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Life-changing Canadian trip for children of severely disabled veterans

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Dana with one group of the Kids of Courage 2022 as she visited them at camp. It was the first gathering since 2019. (Photo: Supplied)

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Listen to Dana in conversation with Marty Gold, the Editor of TheJ.ca, talk about her feelings about her experiences in Canada, how the participants in the program respond to the camping experience, and how vital the work of Beit Halochem Canada is.

Dana Pinhasov, a 21-year-old Border Police officer, left her family home in Jerusalem to take Bus No. 18 back to her base. As it approached Jaffa Gate, a suicide bomber boarded the bus and detonated a 10-kilogram bomb. Nails, ball bearings, and bullets ripped through the crowded rush-hour bus, killing 26 people and critically injuring dozens more.

In the explosion, the fuel tank blew up beneath Dana’s seat. Given the devastation delivered by the bomb, it was difficult for the rescuers to tell the dead from the living. On arrival at the hospital, it took hours for Dana’s parents to locate, then recognise their daughter. With extensive damage to her lungs and legs among many other injuries, her survival was uncertain for some time. 

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Months of hospitalization included 17 difficult surgeries and extensive, painful rehabilitation. Dana eventually returned to work at the Border Police, striving for normalcy as much as possible. Young, scarred, and feeling ashamed, it was a difficult transition. Each day after work, Dana visited Beit Halochem Jerusalem where she swam and underwent physio and hydrotherapy. It was “the one place where I did not feel different or unusual and no one stared at my big, ugly scars. It is a comfortable second home for me.”

Two years after her injury, Dana married the man who had been by her side for her entire, difficult journey and their family grew to include four children.

Recognizing how much she benefited as a Beit Halochem member, Dana knew she wanted to do more for the disabled community. She became the first woman on the National Board of Directors of Beit Halochem Israel.

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With the support of Beit Halochem Canada, Dana also launched the Kids of Courage program. She is the volunteer co-ordinator of the initiative that brings 45 Bar and Bat Mitzvah-aged Israeli children of severely disabled veterans to summer camp in Canada.

 “I had nightmares for a long time after February 25, 1996, the day my world changed forever. Now, thanks to Beit Halochem, I have good dreams. My hope of changing and influencing the lives of many Beit Halochem families all over Israel is a reality. I am excited to plan the kids’ trip every summer and each time I cry with exhilaration when our children return.” 

Dana in 1993, prior to the bus bombing that changed her life. (Photo: Supplied)

This year, Canada welcomed the Kids of Courage children for the first time since 2019. Two chaperones and 35 Kids took in the sights and met community members in and around Toronto before making their way to two camps up north for three weeks. These are children of severely disabled veterans; this program gives both the campers and their parents a much-needed respite from their challenges.

It’s incredible to see the transformation of the Kids who get off the plane in Canada in mid-July until their return home to Israel in late-August.

Beit Halochem Canada, Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel is committed to rehabilitating, rebuilding, and enhancing the lives of over 50,000 Israelis disabled in the line of duty or as victims of terror. Succeeding in this commitment greatly depends on donors’ support.

“While we yearn for peace, the need to protect Israel and assist her people is never-ending.”

 Beit Halochem Canada acknowledges the men and women whose lives have been devastated while defending the country. Unfortunately, through many wars and countless, ongoing acts of terror, the number of disabled Israelis continues to increase.

Today, Dana Pinhasov is an articulate, sought-after speaker about her experiences. (Photo: Supplied)

Leading-edge Beit Halochem Centres in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheva, and the future Ashdod provide a wide range of outstanding rehabilitative services, including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, specialized sports equipment and training, creative and cultural activities, and family-oriented programming. Academic scholarships are also available as our wounded heroes strive to be productive members of Israeli society.

Dana is one of the many who has paid a heavy price while serving Israel and its citizens. Please keep her and all of Israel’s wounded veterans in your heart and mind. Your donation is highly needed and very much appreciated.

If you haven’t already: Listen to Dana in conversation with Marty Gold, the Editor of TheJ.ca, talk about her feelings about her experiences in Canada, how the participants in the program respond to the camping experience, and how vital the work of Beit Halochem Canada is.

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Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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