Flanked by his father and siblings, Dean Teremforush, 13, proudly read from the Torah in front of Jerusalem's Western Wall. Conspicuously absent, however, from the bar mitzvah service – one of several arranged in the last few weeks by the Chabad Terror Victims Project – was the boy's mother, who perished five years ago in a terrorist attack southeast of Tel Aviv.

On May 7, 2002, a suicide bomber struck a Rishon Lezion club, wounding 55 and killing 15, including Anat Teremforush. Her husband, Danny Teremforush, still suffers from leg injuries sustained in the attack.

"Danny makes every effort to be both a father and mother of his children," said Rabbi Menachem Kutner, director of the terror victims project.

Besides the Monday bar mitzvah, the terror victims project – which assists families of Israeli terror victims –a trip around Jerusalem for the Teremforush family and a tour of the Western Wall tunnels. At the celebration, Kutner personally presented a new prayer shawl and set of tefillin to the bar mitzvah boy.

According to the rabbi, the ceremony – which marks a young man's age of maturity in Judaism – was very joyous, a fact illustrated by the family's dancing and singing at the event.

"Dean was very happy," said Kutner. "He felt that this was something very special."

But the ceremony was not without its painful moments: At the end of the service, the children recited Kaddish, the traditional mourner's prayer, for their mother.

Kutner said that his organization's work with the Teremforushes, as with the more than 2,600 families that must cope with the loss or injury of a loved one as a result of a terrorist attack, goes beyond arranging lifecycle celebrations.

One year for Sukkot, the initiative – which operates under the umbrella of the Chabad-Lubavitch Youth Organization in Israel – provided the family with a sukkah and plenty of food when it found out that Anat Teremforush would host the entire family for the holiday. Volunteers make visits on Purim and deliver matzah on Pesach.

Said Kutner: "We're here so that they know that they are not forgotten and alone."