Shalom Life | September 23, 2014

Israel and Houston Astro Help Berry Children

Texas orphans receive support from near and far

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: July 21st, 2011 in News » World

Israel and Houston Astro Help Berry Children

The Berrys had been pro-Israeli activists. Despite living in the US for their entire lives, it was Israel that Joshua and Robbin loved.

There had always been a connection between the Jewish couple from Houston and the Holy Land and it grew even deeper when Josh took part in a young leaders diplomacy seminar organized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry eight years ago. So when Josh and Robbin were killed in a car crash on the way home from their family vacation earlier this month, leaving their three children critically injured, Israel stepped up to the plate.

The accident occurred at the same time as this year’s seminar, prompting its participants to hold a memorial service for the couple and launching a fundraiser for their injured children, Peter, Aaron and Willa.

Peter, nine-years-old and Aaron, eight-years-old, are both in critical condition after sustaining serious spinal cord injuries and are both paralyzed below the waist. Despite intense therapy, it is uncertain whether they will ever regain the use of their legs. Their little sister, Willa, six years of age, was moderately wounded and has been released from hospital.

The tragic incident shocked Jewish communities throughout North America and the news eventually reached Israel. The Israeli consulate in Houston decided to take action by organizing a charity soccer game. All profits from the match were dedicated to the orphans’ rehabilitation.

Consul Maya Kadosh conducted the opening coin toss at the beginning of the game. A movie, produced by the consulate, was shown following the event, which told the story of the special relationship between the Berry family and Israel. The movie reinforced the commitment Israel felt in helping Jewish families in the Diaspora in their greatest time of need.

“Josh and Robin were enthusiastic supporters of Israel and opened their home to any new Israeli that arrived in town,” Kadosh told Ynet. “When we heard of the disaster it was very natural that we would stand by the family at a time when they need us. The parents were pro-Israel activists. Now Israel is returning the favour.”

The story of the Berrys has also reached members of the local community in Houston, including celebrities and athletes. On July 18, Houston Astros outfielder and two time MLB All-Star, Hunter Pence made a trip to the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital to visit the Berry children.

Pence had just returned from the MLB All-Star festivities in Phoenix, Arizona and spent time in both boys’ rooms. He offered them words of encouragement and brought each of the three children autographed baseball bats.

“I believe strongly that you’re going to be able to pull through this,” Pence said to Aaron. “You’re an inspiration to a lot of people. We’re all looking up to you. You fight to get better and find a way to overcome this. There’s a lot of people praying for you, including me.”

During his time with Peter, Pence played Xbox with the boy for over half an hour and even exchanged emails with him.

“Everyone’s thoughts are with you guys. You’re going through one of the toughest things and you’re going to need to be stronger than anyone I’ve ever met. I think that you and your whole family are going to inspire a lot of people. And ultimately, I look up to you,” Pence told Peter.

“I wish you the best of luck and I want you to keep that motivation your whole life. Everyone’s got your back – the whole community – you have so many people supporting you. There’s a lot of love. Every day, believe that you’re going to get better.”

Pence later reflected on the time he spent with the two boys.

“I’m fortunate to be able to meet these kids,” he told the Jewish Herald Voice. “I want these kids to grow up as kids should grow up. They’re tasked with a tougher path than a lot of us, but they also have the opportunity to inspire a lot of people and they need to know that.”

To help raise money for the family and support the Joshua and Robin Berry Children’s Trust, please visit http://www.theberrychildren.org.

For Large Donations, questions or comments please email admin@theberrychildren.org. The charity can be found on Twitter at @BerryChildren.

British Political Candidate Tells ISIS to Attack Israel, Calls Hitler "Zionist God" British Political Candidate Tells ISIS to Attack Israel, Calls Hitler "Zionist God" TrendingAmerican-Jewish Billionaires Keep the Memory of the Holocaust Alive American-Jewish Billionaires Keep the Memory of the Holocaust Alive TrendingLimmud FSU Canada Readies for its Inaugural Jewish Learning Festival Limmud FSU Canada Readies for its Inaugural Jewish Learning Festival Trending
 

Shalom, Calgary: A Jewish Culture Guide

September 23, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Shalom, Calgary: A Jewish Culture Guide

The Jewish community in Calgary may be rather modest in size, but the history is rich and is still kept alive today by people who are very much proud of their history and culture.

Read More

How Did Leonard Cohen Celebrate His 80th Birthday? He Started Smoking

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
How Did Leonard Cohen Celebrate His 80th Birthday? He Started Smoking

"It's the right age to recommence," says Cohen

Read More

Intel to Make $6 Billion Investment in Israeli Tech

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Intel to Make $6 Billion Investment in Israeli Tech

The tech company is looking to produce its next generation of chips in Israel, which will create at least 1,000 new jobs in the hightech sector

Read More

Israel's Largest Craft Beer Producer Tastes Global Success

September 23, 2014 | By Rachel Dinh, NoCamels
Israel's Largest Craft Beer Producer Tastes Global Success

By combining eco-friendly processing techniques with top-of-the-line production, Alexander Brewery is quickly becoming the go-to brand for Israelis seeking craft beer

Read More

Yad Vashem Honored in World's Top Ten Museums

September 23, 2014 | By Ynet News
Yad Vashem Honored in World's Top Ten Museums

TripAdvisor places the Holocaust memorial at number 10 on their Top 25 list

Read More

"Justice Has Been Served," Says Families of Slain Teens

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
"Justice Has Been Served," Says Families of Slain Teens

PM Netanyahu says "our mission is complete" after Shin Bet and the IDF announced the suspects in murder of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach were killed

Read More

Join the Anti-BDS Movement Today

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Join the Anti-BDS Movement Today

Over 620 academics (and counting) have signed a petition that condemns the BDS movement against Israel

Read More

The Love Jewce (Rosh Hashanah Edition): 6 Ways to Sweeten Yourself & Your Love Life

September 23, 2014 | By Andria Kaplan
The Love Jewce (Rosh Hashanah Edition): 6 Ways to Sweeten Yourself & Your Love Life

As we reflect back on 5774 and build resolutions for 5775 why not use that leftover honey and sweeten up your love life?

Read More

More Headlines