A group of 9-11 survivors (parents who lost children and people who lost their spouses in the terrorist attack four years ago) will travel to Israel next week to meet with Israelis and Palestinians who have suffered similar losses.
The 10 participants, plus three leaders from the New York Jewish Healing Center, will meet with bereaved parents and spouses under the auspices of the Koby Mandell Foundation, established in memory of the 13-year-old boy murdered by a terrorist while hiking with his friend in a wadi outside Tekoa in May 2001.
The New Yorkers will also meet with the Jewish and Palestinian participants in the Parents Circle Family Forum, who have also lost children to the ongoing violence. The trip, Dec. 3-11, is subsidized by The Red Cross and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.
Liz Horwitz and her husband, retired magazine publishers living in the Village, suffered the loss of their 24-year-old son Aaron Horwitz on 9-11. He worked at Cantor Fitzgerald.
It will be Liz’s first trip to Israel. "I’m anxious to meet with these different people, am anxious to see how they coexist," she said. Bereaved Israeli parents have visited the New York support group occasionally, "but most of the group wanted to really connect in Israel, in person with ‘family’ who have survived this kind of loss and bereavement," said Rabbi Simkha Weintraub, rabbinic director of JBFCS, of which the Healing Center is a program.
Horwitz has been part of the 9-11 survivors’ group run by the Jewish Healing Center since early on. She participates because "it’s easy to talk to other people who have experienced a similar situation, where you can just talk without restrictions about how you feel."