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March 07, 2003 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-07

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Detroit Dollars At Work

Financial Sustenance

Terror victim fund gives hope to those devastated by violence.

Exclusive to the Jewish News



families because of the lower-priced properties.
The sons had depended upon Baruch to help
them fix up the apartments. Without Baruch, they
were looking at overwhelming expenses.
To complicate matters, Oded, one of the Darawani's
31-year-old twin sons, and his wife, Anat, had become
the foster parents of Anat's niece and nephew when
Anat's brother and sister-in-law had been killed in a
terrorist attack in Jerusalem last March.

aruch Dirawani was the sort of man who
was always doing something for someone
else. He did the weekly food shopping for
his wife, Esther, and was a skilled handy-
man who could build a wall or fix a. wristwatch. He
had enough patience to take his daugh-
ter Shira shoe shopping, and was -
always available to visit a sick friend.
When this patient, easygoing 59-
year-old, a retired ammunitions factory
worker, was killed in a bus bombing in
Jerusalem on June 18, he left a gaping
hole in the lives of his wife, his four
children, his eight brothers and sisters,
his friends, his neighbors.
"He's thrown me into the sea," says
Esther, 56, who was married to Baruch
for 33 years. "When I had cancer, the
nurses on the ward used to say to me,
`They don't make husbands like him
anymore.' I just nodded."
To some extent, this jack-of-all-trades
managed to leave things in a tidy pile.
The Darawani's Gilo apartment was in
good shape, and Baruch's pension left
Esther with a monthly income that
allows her to live comfortably. As a
Esther Dirawani and daughter Shira hold a photo of Baruch. He
widow- of a terror victim, she also
was killed June 18, 2002, in a Jerusalem bus bombing.
receives help from the country's
National Insurance Institute, similar to
After Baruch was killed, Esther wasn't sure how to
U.S. Social Security.
cope, much less find a solution to her sons' problem.
But Baruch's death created a ripple effect in the
When the family heard about the Jewish Agency for
family's financial situation. Two of the Darawani's
Israel's terror victim fund, they decided to apply.
three married sons had recently purchased new
The Darawanis were one of 700 families that have
apartments in neighborhoods that appeal to young

Teen Weekend Spotlights Israel

he focus will be on Israel for high school students at the Robert Kornwise Judaica Weekend, a
three-day getaway scheduled for Friday-Sunday, March 21-23. The theme will be 'Israel: the
Good, the Bad, the Past, the Present, the Future." Roundtrip transportation will be provided.
An annual event intended to build lasting relationships and memories, the Kornwise Judaica Weekend is
sponsored by the Agency for Jewish Education and Fresh Air Society-Tamarack Camps, beneficiaries of the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Federation's Israel and Overseas Department, in partnership
with Bnei Akiva, B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, Habonim Dror, National Conference of Synagogue
Youth, North American Federation of Temple Youth, United Synagogue Youth and Young Judaea.
The $70 cost includes kosher meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. Financial need-based
scholarships are available.
Application and payment in full must be received no later than March 10.
For information, call Chad Rochkind, (248) 645-7860.
The weekend committee members are Robyn King, Ariella Lis, Brian Rosenbaum, Sarah Waldbott,
Hannah Lewis, Deborah Anstandig, Sidney Schecet, Ila.na Rothstein, Brittney Kohn, Shosh Levine, Justin
Wedes, Erica Katz, Alma Kuhn, Amit Weitzer, Ben Blinder and Sarah Elkins.



3/ 7


received assistance from the North American-based
United Jewish Communities emergency campaign
for the Fund to Aid Victims of Terror. That fund
has distributed more than $4 million for direct assis-
tance to families affected by terror. An additional $2
million has been distributed to children who had
one or both parents killed in a terror incident.
According to the Jewish Federation of Metropoli-
tan Detroit, $500,000 was directed to the program,
helping 315 victims of terror and their families.
Whenever the State of Israel can't cover certain
expenses or needs, the Fund, which is administered
by the Jewish Agency for Israel, steps in to help out
with living expenses, counseling, medical needs and
armored vehicles. Each week, an advisory committee
allocates $300,000 to families and family members
of terror victims. Last year, the Darawanis became
one of those families.

No Fear For Himself

On that Monday morning in June, Baruch was on his
way to Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda market, where he
would usually visit with his friend, Aaron, a tailor,
before buying fruits and vegetables for Esther. Instead,
along with 18 other passengers on the No. 32 Egged
bus, he was killed instantly when a suicide bomber
boarded the bus at the Patt intersection in Jerusalem.
When the bomb exploded, bodies flew through the
windows of the erupting bus and landed on the busy
street, where blood pooled amid the shattered glass.
Jerusalem police said the bomber entered the city
from Bethlehem, the Palestinian town just across a
deep river bed from Gilo. Baruch Darawani boarded
the bus in Gilo, where it began its route.
He wasn't afraid of riding the bus, despite the previ-
ous 21 months of the conflict, in which dozens of ter-
rorist attacks had been directed at Egged buses. He
would say, "'They should be afraid of riding the
bus,'" says Shira, 22, the youngest Darawani, who
lives at home with her mother.
At the same time, if Baruch, Esther and Shira were
all going into town, he wouldn't allow the three of
them to travel together, for fear that all three could be
killed in a terror attack.
On that day, when Esther and Shira heard about the
bus bombing from a cousin, Shira was sure her father
had been on the bus. It would take dozens of calls to-
his unanswered cell phone and the local hospitals, and
then hours of waiting at Abu Kabir, the country's
forensics lab, before their worst fears were confirmed.
For Shira, the months since her father's death have
been spent taking care of her mother, working at a
local health clinic and compiling a scrapbook chron-
icling his death, including the license plate of the
83-430-01 — which adds up to 19, the
number of people killed.
For Esther, the time has been spent learning how
to cope with the simple logistics of life and thinking
about the ironies of his death.
Just the week before Baruch was killed, he told her
that she should learn how to do the food shopping
because she needed to know where to go in case he
wouldn't be around. He also had his tallit, his prayer
shawl, dry-cleaned the week before the bombing.
Instead of wearing the prayer shawl to synagogue,
he ended up being buried it.

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