Day 13 of the conflict and I am exhausted. The siren wails again and my heart skips a beat. I quickly usher my four young children into the safe room. They run in. I close the window and close the door. We are sealed in. They are quiet. Not even the dog moves. Then boom boom. The latest rocket has been intercepted. My children sit close to me on the floor. After a few minutes they ask if they can leave the room. I relent. I want to keep them there all day, I wan to keep them safe. I know doing this is not good for them or for me. On the one hand, I want to guard them against evil, against the outside world. On the other, this would be creating even greater fear and resentment. The last thing I want. I am torn between the love of my children, self preservation and my ideals. I came to nineteen years ago shortly after the signing of Oslo. The country was full of hope. Peace will be achieved in our lifetime was uttered by everyone. Nineteen years later, we are still waiting. We are still hoping. I am a Zionist but I also believe in a two-state solution. I believe the Palestinians deserve a home to live in peace just as we do. I have been involved in interfaith and interreligious dialogue for peace on the ground and in academic circles.

I believe peace is possible. Maybe, I am naïve or perhaps I am a woman who loves this land and wants to live here. I am a mother who wants her children to thrive and to know that there is more to life than hatred. However, the world has gone mad. How do I explain to my children that the world doesn’t seem to care? The world condemns for defending itself from attack after attack. Hamas disregards the population they are supposed to be representing and protecting.

Protests abound against and rallies for Hamas? safeguards its population, sends medical aid, food and other needed supplies into Gaza, and provides electricity and other services. Yet, is condemned. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I still believe in peace, I still want to coexist with Palestinians, I still cherish my ideals. And the siren wails…


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Kershenovich Schuster, P. (forthcoming), Keeping the Home Fires Burning: The Role of Syrian-Jewish Women in Preserving Communal Identity. in Yaron Harel (ed.), Syrian Jewry: History, Identity and Heritage.Kershenovich Schuster, P. (forthcoming), Syrian Jewish Women Immigration into Mexico City in the Face of Modernity. in Rachel Sharaby (ed.), Women Immigrants. [Hebrew]Kershenovich Schuster, P. (forthcoming), Tapestry of Tastes: Sephardic/Mizrahi Women and Food in Mexico and Israel. in Anat Helman, Eli Lederhendler, and Uzi Rebhun (eds.), Jerusalem: Studies in Contemporary Jewry.Kershenovich Schuster, P. (forthcoming), Neve Tirtza Women's Prison. in Mary Zeiss Stange, Carol K. Oyster, J. Geoffrey Golson (eds.), The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. Online edition.Kershenovich Schuster, P. (forthcoming), Conceptos de Identidad, Étnicidad y Género: Comparando la Comunidad Judía (de origen sirio) y la Comunidad Libanesa en México. Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe (EIAL). [Spanish]Kershenovich Schuster, P. (2012), The Syrian Jewish Community in Mexico City in a Comparative Context: Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.Kershenovich Schuster, P. (2011), Bat Shalom. in Mary Zeiss Stange, Carol K. Oyster, J. Geoffrey Golson (eds.), The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. CA: Sage Publications.Kershenovich Sefchovich, P. (2010), The Syrian Jewish Community in Mexico City in a Comparative Context. Ph.D. Dissertation. Jerusalem: The Hebrew University Press.Kershenovich Schuster, P. (2010), Doña Gracia Nasi. HaLapid:Journal of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies. 17(1): Online edition.Kershenovich Schuster, P. (2009), 2020: Proyecciones acerca de tendencias actuales. Proceedings from the International Congress: Los judíos sirios y su diáspora en América, Memorias. [Spanish][1]Kershenovich Schuster, P. (2009), Identidad y la participación comunitaria de mujeres judías de origen sirio en la ciudad de México. in Margalit Bejarano, Florinda F. Goldberg, Yossi (Jorge) Goldstein (eds.), Judaica Latinoamericana: Estudios Históricos, Sociales y Literarios VI. Jerusalem: Magnes. [Spanish]Kershenovich Schuster, P. (2009), Stepping Out of Bounds: Communal Participation of Syrian Jewish Women in Mexico City. in Gershon Bacon et al., (eds.), Iggud- Selected Essays in Jewish Studies. (History of the Jewish People and Contemporary Jewish Society). Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies.Kershenovich Schuster, P. (2007), Private Lives and Public Roles of Syrian-Jewish Women in Mexico City: A Paradigm. Gendering Transformations. Crete: University of Crete.Kershenovich, P. (2002), Evoking the Essence of the Divine: The Construction of Identity Through Food in the Syrian Jewish Community in Mexico. in Norma Baumel Joseph (ed.), Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues. 5: 105-128.Kershenovich, P. (2000), Bat Shalom as a Case Study of a Women's Dialogue Group and its Impact on the Peace Process. in Universidad Hebraica Journal. 4(2): 3-11. [Spanish]Kershenovich, P. (1999), Jewish Women in Mexico. in Helen Epstein (ed.), Jewish Women 2000: Conference Papers from the HRIJW International Scholarly Exchanges 1997-1998. Working Paper 6: 97-107. Boston: Brandeis University. The Hadassah Research Institute on Jewish Women.Other PublicationsKershenovich Schuster, P. (January/June 2012), Book Review: El caso de la comunidad judía mexicana: El diseño estructural del estado durante el siglo XX y su interrelación con las minorías by Liz Hamui. Colección Dime. Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación. México. 2009. in Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe (EIAL). 23(1): 165-168. [Spanish]Kershenovich, P. (2003), Book Review: Vivir la Vida by Sara Sefchovich. in Latin American Jewish Studies. 23(1/2): 6-7. [Spanish][1] This entry was originally intended to be a paper that was to have been delivered at the International Congress: Los judíos sirios y su diáspora en América, Memorias during September 9-11, 2008 but due to unforeseen circumstances the author was not able to attend. Instead the paper will be included as an article in the conference proceedings.