The survivors of the October 7th attacks carry the burden of the horrors they endured. For the survivors of the NOVA nature party, the horrors persist, alive and pulsating, carrying a heightened risk of developing PTSD or, even more gravely, ending their own lives.
Nimrod Arnin, from the same production team behind the NOVA party, used the Kohav Hayam event venue in Sdot Yam to create a small haven of support. The scene unfolds before you—a large grassy area with cozy seating nooks and group activity areas, a dining space offering amazing fresh food and beverages, a beautiful stage bathed in warm lights with a DJ playing soft music, and a spacious hall where you can find various healing options including massage, music therapy, group counseling, creative writing workshops, essential oils, color therapy, jewelry making, and even a manicure, all of this is at no charge to the participants.
"It helps me personally, to know that I am of service." - Nimrod Arnin, NOVA Production
Operating continuously from 1 pm to 11 pm daily, the venue serves to support survivors, their families, and those who lost loved ones at the party.
"Given the experience we have at Izun, working with young people undergoing mental crises following the use of drugs and psychedelics, it was natural for us to step into the picture".
- Dr. Orit Shapiro, CEO of Amutat Izun
"Amutat Izun" (Izun), a nonprofit organization with mental rehabilitation centers for young people, plays a pivotal role in this initiative. We spoke with Dr. Orit Shapiro, CEO of Izun, and Omri Frish, the founder and president of Izun, about the sacred work done by their volunteers at the site under the title IZUNOVA (Izun + Nova).
"These are people dealing with great pain, some tormented by guilt for not being able to save their friends. Here, we offer them emotional first aid". Dr. Orit describes this first month of the rehabilitation process, likening it to the Jewish tradition of sitting "Shiva," where survivors are invited to share, cry, and unpack pain therapeutically. Izun has set up camp at the site, providing daily support with 150 conversation therapy sessions and about 100 holistic sessions, all conducted by dedicated volunteers - psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and holistic therapists.
The second stage of rehabilitation, according to Izun founder Omri Frish, will span six months and is compared to the Jewish practice of "Shloshim." It aims to aid the survivors who will potentially develop PTSD symptoms and will need additional support. Hopefully, it will help these young people rebuild their lives, pursue their dreams, and return to the path they were on before the events of October 7th. For this crucial second stage, they are actively raising funds, recognizing its longer duration and significant impact on the lives of the survivors.