terror, the sharing and expression of feelings is an effective way to cope with the pain of our loss,” said Sherri Mandell, co-Founder of The Koby Mandell Foundation and Director of the Women’s Healing Retreats. The foundation is in memory of Mandell’s 13 year old son Koby who was murdered by Arab terrorists while hiking near his home in Tekoa in 2001.

The retreat will group therapy sessions led by professional psychologists, designed to help the participants explore and express their complex and difficult feelings associated with the traumatic loss of a family member. “It is hoped that as participants share their emotions with those who experienced a similar tragedy in a different country, the realization that both bereavement and terror are a global phenomenon will bring a healing connection to participants from both countries,” organizers say.

The Koby Mandell Framework for Bereavement Therapy employs a unique combination of recreation, community and group therapy to create a safe, healing and therapeutic environment where therapists and bereaved family members can join together to provide nurturing support.

The framework was presented at the UNESCO International Conference on Death and Bereavement and International Family Therapy Association's World Congress on “Families in a Time of Global Crises” by Ruth Anne Sadeh MSW, Director of The Koby Mandell Foundation's Mother's Healing Retreats.