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Support the Fund for Victims of Terror

Yael Raz and Dalia Cusnir

Dalia Cusnir // Director of Immersive Experiences, Connecting the Jewish People Unit at The Jewish Agency for Israel. Her brothers-in-law Eitan and Yair Horan are being held captive in Gaza by Hamas

Yael Raz // Director of the Fund for Victims of Terror and Director of the Resilience and Emergency Department at The Jewish Agency

During her years as director, Yael has experienced thousands of first meetings, painful and fateful, with those whose worlds were turned upside down in a moment because of cruel acts of terror. Out of grief also came solutions. Yael developed tools and assistance programs for victims, and that terrible morning of October 7, when the entire country was in shock, she and her team used their connections and resources and contacted the lengthening and incomprehensible list of families of the victims. 

This time, it met Yael closer than ever. That morning, she lost her friends Ofir Lipstein and Livnat Kutz. When Dalia contacted her, Yael knew exactly how she felt, as someone who more than a decade ago was part of the struggle to return her relative Gilad Shalit. Today reality forces her to do the same again, and she has devoted her time and energy to helping Dalia in her struggle. 

At the time of writing, Eitan and Yair are still held hostage by Hamas. Released hostages said that they saw them: They are together, and they are alive. Dalia continues to struggle, until they return home. 

On the morning of October 7, Dalia, a Jewish Agency employee, her husband Amos and their two children woke to the sound of sirens. They picked up the phone and immediately got in touch with Eitan and Yair Horan, Amos’s brothers. 

On Simchat Torah eve Eitan had gone to visit Yair, who lives on Kibbutz Nir Oz. Dalia and Amos wrote to the two until 7:30; after that they lost connection. 

The hours went by, and that evening friends who survived the massacre at the kibbutz announced: Eitan and Yair weren’t at home. 

“We went to friends who work in classified units, we did mobile location, went around the operations rooms and watched countless Hamas videos – and we still didn’t know what happened to them. They simply vanished,” Dalia says. “I had a feeling they had been captured, Amos felt they had been murdered, and they still hadn’t found their bodies, and that’s how for 10 days we shook with terrible uncertainty, until an IDF representative came and confirmed that they were missing. Later they changed their status to hostages.” 

From that moment, Dalia hasn’t stopped. “Although I work at The Jewish Agency, in the beginning I didn’t think about the Fund for Victims of Terror – I didn’t think we met the criteria for assistance,” she says. She contacted Yael Raz, director of the fund for the last 13 years, and from that moment they have been in constant contact. 

The Jewish Agency for Israel

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