Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma in aid of Merkaz Harav Yeshiva

The Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma has been involved with helping those affected by the terrorist attack at Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem. The Center is providing counseling and support to students, staff and family members, as well as to the first responders, including Police officers and MADA. Here the full report by Dr. Danny Brom, Director of the Trauma Center :


I want to summarize for you the involvement of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma after the murder of 8 boys in the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Our involvement started on the same evening of the horrible news, when we were in contact with the welfare department of the Jerusalem Municipality, with MADA and with the educational system in order to offer our help. We believe that it is our task to empower the local system and support them as they mobilize and cope with this terrible attack, and are ready to intervene when the local authorities turn to us for help. Throughout the evening and into the night provided phone consultation to local professionals who were at the Yeshiva and the school.


In the morning after we were contacted by several people both in order to refer families and individuals to our METIV department and to think together about the interventions in the days after.


On Motsae Shabbat and into the night we were asked to attend a meeting of the Rabbis of the Yeshiva Gvoha in order to help them cope with the many questions they had about the best way to help the students cope.


Since then a number of boys and families were referred, a number of neighbours of the yeshiva have come in for services, referred by the welfare department, the police and the educational system. Examples of boys who have been referred to us are those who saw the terrorist in action, fled the scene and now feel guilty about not saving their peers.


We were asked to lead an information evening for the neighbourhood. Thirty people attended the lecture and discussion. Most were eye witnesses to the attack and many have children studying in the yeshiva. One women who attended the evening stated, “you have calmed me down. I now understand that my reactions are normal and they will get better.” Another said, “I have been worried about my young daughter. You have give me perspective on how children react and what I can expect.” Participants requested an additional evening in a week or so.


Contact was made with the local community center, and with the Early Childhood Education Coordinator who expressed interest in setting up groups for kindergarten teachers and parents in the immediate vicinity of the attack.


At the request of the Yeshiva we are now setting up services for the students on site. Group activities and possibility for individual counseling are in full swing in the Yeshiva. In this way we bridge the gap for students who are reluctant to go out to get help and deliver it in a context that legitimizes their needs.


In addition to the direct needs of all those in the yeshiva, we have had many people make appointments at METIV who were previously traumatized by terror attacks or shootings or who have sustained previous losses and whose symptoms are now being reactivated. We are offering five sessions free of charge to help people in need deal with this terror attack.


In the Center itself, we have dusted off our Emergency Response Team and we have re-activated our standard operating procedures. We are ready to support the community through this long and difficult process of coping with this horrific reality.


Throughout, we have been in contact with the Israel Trauma Coalition, in order to make sure that things will happen in a coordinated way and to make sure that enough additional help will be available in case more help is needed.


With hope for better days,


Danny Brom


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