This is a difficult time for all of us who care about Israel
For those of us who live here, we are threatened, we are terrorized, we are living in fear and each one of us has to make these kinds of decisions every day:
- Can I meet my friend in a coffee shop or is that too risky?
- Should I send my second grader to the school bus, or drive him? Which is safer?
- Is carrying pepper spray really effective protection?
- I need new shoes, but I’m scared to go to the mall; should I wait until it’s safer?
For those of us who live overseas, our hearts are in Israel but we are so far away, and we wrestle with these haunting questions:
- Would visiting at this point be responsible (helping the economy) or irresponsible (risking safety)?
- Should I continue to listen to the news, which just upsets me, or distance myself to keep sane?
- My child is in Israel for the year – should I demand he return home?
And the most significant questions...
HOW CAN I HELP?
HOW CAN I BECOME INVOLVED?
HOW CAN I MAKE AN IMPACT?
We at the ITC specialize in emergency and trauma preparedness and management. This is our work, our daily focus, and given the extent of what’s happening nationwide today, even we are overwhelmed! The situation we are experiencing today takes us back 15 years to the time of the intifada, when terror attacks were everywhere and there was no safe place.
Locations we’ve never worked with before are in sudden and desperate need of help. We are using every resource and partner we have to help the citizens of Israel cope with this extremely difficult period and build resilience.
Here is where you can help:
We, the ITC and our partner organizations, (AMCHA, CSPC, ERAN, Center for Post-Trauma Children and Teens at Hadassah University Medical Center, Mahut, NATAL, SELA and others) are providing trainings, workshops and therapy for individuals, families and groups around the country. This requires logistics management, dedicated hours on behalf of trainers, therapists, social workers and other trauma professionals. We are mapping each community’s needs as best we can, and here is what we’ve concluded Israel needs today:
- Train 40 emergency teams in Jerusalem and the nearby regional councils.
- Lead 100 parent anxiety management workshops nationwide.
- Deliver 10 First Responder workshops covering how to support and respond to trauma victims.
- Coach leadership in 10 communities on how to respond to emergencies, how to lead their communities in times of crisis, present resources, calm behavior and build resilience.
- Counsel police and public security professionals on population behavior during emergencies.
- Expand existing psycho-social coexistence (Arab/Jewish) programs in Jerusalem, Ramla, Lod, Rahat, Lehavim and Meitar.
- Train local 50 NGO's (which specialize in working with needy populations including elderly, new immigrants and people with special needs) in emergency procedures and trauma reactions.
When we train each of these professional groups, we always include an element of self-care instruction. Dedicated caregivers (like social workers, first responders, teachers and therapists) work and live in this tense environment alongside their clients, yet their roles often require them to absorb not only their own stress, but also the stress of their clients. Therefore, all our workshop participants learn methods of self-care in order to prevent burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue.