Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing

Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing

by Zieva Konvisser
Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing

Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing

by Zieva Konvisser


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No one can forget the devastating aftermath of a suicide bomber detonating in a crowded bus. But what happens to the survivors of such indiscriminate and horrific attacks? Will the physical and emotional scars overwhelm them, or will they be able to transcend the traumatic experience and lead healthy and fulfilling lives? Many of those who survive are able to grow and thrive, as described in Living Beyond Terrorism. This book shares compelling stories of hope and healing, as told by ordinary people who - while riding in buses, dining in restaurants, shopping in markets, studying at colleges, visiting hotels, or walking along the street - suddenly became the innocent victims of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Israel and in the West Bank, primarily between 2000 and 2006. Forty-eight survivors and relatives of survivors and victims discuss their remarkable life journeys - from terrorism to hope and optimism and from grief to meaning and healing; they speak not just of moving on with life as usual, but of moving forward with new purpose, contributing to society, and turning tragedy into action. They bear witness to their experiences in order to make sense of them as best as they can, and to help others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789652296436
Publisher: Gefen Publishing House
Publication date: 02/20/2014
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Zieva Konvisser s diverse career has evolved from pharmaceutical chemist to automotive executive to earning a post- retirement PhD in human development. As a fellow of the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, her research focuses on the human impact of traumatic events, such as terrorism, genocide, war, and wrongful conviction. She has served on the National Commission on American Jewish Women and the boards of several community, philanthropic, and professional organizations and is currently on the international board of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma and the advisory board of Strength to Strength. Whether in the laboratory, the parts distribution center, the streets of Jerusalem, or the boardroom, she has always been driven by a commitment to make a positive difference in people s lives and the communities in which they live and work.

Table of Contents

Letter from the Publisher xiii

Foreword: The Narrative of Terrorism xv

Preface: Defy Darkness - Spread Light xix

Acknowledgments xxix

Introduction: The Human Impact of Terrorism xxxiii

Part 1 From Terrorism to Hope and Optimism 1

Chapter 1 Jerusalem of Gold 5

Victim or Survivor? Shoshana (Shoshi) Gottlieb 7

Gail's Story Peggy Kern 15

Quiet Sonia Dibeh 20

OneFamily, Strength to Strength Sarri Singer 24

My Way Shai Ben Tzur 33

Chapter 2 Heb rew University in Jerusalem 38

The Path of Resuming Life Dror Sullaper 39

A Decision to Act, Dedicate, Feel, and Do Ariela 44

Two Suicide Bombings - Two Different Experiences Roza 48

Chapter 3 A Drive for Development 50

A Time to Focus Jacki Glassman 52

BD: Jewish Destiny 56

Friendly Pain Ronit Elchayani 64

You Will Never Be the Same Woman Ronit Tubul 64

Chapter 4 Judea, Samaria, and the Lower Galilee 74

RH: Time to Think and to See 76

Happy Ending Feige Fishman Glasomitsky 80

Half-Full Glass Avraham (Avi) Robinson 86

SY: Living My Dream 94

Chapter 5 Tel Aviv 100

Positive One Isaac Ashkenazy 102

1 Was in a Terrorist Attack Aharon 109

Rebuild and Continue On with Life Joshua Faudem 113

Chapter 6 Haifa 120

Premonition Bat-sheva Schaul 122

Journey to Emotional Healing Ola Korol 127

An Opportunity to Change My Life Gil Carmely 133

Ethiopian Israeli Andalau (Elad) Wassa 138

Two Attacks Sharon Stav 142

My Life, My Memories, My Autobus Ismini (Maria) Soyvadzogloy Molly Shwisha 142

Believers Nabila Mounir Fahima Khouri 150

Part 2 From Grief to Meaning and Healing 157

Chapter 7 Personal Injury and Profound Traumatic Loss 160

Fight to Survive Corinne Hamami 163

Life Is a Puzzle Arnaud Harenstern 169

Tzemicha v 'Pericha (Growing and Blossoming) Iris Yihichya 169

Tehilla - Praise to God Chana Nathansen 181

Religion Saved Us Ora Cohen 181

Chapter 8 In the Service of One's Country 191

Mental and Physical Toughness Ken Sachs 193

The Best Medicine Is to Keep Busy Dina Omer Kit 201

Chapter 9 Three Bereaved Mothers 208

The Blessing of a Broken Heart Sherri Seth Mandell 210

Food for Soldiers Susie Weiss 215

Dancing through Life Cheryl Harmony Mandel 221

Chapter 10 Every Suffering Has a Purpose 228

Survive, Go Forward, Make a Good Life Arnold Roth 229

Druze Family Values Amin Farida Ghoussoun Hassan 236

My Brother Was… Elaine Hoter 243

Chapter 11 Ongoing Losses, Trauma, and Suffering 252

Old Terrorism Paul Bernstein 253

A Celebration of Life Marlyn Bernstein Butchins 253

Conclusion: Making Sense of Their Lives and Moving Forward 261

Appendix A Research Methodology and Findings 269

Appendix B Chronology of Major Events 273

Appendix C Organizations Supporting Terror Survivors and Families 280

Glossary 295

Selected Bibliography 299

Index 303

What People are Saying About This

Co-authors, Posttraumatic Growth in Clinical Practice - Lawrence Calhoun and Richard Tedeschi

The words of these survivors help to illuminate the process of posttraumatic growth, so that others may have a better idea of what gifts may be found as they struggle to cope with devastating events.

