7/10/23 From darkness to strength- brave women stories event

Shirit Ben Israel

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On 7.12.23, they went on stage.

Together and separately, they told their story. Some of them have just returned from Gaza, where Hamas terrorists have kidnaped them; others are still trying to release their loved ones whom Hamas terrorists kidnapped to Gaza; two inspiring women also stood on the stage, brave mothers who only days before buried their children and some courageous soldiers defended the kibbutzim with body and spirit and together with the members of the standby units succeeded to eliminate the terrorists who threatened to massacre them.

It was a tribute event, a humble salute to the brave women of Black Saturday.

In the two weeks leading up to the event, I connected with these women through phone calls, Zoom meetings, and face-to-face interactions. 

I asked them questions, listened to their answers, and shared their incredible stories. I am still surprised by their courage, strength of mind, and resourcefulness. And maybe this is why it took me a month and a half to write the article you are reading right now.

The event, entitled “From Darkness to Strength: Stories of Inspiring Women’s Heroism,” initiated by the Women’s Forum in the Workers’ Organization of the Tel Aviv Municipality, took place on December 7, 2023, exactly two months after the day of the terrible massacre executed by Hammas that shook the entire country.

Throughout the event, we were captivated by seven hours of powerful storytelling during the event, during which we all took our breath away. The eyes were crying non-stop, the heart was beating fast, and all we wanted was to hug, wrap, and say that soon, maybe it would be a little better…


Let me share some unique stories from survivors, rescuers and brave mothers.

We started with a lecture on Black Sabbath and a brave women panel moderated by Adva Dadon.

We were moved together with Maayan Tzin, mother of 8-year-old Ella and 15-year-old Dafna, who were kidnapped to Gaza from their father’s house in Kibbutz Nir Oz, and released the night before the event.

We heard the chilling story of Ziv Abud, who participated in the “Nova” nature party in Reim and survived. But her partner Elia was kidnapped to Gaza and her nephew Amit (19) and his partner Karin were murdered at a party.

And we were moved by the story of 18-year-old Yeala Ben David, who works to recover her 22-year-old brother Eviatar, who was kidnapped at a party.

We held our breath at the shocking story of Livnat Regev Levy, mother of Naor who was murdered at a party.

We heard from brave mothers who tragically lost their children in the massacre at the ‘Nova’ party. Livnat Regev Levy, a Tel Aviv Municipality employee whose son Naor was murdered at a party in Nova, told the story of Naor’s last hours and minutes until the moment she realized he was gone.

We marveled at the story of the heroism of Sagit Levi Gelfarb, the head of a regional emergency team that saved an entire kibbutz (Erez) from the inferno.  

We were inspired by the heads of local emergency teams who saved their kibbutzim, led by Sagit Levi Galfarb, head of Kibbutz Erez, and Inbal Lieberman, who saved Kibbutz Nir Am.

In addition, we heard from the journalist Adva Dadon the stories of brave female soldiers who risked their lives to protect their communities. And we also listened to stories about kibbutz members who selflessly saved others, stories that did not leave a single dry eye in the hall.

We bled to hear the words of Riki Goldberg, a casualty officer.

The casualty officers had a difficult task, delivering devastating news to more than a thousand parents and spouses in just a few days. In an emotional lecture, Ricky revealed what happens behind the scenes of one of the most challenging and sensitive processes – when the family is told that the son, daughter, or spouse is no more.

The development of the event “from darkness to strength on 7.10.23” consisted of 4 stages:

Step 1 – From a list of speakers to exciting content to produce a 7-hour story-filled event. Exactly as it sounds: interviews, conversations, and meetings to characterize and identify the content.

Step 2 – Forming and writing the content: guidance, speeches, and Ted lectures.

Step 3: Build storytelling presentations for lectures and the event.

Step 4 – simulations and general rehearsal

The event achieved its goal: a humble salute to the brave women who contributed above and beyond to save the State of Israel in the massacre in Otef Gaza on 7.10.23, and now, we all hope for the speedy return of all the abductees.

In conclusion,

As I reflect on these stories, I have no idea how the story of the terrible massacre that surprised us on October 7 will ultimately unfold. But what is already certain is that the heroic stories of these inspiring women have already been engraved on the pages of history.

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Shirit Ben-Israel

As a storytelling consultant, I specialize in crafting compelling content for businesses. My areas of expertise include delivering impactful Ted talks, creating effective business storytelling, and developing persuasive marketing presentations.
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