Jacob Kimchy- Calling out for the world to understand (Interview)

Rami Kimchy was killed in a terrorist attack in 2002 • His son Jacob made it his life’s mission to help other victims of terrorism and to explain to the world what it means to deal with trauma • The organization he founded — Lev Echad — does just that.

Hebrew version

English version (Interview): One Man’s Journey from Trauma & Terrorism to Meaning & Purpose

On May 7th, 2002, Jacob Kimchy’s entire life changed. The Rishon Lezion native was out for a late-night dinner with a friend when he received a call informing him of a terror attack that took place at The Sheffield Club, a popular spot in his hometown.

Rushing to the venue so he could help the survivors, he bore witness to the horrific scene inside before noticing a taxi cab parked outside.

It was his father’s.

The next few years would be somber for the Kimchy family, and equally so for Jacob, filled with grief and suffering over the injustice that occurred, and over the loss of his father. Somehow, he eventually found a new light, and sought out help. Jacob discovered that his experience with trauma – his story – could help others who’ve suffered from trauma, others who’ve lost friends and loved ones to terrorism. He moved to the U.S., and co-started a foundation, One Heart, helping victims of terrorism around the world. He also recalled his experiences during his position as a motivational speaker, and helped victims dealing with grief as a life coach.

Read more – On Israel’s Memorial Day, One Man’s Quest to Channel the Trauma of Terror Victims Into Something Positive

In 2002, Jacob Kimchy’s father died in a Hamas suicide bombing in his hometown of Rishon LeZion. Thirteen years later Kimchy is still struggling with the loss, including nightmares that have him screaming in middle of the night.

Nevertheless, he has embarked on a journey to help other terror victims overcome their traumas as Israel on Wednesday marks Yom Hazikaron, the national day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

“I met victims of trauma that would not share anything,” said Kimchy. The pain builds up inside the victims, “it’s like a poison. It kills you and eats you slowly. The other way is to open your heart, to open your mouth, to express and to share, and to do.”

Read more – Jacob Kimchy’s Journey From Terror Victim to Motivational Speaker

Contending with his own deep loss, the son of a terror victim finds new meaning in life by helping others deal with their grief.

Nearly 13 years ago, a Ukrainian woman and her Palestinian husband drove a suicide bomber to Rishon Lezion, a city in central Israel. The suicide bomber entered a game club on the night of May 7, 2002, located on the third floor of a building, and detonated a suitcase full of explosives, complete with shrapnel and nails. Patrons at the club had been playing card games, slot machines and snooker as the explosion went off, causing part of the building to collapse.

Read more – Jacob Kimchy- What Bulgaria Terror Victims and Their Families are Going Through

Jacob Kimchy, profiled recently by The Algemeiner created One Heart in 2006, a non-profit organization that provides psychological and emotional support to child victims of terror and trauma.

Kimchy’s father Rami Kimchy, was killed in a terrorist attack in Rishon Letzion, Israel ten years ago in the midst of the second Intifada. Today he spoke with The Algemeiner about the experience of terror victims and their families, and their struggle to cope with trauma and loss.

Speaking of how he felt when first hearing of the attack in Bulgaria, Koby said it reminded him of his own traumatic experiences, “its really hard” he said, “I just spoke to my mother and I asked her how she feels, she said that its really hard for her as well.

She has already seen all the images of what happened and people crying. We always wish that after an attack anywhere around the world that it will be the last terrorist attack (to occur).”

“We feel a strong connection to the attack because we know what they went through” Koby shared, “The friends (of the victims and families) needs to provide a lot of support but also allow for (the mourner) to be alone.”

“The victims, will be reminded of the attack by any loud noise that they will hear, just walking on the street will be different for them now because it will remind them.”

Koby vividly remembers the period of mourning after the loss of his father, ”during the mourning period each family member and friend came to visit on seven consecutive days, to show up and bring food.” He also offered guidance for friends and family of the victims, ”Don’t say anything just be there, you can just say you’ll be there, that is the next step. Don’t offer professional help because it can be insulting.”

There are times when the victims or their families will need to be alone Koby said, “its an individual feeling  for everything that happened… and it was a little hard for me to handle what happened. My mother’s house had hundreds of people visiting everyday for 30 days and only afterwards she was really able to cry. I was surrounded by helpers and supporters including family and friends in the community but I needed to be alone. I needed to be by myself but not completely alone.”

Via the