Project Spotlight: Eshkol Trauma Center | IFCJ
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Project Spotlight: Eshkol Trauma Center

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The residents of southern Israel live with a heightened security alert all the time as they are in the range of rockets fired by terrorists in Gaza. The regular sound of code red sirens signaling an incoming rocket and prompting everyone to run for shelter creates a high level of stress and anxiety, especially during times of war – like last summer’s Operation Protective Edge. When that stress and anxiety turn into debilitating trauma, these Israelis can turn to Fellowship-funded Eshkol Trauma Center for help.

Not only do these patients receive counseling services from trained psychologists and therapists, now, thanks to The Fellowship, they receive those services in a reinforced building, safe from the rocket fire that created their trauma in the first place. In fact, it was a close-call that raised awareness of the need for a reinforced building.

A couple years ago a rocket launched by terrorists in Gaza landed right on the desk of a social worker at the center. Thankfully, it was Shabbat (the Sabbath) so she wasn’t at work. But it proved to everyone that this facility needed to treat people in a secure structure. The Fellowship stepped in and happily provided funding for their new secure building, and in God’s amazing timing it opened just two days before the beginning of last summer’s war.

Here’s the story of just one person helped by this important facility:

A Traumatized Woman Receives Needed Support

Vladimir and Sonia are an elderly couple who made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in 2012. They live in the community of Amioz in a house with no protected space. One night last summer, during the onslaught of terrorist rocket attacks from Gaza, a rocket fell in an open field less than a half mile from their home.

When they heard the code red siren go off, they had no choice but to crawl under their kitchen table and lie on their stomachs with their hands over their heads. Sonia started screaming hysterically, and when Vladimir wasn’t able to calm her down, he called the community’s emergency staff, who arrived at their home shortly afterward. A staff member called the Fellowship-funded Eshkol Trauma Center, and a therapist spoke with Sonia for more than an hour until she finally calmed down.

The staff wanted Sonia to go into the center the next day, but she refused to leave her home, so a psychologist came to give her home treatment. Sonia then had the courage to leave her house for the first time to get further treatment at the trauma center. She and Vladimir are so thankful to The Fellowship for providing her with this lifesaving support!

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