Shalom Life | April 22, 2015

A New Sunrise: One Man's Journey from Trauma & Terrorism to Meaning & Purpose

Jacob Kimchy, whose father died in a 2002 terrorist attack in Rishon Lezion, helps inspire others in his new memoir

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 21st, 2015 in Culture » Books » News

A New Sunrise: One Man's Journey from Trauma & Terrorism to Meaning & Purpose

On May 7th, 2002, Jacob Kimchy's entire life changed.

The Rishon Lezion native was out for a late-night dinner with a friend when he received a call informing him of a terror attack that took place at The Sheffield Club, a popular spot in his hometown. Rushing to the venue so he could help the survivors, he bore witness to the horrific scene inside before noticing a taxi cab parked outside.

It was his father's.

The next few years would be somber for the Kimchy family, and equally so for Jacob, filled with grief and suffering over the injustice that occurred, and over the loss of his father. Somehow, he eventually found a new light, and sought out help. Jacob discovered that his experience with trauma - his story - could help others who've suffered from trauma, others who've lost friends and loved ones to terrorism. He moved to the U.S., and co-started a foundation, One Heart, helping victims of terrorism around the world. He also recalled his experiences during his position as a motivational speaker, and helped victims dealing with grief as a life coach.

In a bid to continue with his goal of tikkun olam, and to spread his story to as many people as possible, Jacob's written a new memoir, A New Sunrise: One Man’s Inspirational Journey from Surviving the Trauma of Terrorism to a Life of Meaning and Purpose, addressing the current issues of violence and terrorism, while narrating his own personal story. A New Sunrise tells us all how it is in our control to survive trauma of all kinds, see through the darkness, and find happiness and light. Somehow, since that life-altering day in may, Jacob was able to rediscover meaning and purpose in his life by helping other victims.

An excerpt:

I pulled out my phone. After a few rings, my mother answered.

“Ima, have you heard what happened?”

“What? I was asleep. Why are you calling so late?”

“Turn on the TV, Ima. There was a bombing in town,” I said.

“What?”

“Where’s Abba?”

“He’s working,” she answered.

“No. Abba was murdered.”

“What are you talking about? I said he’s in town working!”

“Call your family in L.A. now. Tell them to come for the funeral! And please, call the family here.”

“Jacob, what’s the matter with you?”

“Ima, I’m looking at Abba’s taxi right now, right in front of the bombing. The building is totally destroyed. Abba’s phone is dead.”

“What?”
“Ima, what’s his license plate number? Tell it to me.”

As she said every number, my eyes moved to the next, hoping for a mismatch. But every single digit matched my father’s plate exactly. I told her I would call her back as soon as I had more information, and I hung up the phone. I knew my poor mother would be in shock and would feel panicked. But I couldn’t worry right then. I had to find my father.

Jacob Kimchy

During a phone conversation with Kimchy, he explains the inspiration for writing his memoir, and how he hopes to assist others who've suffered from similar traumatic experiences. "I started to write A new Sunrise about 6 years ago," he starts. "I knew I wanted to help victims of trauma through my story, and to find strength from my personal example of finding post-traumatic growth. I wanted to help them believe that it is possible to look at our lives and to decide to win."

The author's decision also came from his ambition or reaching a "wider circle of people," not only reaching victims of terror, but victims of any kind of trauma. "I want to make sure society will understand more about trauma in general and to help empower the victims," he says.

After starting One Heart Foundation, Kimchy was able to see the results of his work, and see the change in people. With his memoir, he hopes to galvanize this change on a much larger scale. "I saw the horror of terrorism," he says. "I saw what it can do, I felt and feel the loss and still live with nightmares. It become my mission in life to help others and to lead them into their light."

Buy your copy of A New Sunrise via Amazon. For more information about Jacob Kimchy, or to book him for public speaking where he discusses surviving trauma, global trauma in a social age, or the needs of victims during and after a tragedy, visit his website here.

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