Only a heartbeat away

Only a heartbeat away

Sirens near Kiryat Malachi

How do you get out of your car, lie on the ground, and cover your head at the siren’s wail when you are the only adult and your passengers are a six-year-old and infant twins?

That’s the dilemna that faced Inbar Rozmarin, Donna Arbietman’s sister, who lives near Kiryat Malachi, where bombs have fallen. Her husband is out of the country – who knew this was going to happen? – so she fled to her parents’ house in Herzylia with her three young sons, hoping not to get stuck in the car when the sirens went off.

Arbietman is the director of the marketing and communications department at the Jewish Federation of North Jersey. “It was nerve-wracking,” she said. “We were really scared for her until we heard from our parents.

“The mood is somber in Israel,” she reported. “People are nervous. My dad says that they don’t hear the sirens in Herzylia, so theoretically everything is normal, and they’re not affected.” But it’s not, and they are.

Back home in Norwood, Arbietman said, “we watch Israeli TV nonstop, through Apple TV and online. We’re glued to Ynet and Ha’aretz. We’re constantly on the phone with friends and family in Israel, making sure that everything is fine. And here too, it’s the major topic of conservation among Israelis.”

This time, Arbietman said, she senses a different mood. “With previous conflicts, the Israeli community here was not as united as they are now. Now people finally understand that Israelis cannot continue to live like this.

“They understand that we have to stand united, stand firm, and put and end to it once and for all.”

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