Reclaiming Hope Twenty Four Years Later

November 3, 1995.

I’m 26 years old, living in a rundown, overpriced apartment in the center of Tel Aviv with my boyfriend. Ten months prior, I chose to make Israel my home and was filled with hope for a different reality where my future children would no longer need to serve in the military.

November 5, 1995.

I never liked big crowds so we watched the gathering on our television and then the world came crashing down. The announcement that the Prime Minister of Israel was murdered is etched in my memory. My aversion to crowds immediately gave way to a need to be part of the strolling crowds in the city’s center. For hours, we roamed the streets with tears streaming down our faces.

November 6, 1995.

The world seemed uncertain and scarier than ever before. Our Prime Minister was dead, killed by a fellow Jew.


November 3, 2019.

Early morning. I drove my 20-year old soldier son to the train station so he can assume his role in the country’s north.

Midday. I drove his 19-year-old brother to a different train station. After just over half a year of training he can assume his brand new role in a combat unit in the south.

No, God will not pity our children…. Or theirs….

November 4, 2019.

Twenty-four years since the Prime Minister’s murder, I sit in a local café writing project proposals for different nonprofit organizations. The sun shines and people are chatting, a day like any other.

A quarter of a century later, there is little talk of peace in the public sphere. The restaurants and cafes in Israel are full, retail is bustling, real estate prices are sky high and Israeli tourism throughout the word is at an all time high.

  • Yet, today – November 4, 2019 – my own sons sit at the front, waiting.
  • The children in the Gaza Envelope communities, traumatized by years of violence are also waiting….. for the next “red alert” siren and the “boom” of the impact.
  • And the children in Gaza…. I can’t even imagine their reality….

It would be so easy to lose hope, to put blinders on and to simply dream of my next vacation in Santorini, Budapest or Lisbon…. but I still refuse.

I continue to work with different organizations exuding hope in various ways. One of these organizations is the Center for Educational (CET) Technology’s Shared Learning Unit who stubbornly works towards forging social cohesion and the embedment of hope in Jewish – secular and religious – and Arab children in Israel.

Please watch the video (you may have to define English subtitles in settings) and join me in reclaiming our hope and our dreams.

About the Author
Zimra was born in Budapest and grew up in New York City. She immigrated to Israel in 1994 and for the past two decades has worked with diverse for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Currently, she serves as a resource development expert on the Civics and Shared Education team at the Center for Educational Technology (CET) in Tel Aviv. Zimra is mother to 4 children, ages 12 to 21. Inspired by her 16-year old son Amit, a lower limb amputee, she is passionate about competitive wheelchair basketball and spends much of her free time rooting for her favorite teams. Today, she and her family are living in the Negev.
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