The human heart has an infinite capacity to love others; compassion is among our greatest abilities. Thank you Beit Halochem Canada. Liz Pearl @ PK Press

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Thank you Beit Halochem Canada: dedicated staff, incredible volunteers, wonderful families, friends and donors.  In a whirlwind two weeks of nonstop recreational activities and community visits (too numerous to recount) these inspiring Israeli guys have come and gone; together we toured, schmoozed, shared our stories, ate, drank, danced, laughed and cried.

My personal itinerary highlights: visiting @ Bialik Hebrew Day School, R&R @ Camp Wahanowin with the gang and breakfast @ United Bakers Dairy Restaurant ‒ nostalgic and fun! And of course, a motorcycle ride with Daniel through the forest on the farm on a warm summer day, definitely a memorable adventure!  Sometimes, a leisurely day at the lake or in the country does wonders for the body, mind and soul. We are all searching for inner peace.

And the opportunity to eat delicious homemade hummus daily for two weeks straight.

Yes, the Israeli visitors enjoyed the classic local sights: Niagara Falls, CN Tower and Ripely’s Aquarium. They tasted Canadian beer, Niagara ice wine and Maple syrup. They had time for assorted adventures including golfing, sailing, kayaking and flying. And shopping! Their luggage is packed with gifts and their hearts are filled with memories.

Celebration of Life Concert – 70 Years of Courage (performed in Calgary, Montreal and Toronto) was a memorable blend of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement on stage as visiting Israeli heroes told their stories of strength, determination, resilience and triumph – accompanied by dynamic musical talent performing in Hebrew and in English.  The audience was deeply touched and entertained, definitely a night to remember.

Hosting these guys (including the entire 70 Years of Courage Concert mishlachat), getting to know them and learning about their extensive injuries, trauma, PTSD and long term rehabilitation process was an honour, as well as an opportunity to build additional bridges between Canadian and Israeli Jewish communities.

Joining the Beit Halochem extended family has allowed me to broaden my understanding of the complexity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as experienced by combat soldiers, emergency first-responders and victims of terror attacks. Continued resources are required for research and comprehensive treatment of PTSD – to support so many Israelis, including IDF vets and civilians living with PTSD.

I urge everyone to support Beit Halochem; truly, a meaningful way to embrace our brothers and sisters in Israel.  Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization  ‒ the club we hope and pray will someday not need to welcome any additional members.  However, until that day arrives, we are enormously grateful for Beit Halochem.

Thank you to my family for extending yourselves to include Daniel in our family.  The human heart has an infinite capacity to love others; compassion is among our greatest abilities. Most definitely, we look forward to keeping in touch via social media and beyond.

The Beit Halochem family is a tremendous community of friendship, support, love and compassion for all those who partake in programs and services.  For more information visit www.beithalochem.ca or www.facebook.com/beithalochem.ca.

The visiting Israelis are hosted by families within the local Jewish community.  A wonderful opportunity to practice Hebrew and develop meaningful connections. Darlene, it was a pleasure co-parenting with you; thank you for your hospitality and generosity.  Indeed, three moms are better than one!

We were honoured to host a charming young man from Eilat.  Sadly, Daniel incurred severe serious injuries during his IDF service; as a courageous young soldier he was the victim of a horrific terror attack.  Following a miraculous recovery Daniel has been an active participant at Beit Halochem at home and was fortunate to be included on this year’s incredible Celebration of Life trip to Toronto Canada, along with a diverse group of Israeli men from Beit Halochem.

They return home to Israel with Canadian souvenirs, wonderful memories, a renewed sense of community, a strengthened connection with the Diaspora and a revitalized zest for life.

Daniel, you will ‏forever hold a place in my heart and will be welcome in our family and our home.  I wish you strength of body and peace of mind. With the support of your loving family and friends and the amazing resources provided by Beit Halochem I am confident you will continue to recover and enjoy many milestone celebrations ahead. See you in Eilat, or on WhatsApp and Instagram. Keep smiling, we are all cheering for you.

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