The victims' families' trip to Eilat, January 3-5, 2002
When Michael Cherney heard on TV about the dolphinarium attack (discotheque bombing) and the high number of casualties, he decided right away to donate IS800,000 ($173,216) for the needs of the wounded and the families of the deceased. The next day his assistants went out to visit the hospitals and the homes of the victims with the checks in hand.
Mr. Cherney prefers direct assistance to giving money to charity funds where it often gets stuck – for example, many victims still have not received money from the Tel Aviv Fund.
Realizing that the victims' families need psychological support as well as financial one, Mr. Cherney decided to finance a three-day trip for the 60 victim families, 147 people altogether, to Eilat, an Israeli resort on the Red Sea.
He also invited Knesset Members Avigdor Liberman and Alexandr Zinker, popular Artists and Authors Igor Guberman and Jan Levenzon, as well as doctors from the Or Ilim Recovery and Recreation Center.
The activities for the families included parasailing, scooter rides, a visit to Oceanarium, and concerts and disco parties at the hotel and on the boat, so that the children who had not had a chance to dance at the dolphinarium could have some fun in a secure location.
According to Mr. Cherney, the objective of the trip was to let the victims know that the Russian Aliya are one family; that we all share their pain, and that we are all their support group.