Israeli Schools Strive For Normality in the Face of Terror
World ORT’s Investment in Rocket-Proof Buildings Pays Off
Teachers made an extraordinary effort to “maintain normality”, not least by exposing themselves to danger by continuing to make the commute to work. But the sad irony is that rocket attacks have become part of the routine of living in the area.
“We’ve had this situation before, where missiles have closed schools, but then we go back to life as normal. Once this situation ends I suppose we’ll have a few quiet months and then it will start again,” said Ms Avidan from her home near Be’er Sheva.
During the barrage she made a point of phoning students to see how they were coping and found stoicism spread across the age spectrum.
“They’re afraid but they’re calm; they’re used to it. They feel secure in their homes and they’re sure that the army will deal with it in the best way. They’re patiently waiting for the end of it like they have before. But they’re sure this won’t be the last time,” she said on Monday.
At Shikma, Ms Halperin said: “The children are frightened; they have to talk a lot about it and their feelings. The older ones are making jokes but it’s to keep their spirits up so that they can cope with the situation. Everyone feels a little bit unsafe.”
It was a similar story in Eshkol where Ms Tsur said: “It’s not so nice but that’s the situation we have every few months. We’re used to it; we don’t think about it too much otherwise we couldn’t go on living here.”
But, tellingly, Ms Tsur added: “Thank you for caring; it gives us strength.”
The emotional support which comes from being part of World ORT’s international family is, clearly, appreciated; as Ms Avidan said, “It’s very important to us to have international support but it’s not easy to get it. We’re not understood overseas because in the news they decide who is more damaged – you hear about the dead and if no-one is dead then it must be okay. But you can’t live under terror every day. You can’t see that anyone in England would allow their population to be bombed every day with missiles.”