Exeleon Magazine

David Rubin: Healing Hearts by Combating Terrorism

David Rubin_Exeleon Magazine

 Children are priceless gifts of God. For parents, children are a harbor of unlimited love, and they will do everything in their power to guard their hearts and minds from deceptive and destructive forces. For children, the emotions caused by an adverse event, especially a terror attack, can be crippling and the wounds may leave lasting effects—both physically and emotionally.

To turn evil into good in his own life and the lives of others, David Rubin founded Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund. David is the Founder and President of this gallant organization which was started as a response to the long-term outcomes caused due to terrorism. So far, it stands to benefit thousands of children who have suffered from the trauma of terror attacks and aims to create a brighter future for them.

As a transformational leader, David Rubin suggests three goals that are integral for progress. “Leadership starts with a vision of greatness and the necessary passion to drive the actualization of that vision.” The next step, he says, “is commitment to that vision, along with the determination to achieve the vision, irrespective of the breadth of obstacles.” Lastly, he emphasizes “the patience and perseverance to methodically acquire the specific knowledge needed to see it through to fruition.”

Laying the bricks of valor

David grew up in the United States with his parents, who were first-generation Americans with strong Jewish identities. “Ours was a home in which news about Israel, as well as global affairs and domestic politics, were often discussed, and sometimes debated passionately,” he recalls.

This prompted his interest in the socio-political scenarios of Israel and other worldly issues. It also helped him to be observant of his surroundings and more passionate about any remarkable events and people. Further, this served as a source of inspiration, knowledge and finding solutions.

However, his real awakening about the full story of Israel and his Jewish heritage developed much later.

In spirit of self-realization

David believes that “terrorism is driven by a radical Islamic ideology that spreads intolerance and hatred of others.” That darkness, he adds, “which is based on arrogance, must be confronted and countered by spreading the light of freedom and tolerance.”

He emphasizes the same in his books; as for terrorism itself, “it must never be appeased or pandered to.” David thinks “appeasement is analogous to giving a wolf a piece of meat, hoping that will satisfy him, but the reality is that he will just eat the meat and then attack the person who gave it.”

As someone who has experienced the pain of terrorism through his own experience and that of so many others, he seeks to spread that truth, while simultaneously taking care of those who are the victims.

In fact, the formation of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund is based on David’s personal history. On one fine day, he recalls driving home from Jerusalem with his three-year-old-son who was seated behind him in the toddler seat, when suddenly the car was hit by a massive hail of bullets from the side of the road with AK-47 assault rifles. David soon realized that this was an organized attack by the Palestinian terrorists.

“I was shot and wounded in the leg and my son was shot in the head, as a bullet entered where the skull meets with the neck, causing a skull fracture and internal bleeding in the cerebellum, the back part of the brain. Miraculously, the bullet missed his brain stem by one millimeter,” he says while describing the tragic event.

Thereby, his son survived but it was a long and difficult recovery process. The substantial emotional trauma took a toll on him, and he needed treatment along with a lot of care. David noticed that there was a lack of such care in the community. This motivated and sparked his vision of what would eventually be founded as Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund.

Building radiant and kind minds

David’s organization is building a brighter future for the children of Israel. It has also fulfilled his long-standing vision—create a therapeutic campus and include a warm, supportive place that integrates therapy and education to heal the trauma.

As a result of disproportionate degree of terrorism, one critical and challenging need has been to cope with PTSD. It is observed that the levels of PTSD are abnormally high among children in the young communities of Samaria.

But David and his organization have created a substantial impact over the years on the people, especially the Israeli population. “Thousands of children have benefitted from our programs and our influence has spread way beyond the geographic areas that we serve,” David adds. His platform has become a “model of success for its unique blending of therapy and education.”

Currently, the campus focuses on over 2000 children and includes two schools for ages 3-14 years, a formal emotional therapy center for music therapy, art therapy, bibliotherapy, sports therapy, as well as the more conventional therapies. At the center of the campus is a petting zoo for animal-assisted therapy along with a horse farm for equine therapy at an adjacent location. In addition, playgrounds are built and upgraded throughout Samaria to support high schools and youth programs.

Battling challenges with kindness

David Rubin has shaped his dream goals to reality after severbdn

al setbacks with conviction, courage, and candor. Looking back at his milestones, he says, “I would have acted with more wariness towards those who have less altruistic goals. Several mistakes were made at the early stages, due to attempts at manipulation by those who were mainly driven by personal interests.”

While it’s very useful to develop extensive cooperation with others to accomplish the vision, David suggests that it’s best to keep your independence and not to be co-opted by transient political authorities.

Because of this particular challenge, his model has been to act independently, at times in consultation with others, but always guided by fulfillment of the vision and no other extraneous interests.

Practice passion repeatedly

David’s journey has been nothing less than inspirational for many. His advice for young leaders who would want to contribute or give back to society is simple yet significant.

“Focus on the need and develop your vision, not according to external pressures or politics, but according to the very real need that created the original passion,” he suggests.

He believes that divine guidance has an important role to play as one develops his or her vision and turns it into reality.

Serving big and selflessly

The goal of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund has always been, and remains, to serve the needs of the children and to rebuild Israel’s biblical heartland through the children.

As the organization grows, David says, “we can expand the geographic scope of our projects to serve far greater numbers of children.” This goal is gradually being achieved with the support of caring people around the world.

On a personal level, David Rubin feels he has been blessed with the dual opportunities to serve the children and to spread some truth about Israel. “If God blesses me with good health,” he adds, “I hope that both of those efforts will continue and grow for many years to come.”

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