Avi­va Gat wrote to Jew­ish Book Coun­cil on Insta­gram from a bomb shel­ter and shared the fol­low­ing reflec­tions regard­ing her experience. 

This piece is one of an ongo­ing series that we will be shar­ing in the com­ing days from Israeli authors and authors in Israel.

It is crit­i­cal to under­stand his­to­ry not just through the books that will be writ­ten lat­er, but also through the first-hand tes­ti­monies and real-time account­ing of events as they occur. At Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, we under­stand the val­ue of these writ­ten tes­ti­mo­ni­als and of shar­ing these indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ences. It’s more impor­tant now than ever to give space to these voic­es and narratives. 

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, JBI is record­ing writ­ers’ first-hand accounts, as shared with and pub­lished by JBC, to increase the acces­si­bil­i­ty of these accounts for indi­vid­u­als who are blind, have low vision or are print disabled. 

What do you say to your four year old when she says she is afraid to go to sleep? When she says she won’t sleep in your house anymore.

The mon­sters she is afraid of are real. They killed her friend’s cousin, her dad’s friends. They mas­sa­cred her peers and muti­lat­ed peo­ple who are just like her.

What am I sup­posed to tell her? What kind of world am I rais­ing her in? Why did I bring chil­dren into this place where butcher­ing peo­ple is cel­e­brat­ed and oth­ers are silent.

I tell her we will sur­vive. Our fam­i­ly sur­vived in Poland eighty years ago and we will sur­vive today. We’re strong and we will nev­er let them win.

The views and opin­ions expressed above are those of the author, based on their obser­va­tions and experiences.

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Aviva’s life­long dream was always to be a writer. From a young age, she wrote short sto­ries that she shared with friends and fam­i­ly. When she went to col­lege at Boston Uni­ver­si­ty, her love for writ­ing led her to get two bachelor’s degrees in Jour­nal­ism and Reli­gion. She then moved to New York City and wrote for a finan­cial mag­a­zine, where she wrote break­ing news and in-depth ana­lyt­i­cal pieces about cor­po­rate bankruptcy.

After get­ting tired of the hus­tle and bus­tle of NYC, she moved to Israel where she spent six months vol­un­teer­ing full­time with spe­cial needs adults. Ready to get back into the cor­po­rate world, Avi­va then got an MBA at Tel Aviv Uni­ver­si­ty and worked for a con­sult­ing firm and a high-tech company.

When her daugh­ter was born, Avi­va decid­ed it was time to get back to her life­long dream and be a writer full­time. She still lives in Israel, hap­pi­ly mar­ried with three chil­dren and a dog. When she is not writ­ing, Avi­va loves to run, hike, and be out­side. Fol­low her on Insta­gram: aviva_writes