Author of A New Shoah - Giulio Meotti

These brave survivors remind us that in Israel too many parents buried their children, too many victims are still suffering from their injuries, and too much blood was spilled. Zieva Konvisser redeems their names and suffering. Her splendid book is about life winning over death. It shows why Israel will win her centennial war against terrorism.

MD, Yale University School of Medicine, Glenn H. Greenberg Professor of Psychiatry, PTSD and Resilience - Steven M. Southwick

Zieva Konvisser has written a very important book about resilience and the indomitable power of the human spirit.... The stories are both heartbreaking and inspiring, as they humanize and personalize the devastating toll of terrorism as well as the profound courage of those who find a way to move on with life and to move forward with a purpose. The spirit of Viktor Frankl and his belief in healing through meaning echoes through every page of this remarkable book.

Heritage Florida Jewish News

"This book shares compelling stories of hope and healing, as told by ordinary people who suddenly became the innocent victims of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Israel … from terrorism to hope and optimism and from grief to meaning and healing; they speak not just of moving on with life as usual, but of moving forward with new vitality, purpose and productivity, contributing to society while turning tragedy into action ... The powerful stories in Living Beyond Terrorism are testimony to their inner strength and determination—a victory of the human spirit—and inspire each of us as we meet the challenges in our lives."

PhD, President, International Board of Directors, Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy - Robert C. Barnes

Again and again in her new book, Dr. Konvisser illustrates the gift of choice, not "Why me?" but instead "Why not me? What do I do now with my freedom to go forward from this moment?" In human profile after profile, the author poignantly shows her readers how some individuals allow their circumstances to shatter them while others are ennobled by their responses and endurance. Dr. Konvisser's gift to you is an intimate challenge to choose hope and healing in your own life.

Viktor Frankl reminds us that "man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." I join Zieva Konvisser in asking which one is your choice.

Author of The Blessing of a Broken Heart; Co-director, Koby Mandell Foundation - Sherri Mandell

Thank you Zieva Konvisser for allowing us to enter the hearts and minds of terror survivors. Thank you for telling the stories of the extraordinary courage of ordinary people.

Israel Director of Public Relations and Communications for Hadassah - Barbara Sofer

Zieva Konvisser has ensured that we will not forget the heroism of the terror survivors and the men and women who have guided them on their tough journey. With intelligence and compassion, she has given us valuable insights into these previously uncharted waters.

Princeton University, Former United States Ambassador to Israel and Egypt - Daniel Kurtzer

Terrorism is more than statistics and casualty rates; it is also about the people who survived and the impact on extended families.... So many Israeli lives have been taken by terrorism and so many families shattered. This book tells a different story: the determination and will of Israelis to rebuild and, indeed, to triumph over the terrorists, a victory of the human spirit.

Clinical Professor of Psychology, School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Israel - Eli Somer

If human resilience in the face of overwhelming trauma has baffled you, this book is the key to unlock the inspiring complexities of the little-understood phenomenon...of posttraumatic growth.... If terrorism aims at breaking the spirit of a civilian population, Dr. Konvisser's unique book, packed with stories of resilience, proves terrorism has failed. The powerful stories of healing and hope in this volume are a reflection of how remarkable the human spirit is. This book is a must-read for anyone facing the darkness of tragedy.

PhD, Jacob Potofsky Professor of Sociology; Director, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and Women's Studies Research Center, B - Shulamit Reinharz

Zieva Konvisser's Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing takes us into the hearts and minds of people who have miraculously survived politically motivated bombings in Israel. On the basis of interviews exploring what resilience means to them years after the events, she illuminates the components of the "ability to thrive" after horrific experiences. Konvisser includes lengthy quotations from these interviews, so readers can tease out useful details. These reveal how the survivors represent both general patterns and unique individual responses. This book is a must-read in our age of terrorism and its aftermaths.

PhD, Fielding Graduate University; co-editor, Narrative Study of Lives series - Ruthellen Josselson

In the compelling narratives she has assembled, Zieva Konvisser opens for us the world of people who have survived terrorist attacks. Through her insightful presentation, their suffering and resilience are given voice, and we readers learn how such trauma can be managed and meanings created. This well-written and deeply empathic book puts a human face on what terrorism can mean to ordinary citizens and their lives.

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