|19 Nov 2018|
Beit Halochem UK arranged for Beit Halochem members Dr Alon Dahan and Natanel Hakshur to visit the UK for a week-long visit where they engaged with school pupils and supporters of the charity. Beit Halochem, meaning ‘House of Warriers’, looks after wounded Israeli veterans and victims of terror providing them with a rehabilitative infrastructure where they receive respite and the opportunity to regain the dignity and quality of life they deserve. Alon and Natanel shared their experiences and discussed ideas including resilience following catastrophic injuries and the crucial support they received from Beit Halochem which gave them hope during their darkest moments. They spoke to pupils at North London Collegiate School, the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Mathilda Marks-Kennedy and Etz Chaim primary schools. They also addressed supporters of the organisation at the home of Beit Halochem advocate Tony Page.
Alon Dahan, an IDF wounded veteran and Chairman of the Board of Beit Halochem Jerusalem, served in the 12th regiment of the Golani Division. He was wounded in 1991 when the vehicle he was travelling in flew into a minefield paralyzing him immediately. His first thought was his fear of being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He became a member of Beit Halochem and immediately found a second home and a supportive embracing family of comrades and friends.
Speaking to pupils at Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School, Alon Dahan said:
“Without the army, we have no existence and without the Rehabilitation Centres we have no hope. Beit Halochem shows us that everything we thought to be impossible is possible and everything we thought to be a distant dream can be achieved. I hope that we will not need such a facility in the future”.
Natanel Hakshur was 23 years old in 2011 when a barrage of Hamas missiles were launched on his home city of Beersheva. A final Grad Missile launched from Gaza landed on a car park next him. It severed his leg on the spot and severely wounded his other one. After a painful and lengthy rehabilitation, Beit Halochem opened its doors. He attended Beersheva’s Beit Halochem for weekly physiotherapy and Pilates treatments. He also became an active member of the Young Veterans Programme where he mentored the younger wounded veterans. He took up competitive shooting at the Olympic shooting range and plays wheelchair basketball regularly.
Natanel Hakshur said:
“That evening they sent twelve missiles and only one of them landed. And it happened to land next to me. After my injury, my first thought was that I am going to die and my second thought was that my mum is going to kill me if I die. After two days, I woke and I cried both for the pain and also for the joy at being alive. I knew everyone was shattered and I knew I must smile. If I didn’t smile, it would break them even more. Beit Halochem gave me the greatest support possible. It helped me to take risks and I am doing things that I never dreamt could be possible. Thanks to Beit Halochem I went skiing in France, I swim, I play basketball and I do all of this with a huge smile.”
Sam Wolfson, Year 11 pupil at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, commented on the talk at his schools Jewish assembly said:
“I learnt so much about the important topic of resilience and rehabilitation. I really enjoyed the talk and hope to visit Beit Halochem with my family one day.”