For Israelis, confronting loss is a touchstone of social resilience. Forged in the heat of epic wars and ongoing defensive battles, Israeli society has learned to overcome the shock of military casualties and resume the course of daily life.  For the mothers and wives of fallen servicemen, however, bereavement is a life long struggle.

Now, researchers from the school of social work at Sapir Academic College have been recognized by the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization for their pioneering research into relations between mothers and wives of soldiers killed in action. Drs. Einav Segev, Irit Regev and Yael Hochman recently published a groundbreaking study on the loss of husband and son from the double perspective of their survivors. The complex relationship between mother and widow after the death of the man at the heart of their familial connection is critical to the emotional resilience of the families involved – and the greater good of society. This relationship, however, is often marred by conflicting and ambivalent perspectives on matters such as guilt, self-blame and acceptance. Their study points to the centrality of the relationship between widows and bereaved mothers in the process of coping with loss.  At Sapir, promoting social resilience is a cornerstone of our academic mission.

The Sapir Barometer of social resilience, developed to evaluate the wellbeing of communities in the Gaza envelope under stress of military conflict, is now widely used as a tool for gauging resilience throughout Israeli society. Drs. Segev, Regev and Hochman have made a significant contribution to this endeavor -- while providing new insight into the never ending struggle of those women whose lives have forever been shattered by the tragedy of war.

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