Authentic Voices | Life During the War
LIFE DURING THE WAR
The rhythms of life for all Israelis were drastically changed following the shock of the October 7 attacks. Listen to Israelis of different backgrounds share how their lives have been altered—in ways big and small—as a result of the war.
HOW TO USE THESE RESOURCES
As you explore these stories, we encourage you to use these questions and conversation prompts to spark discussion and engagement with your learners.
1. How can these stories shed light on “Israel today” for your students?
2. What do they convey about the current mood? What is top of mind for those you are hearing from?
3. Are there central messages among these stories?
4. Did any of the stories surprise you?
5. If you were interviewing one of these individuals, what questions would you ask?
January 4, 2024
In peacetime, the Jerusalem Press Club offers its foreign reporter members tours and equipment, but since October 7 it has also been providing emotional support for those reporters coping with the horrors of the war.
December 16, 2023
During these uncertain times, Israel persists as a nation caught between the normalcy of everyday life and the looming shadow of war. Even though weapons have become part of the landscape, the people’s determination to move forward and keep the country running stands as a testament to their resilience.
December 12, 2023 | 22 min 29 sec
Since the start of the military operation in Gaza, countless reports by journalists embedded with the IDF troops have appeared in the Israeli media. But there was one eight-and-a-half minute-long TV broadcast that aired on Kan—the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation—that stood out, that of Riyad Ali, a 61-year-old Druze journalist from the town of Maghar in the Galilee, who accompanied soldiers from the Golani Brigade who were operating in the Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City.
December 11, 2023 | 18 min 24 sec
More than 200,000 Israelis—from both the South and the North—have been forced to leave their homes since the start of the war. Some have relocated to hotels or kibbutzim, and others have opted to move in with family or friends, or else even rent apartments in entirely new surroundings. In this episode, we get a glimpse of what that reality feels like. Shira Masami is one of nearly 30,000 residents who have left the southern city of Sderot—a city that suffered a horrendous attack on October 7—and who are now dispersed around the country.
November 23, 2023 | 17 min 55 sec
Almost immediately after the start of the attack on October 7th, the heads of the Israel Museum initiated an emergency protocol for the first time since the Gulf War in 1991. The idea was to protect the nation’s most priceless cultural and historical treasures. The very first step was to secure the Museum’s most prized possession, the Dead Sea Scrolls. And it was Hagit Maoz, the Curator of the Shrine of the Book where the scrolls are normally housed, who was tasked with this delicate operation.
November 14, 2023
While out interviewing Israelis about their lives during the war, writer Natalie Selvin had the experience of being caught outside during an air raid siren. The woman she’d only just met took her in, which she reflected on in this piece.
November 12, 2023 | 16 min 20 sec
Faiz Abu Sabehan is a Bedouin politician and twice mayor of Rahat, a primarily Arab Bedouin city in southern Israel. Faiz’s brother-in-law, Farhan al-Qadi was kidnapped into Gaza on October 7. Faiz shares a piece of his own experiences living as a Bedouin in Israel and his perspectives on October 7 and current events. A note: this piece provides a political statement along with his narrative.
November 7, 2023 | 23 min 41 sec
At the beginning of this episode, host and senior producer of Israel Story, Mishy Harman, provides an essential framing to understand the ongoing mission of the podcast. He details the decision to tell the stories among and around us, even those from “the other side” that will complicate matters, add nuance, and show it’s not all merely black and white or an “us vs. them” reality. Through this lens, we meet Sahar Vardi, a Jewish Israeli peace activist whose dear friend, Khalil Abu Yahia, was killed in Gaza a couple of weeks into the war.
Trigger Warning: Account of civilian deaths in Gaza.
October 25, 2023
Activists from the local Jewish-Arab movement in Haifa, “Rov Ha’Ir” (majority in the city) volunteered to clean hundreds of shelters and alert the municipality to closed shelters. The organizers also operate projects to spread positive stories, combat fake news, and reduce tension.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues—a partner of The iCenter—has collected stories and resources about Arab citizens of Israel during and after the October 7 massacre. You can access this story and more here.
October 23, 2023
A Times of Israel journalist joins other musicians to bring a relaxed evening of song to reservists, in the surreal reality of post-October 7.
October 19, 2023 | 14 min 50 sec
This war has forced many people to reevaluate their identities and political sensibilities—not an easy task during these shocking and painful days. Mor Maisel’s opinions are complicated and don’t conform to the norm, which may be challenging for some listeners, and reassuring for others.
October 15, 2023 | 12 min 35 sec
Despite everything, life continues amid the horror. For Katherine Leff, this meant going ahead with the day she’d been dreaming about for so long—her wedding day.
October 15, 2023
As the country grapples with the escalating aftermath of Hamas’s onslaught, Arab citizens share their shock, pain, loss—and some concern for a repeat of the 2021 riots.
October 11, 2023 | 41 min 17 sec
Voice messages from friends and colleagues in Israel offer a window into their experiences in this unprecedented moment of uncertainty, pain, loss, and resilience.