She was 1 1/2 years old when her family was returning home from a visit to the Kotel on Egged bus #2 as it was blown up by a terrorist.

Little Shira Cohen was hit by shrapnel and stopped breathing.

The year was 2003, the second Intifada was raging.

Thankfully, emergency medical crews were able to revive her.

After years of suffering and multiple operations, on Monday evening,

photo Shimon Peres seated

Photo credit: Sharon Altshul

Shira was seated next to President Shimon Peres at Beit Hanasi.

Audience seated withIsraeli president
Photo credit: Sharon Altshul


Chosen to speak for the 50 other young victims of terror and their families celebrating Bar and Bat Mitzvot, Shira loudly, clearly told her impressive story.

After Tzvika Pozis-Shahak’s daughter Bat Chen was killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv in 1996, he founded the Terror Victims Association.

The Terror Victims Association sponsored this special bar/bat mitzvah,

Terror Victims Association presents President Peres award

Photo credit: Sharon Altshul

as Porzis- Shahak made a presentation to President Shimon Peres, he was smiling.

From tears and tragedy to smiles,

mother hugging daughter

Photo credit: Sharon Altshul

Ora Cohen hugged her daughter at the end of the official program.

What a loss if those medical crews had not been successful.

25 people died when Egged bus #2 exploded, including 7 children.

What potential has been lost, too many victims of terror who did not live to celebrate their bar or bat mitzvah.

However, we can all be proud of one young girl’s coming of age and triumph over adversity, done with such poise and style.