November 8, 2023
These updates will now be sent on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Marking one month since the worst attack in the history of the Jewish state, Israelis across the country took part in vigils, memorial gatherings, and prayers. A minute of silence was marked to remember the victims. Large commemorations were held in Eilat and the Dead Sea, where many of the survivors from the hardest-hit towns and kibbutzim have been staying. A large vigil was also held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, praying for the release of the hostages.
Northern Front: Approximately 30 rockets were fired Monday from southern Lebanon at Israel’s northern communities in the space of an hour. With the majority of the 20,000 residents of Kiryat Shmona already having already evacuated, following previous rocket fire, the remaining approximately 3,000 have been encouraged to evacuate.
On Tuesday, residents in Metula, Yiftah, Kfar Giladi, Misgav Am, Manara, Malkia, Kfar Yuval, Margaliot and Ramot Naftali were asked to stay close to protected areas.
ITC on the Ground
Community: Community is a pillar of strength, even more so for those from Gaza envelope communities who spent years building idyllic communal villages. Now in a state of homelessness, with thousands spread in hotels around the country, families and communities are desperately trying to build a routine of sorts.
Resilience center teams, many who experience a shared reality, are crucial in helping build this temporary “normal” this new routine. ITC program Healing Space provides activities/interventions for people of all ages, young and old alike. While not traditional forms of therapy, it provides opportunities for critical ventilation, relief for some parents, and time to begin a healing process. Together, hour by hour, day by day we are striving hard to help build community and personal resilience, to help each other seize small moments of happiness and slowly, step by step rebuild trust, shattered so cruelly on 7th October.
While many kibbutz members are working through trauma as a community, soldiers together with their comrades, those who survived the Nova party have in the best of cases returned to homes all over the country, but many are essentially alone. Those who don’t feel a sense of belonging to a group are particularly vulnerable and providing a comprehensive response for the Nova party survivors is critical. And this is exactly what is happening, with ITC formulating an intervention plan together with the Ministry of Welfare, the Local Council Authority, the National Lottery, and the National Insurance Institute.
This inter-sectoral program includes professional intervention for survivors and their families, training and guidance for community teams, and assistance in accessing and exercising rights.
Spirit of Israel: Amid the horror, we continue to experience huge amounts of love, compassion, bravery, kindness, and a spirit of volunteerism and unity.
A new study by Hebrew University’s Center for the Study of Civil Society and Philanthropy has found that roughly half of all Israeli adults have taken part in volunteering efforts following the Oct. 7 attacks. The philanthropy and volunteering were seen in every sector of Israeli society: Haredi, religious, secular, Arab, Bedouin, Druze, Christian.
It also appears to be infectious. Like the photo on the left, many have flown in to provide help, support and relief wherever and however they can.
If nothing else, this has been a month of shock, mourning, and action – where the level of volunteerism and helping has been unprecedented and has demonstrated just how resilient Israelis are. It is a testament to the values upon which Israel was founded.
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