Steve Burnstein, an RRC student who lives in Israel, has posted some of his feelings about how he is feeling to his new blog. Steve is the Director of the Center for Israel and Diaspora Education at IsraelExperts. Previously he served as the Consultant for Israel Ed. at the Auerbach CAJE in Philly where he coordinated local professional development for the N. American Coalition for Israel Engagement, and also served as Rabbinic Intern at Bnai Keshet in Montclair, New Jersey. Steve is an RRC student who lives in Israel, not an American RRC student doing his year there. This means that his completion at RRC may be slow, but he's committed to being with his wife, Varda, and kids, Micah and Gabi where their family thrives the best. Here is an excerpt from the post, written on January 9.
I am mentally and physically exhausted from the anxiety & stress. But most of all I’m sad.
Sad that I have to think about whether going to work is safe – and where to run when the sirens sound.
Sad over the death of hundreds of Palestinian civilians.
Sad that my six and seven year old children know stories of people hit by Hamas rocket fire.
Sad by what I sometimes perceive as a lack of sensitivity to the horrible suffering and anguish of so many Israeli families - especially the children - who have been living with the constant threat of rockets for the years.
Sad at the conditions in which the Palestinians in Gaza have been living for so long – and Israel’s role along with Hamas in perpetuating this situation.
Sad to think that our children – young Israeli soldiers including kids from Gezer – are in the situation where they have to defend our people from those whose mission is our destruction – they and other innocents caught in the middle.
Sad at what this is doing to our souls.
Sad that thousands of Israeli children have been scarred for life - living in fear of rocket fire for more than 8 years and for whom the “color red” means “take cover.”
Sad at the image portrayed of Israel throughout the world right now.
And sad that this is how I’m bringing in the New Year.