ITC Conference: North, South, and Everything in Between – Learning Together

The Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) is convening its first conference today, December 28, 2015, dedicated to studying the past and preparing for the future. The ITC, its member organizations and professionals in the Gaza Envelope have accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience, specializing in emergency preparedness, trauma and resilience.


Talia Levanon, ITC Director

Chaim Yelin, Member of Knesset

Menachem Vagshal, NEMA, advisor on resilience

Tamir Idan, Head of Sdot Negev Regional Council

Gidon Shefer, ITC President

Mooli Lahad, President of CSPC

Learning to Deal with Trauma

In the past years, there has been an incredible focus on preparedness and resilience building in southern Israel, whereas looking to the future, focus may need to shift to northern Israel. Currently, the entire nation is feeling the effects of the constant wave of terror attacks. We cannot let the fear and resulting anxiety and trauma affect the whole Israeli society.

The questions which will be examined today:

How can we best treat anxiety arising from the terror tunnels in Gaza?
How can we prepare and assist emergency forces to overcome trauma following war or a terrorist attack?
How can we rehabilitate entire communities in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge?
How can we best utilize our collective knowledge to support other nations battling this same terror?
How can we best leverage our partnerships between local government, philanthropy and NGO’s to achieve our goals of a healthy, resilient nation?
The ITC and its partner organizations have become specialists in treating the psychosocial effects of war and terrorist attacks on both individuals and communities. The accumulated knowledge and experience has resulted in the successful combination of working both top-down and bottom-up in terms of partnerships with local government, coalition members, community members and philanthropic organizations.

Today, the organizations of ITC in collaboration with the directors of the resilience centers in the Gaza Envelope will provide an opportunity to share this experience and learn together.
The ITC Coordinating Board includes:
Major Gideon Sheffer, ITC President
Sarah Bogen, Organizational Development Consultant, public representative
Ruthie Horn, Attorney, public representative
Sivan Dalia, AMCHA, National Israeli Center for Psychological Support of Survivors of the Holocaust
David Koren, ERAN, Emotional First Aid
Dr. Fortu Ben Harosh, Hadassah Center for Post-Trauma Children and Teens
Miriam Shapira, Mahut, Center for Development of Coping Skills
Professor Mooli Lahad, CSPC, Disaster Management and Psycho-Trauma
Orly Gal, NATAL, Supporting Victims of Terror and Veterans of War
SELAH, Israel Crisis Management Center
Conference participants include:

Deputy Directors of local councils
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Social Services
NEMA (National Emergency Management Authority)
Home Front Command
Ministry of Senior Citizens
Ministry of Absorption
Ministry of Negev and Galil
NGO’s seeking knowledge in emergency preparedness and coping with trauma
Security Officers
Organizational Consultants
Practitioners/Service Providers/Caregivers
In addition to the presentations, conference participants will split into workshops to discuss a variety of dilemmas and problems that arise in times of emergency, such as how to provide a “community Iron Dome” for emergency organization teams, as well as how to provide emotional first aid during an emergency.

An additional interactive session will discuss the rehabilitation of entire communities in the wake of trauma. This workshop will address positioning communities for recovery following loss as well as establishing an understanding of the effects of a traumatic event for a community.

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