March 18, 2016

Healing Retreat for Bereaved Immigrant Families

This March we welcomed bereaved families from all over the country to our Selah Seminar in Kfar HaMaccabiah. The group included families who recently lost loved ones to terror, accidents, and illness – and they were each be greeted by the Selah caregivers who were with them during their initial crises.

While the participants are all strangers to each other at the start of the Retreat, they connect over the shared commonality of having experienced deep loss and trauma; they all have a need to ease some of their constant burden in a community of peers. The group tours together, celebrates Shabbat, and attends on-site archeological seminars. While the children explore with youth guides, the adults participate in support workshops facilitated by trauma professionals, in Amharic, Russian and Hebrew, as appropriate. For many, this is the heart of the seminar – offering a safe and culture-sensitive setting for people to share their pain and struggle to cope and find meaning, even while bearing loss and trauma. The sessions are always difficult and intense, but provide new perspective and some hope to people living in an almost constant state of trauma.