3-year-old Natan Benita-Bennett was wounded last year in a stabbing attack in which his father Aharon was murdered, his mother, Adele, was severely injured and a resident of the area who tried to intervene, Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, was also murdered. Last week Natan joined the ‘OneFamily’ soccer team comprised of relatives of terror victims, fulfilling a dream for the child- who nearly lost his leg in the attack – of playing soccer.
At a ceremony in Jerusalem the team adopted Natan and gave him the number 10 shirt with his name printed on it. Team players also prepared a number of presents for Natan and presented them to him at the beginning of the game. Natan’s mother also came to see the game
The ‘One Family Organization” which initiated the soccer team helps families of terror victims in many ways. The team is made up of bereaved brothers, orphans from terror attacks and military operations since the year 2000 and from terror victims themselves.
“We don’t just play to win. Every player on the team is a family member for us. We are always together, both at joyous occasions and at memorial services. Today a new player joined us – Natan Benita. From now on – he has a large and supportive family,” said team manager Ami Ben David.
Chantal Belzberg, the director of OneFamily, said that “the attachments made through the soccer team are awesome. Team members become really close friends and support one another in good times and difficult times. On the field it appears to be a soccer game but something much deeper is occurring there.”
She added that “the game and the feeling of unity among participants give them the strength to deal with what is taking place off the field. Knowing this and knowing Natan’s love of soccer we thought it would be natural for the team to adopt him.”