On the early spring afternoon of March 4, 1996, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt on the fourth white stripe of the zebra crossing at the intersection of King George and Dizengoff Streets, in downtown Tel Aviv.
Thirteen people were killed in the explosion, among them Sylvia Bernstein (74) and her daughter Gail Belkin (48), the mother and sister of Marlyn Butchins, of kfar Saba, Israel.
As it was the eve of Purim, the five children killed in the blast had come to Tel Aviv to celebrate the holiday - one of the most exciting in the Jewish calender and often known as the Jewish Mardi Gras - adding a poignant and particularly bitter irony to the day.
Every year since then, a memorial service has been held at the site of the tragedy to commemorate those 13 people, ranging in age from 12 to 86-years-old; children, young adults, parents and grandparents. Attending the ceremony year after year, Marlyn felt that for all its dignity, it lacked a real focus, something warm and tangible, to celebrate the lives of the victims: the cold steel memorial plaque was just a recognition of their names. But she felt the ceremony - and the families - needed something more profound.
The answer lay in Marlyn's new found passion of quilting and expressed through the genre of memorial quilts. These have been used effectively in other parts of the world, for example in the United States for the commemoration of victims of 9/11 and AIDS.
Marlyn decided to create the Dizengoff Memorial Quilt, as a unique and beautiful tribute to the lives of the victims of Dizengoff, Purim 1996. It portrays the lives, loves and dreams of these victims - real people, not just statistics. In this way, the quilt also speaks out for other Victims of Terror in Israel and around the world.