President Rivlin hosts Bar, Batmitzvahs with children who suffered terror attacks

During the event, Ahiya Emanuel Fisher, brother of Adva Fisher who was killed in a suicide attack in 2003, spoke on behalf of the children.

President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Eurovision winner Neta Barzilai take to the stage at a special Bar adn Bat mitzvah event for children who have suffered terror attacks, December 19, 2019
President Reuven Rivlin hosted a Bar and Bat mitzvah event for children injured in terrorist attacks on Thursday evening, in a festive event at the President's Residence, Jerusalem.
The president spoke to the young people and said, “Today, you mark the transition from childhood to adulthood, the age when young men and women form their own opinions, come of age in the eyes of religion and are expected to take responsibility for their actions.
"You have all, unfortunately, already experienced the loss of a father, mother, brother, sister or other relative," the president continued. "Some of you have been injured yourselves. Already as children, too soon, you were asked to grow up, and you did. I want to say that you became heroes. When I see you here, strong, bright and smiling, when I see your spirit, I feel that you are the ones who give me strength.”
The president finished his speech with a special message for the children, saying, "Our responsibility today is to show you our love, our pride, and to do everything we can to give you everything necessary for you to continue to flourish and be the pride of the Israeli people. To ensure your safety and security – yours and all the children of Israel. May you continue to grow and flourish without fear. We believe in you and love you. Mazal tov, from me and from all of Israel.”
This year, the annual event was compèred by Esther Ada and Israel's 2018 Eurovision winner Neta Barzilai performed. Ahiya Emanuel Fisher, brother of Adva Fisher who was killed in a suicide attack in 2003, spoke on behalf of the children.
The Organization of Victims of Terror has held such Bar and Bat mitzvah celebrations for the past 18 years. Chair of the Organization of Victims of Terror Abie Moses and director-general of the National Insurance Institute Meir Spiegel also spoke at the event.
Ahiya Emanuel Fisher, a bereaved brother who lost his sister Adva in 2003 in a suicide attack, spoke of his loss. “We are all kids who have grown up, but our growing up started long before we got to the age of bar mitzvah,” he said. “From the pictures and stories I have got to know Adva, the light she brought to our home. I am sure she is proud of me from above.”
Adva Fisher was killed in 2003 when she was 19 years old in a terrorist attack at the Geha Interchange, near Petah Tikva. Her borhter, Ahiya Emmanue, was born two-and-a-half years later. At his Bar mitzvah, Ahiya chose to donate all the gifts he received to people with special needs, in her memory.