An international conference on treating terror victims was held on September 13 – 15, with the participation of experts and professionals from Israel and abroad, at the initiative of the New School of Psychology at IDC Herzliya and the Jewish Agency Fund for the Victims of Terror. This is the first advanced academic conference focusing on the victims of terror and their families. The conference dealt with the impact of terror attacks on society and the individual and presented theoretical approaches and practical methods of helping the victims.
Among the topics to be discussed at the conference: Helping terror victims, bereaved families and orphaned children in Israel; how young people in the north cope with the threat from Hezbollah; new immigrants coping with terror; the effect of terror attacks on the health of the victims, and the connection between terrorist incidents and sleep disturbances; how Twin Towers survivors and American soldiers wounded in Iraq deal with trauma, and more.
In addition, a new research examining the needs of terror victims in Israel will be presented, including their psychological, economic, nursing and bureaucratic needs. The research has been carried out by the New School of Psychology at IDC Herzliya, at the initiative of the Jewish Agency Fund for the Victims of Terror, and is intended to give the Jewish Agency practical tools for helping terror victims in areas where Israel’s official state institutions do not provide a response.
Among the speakers at the conference: Prof. Mario Mikulincer, Dean of the New School of Psychology at IDC Herzliya; Dr. Boaz Ganor, head of the International Institute for Counter Terrorism at IDC Herzliya; Prof. George Bonanno of Columbia University; Prof. Stevan Hobfoll of Rush Medical College in Chicago; Prof. Steven Joseph of Nottingham University; Prof. Fran Norris of Dartmouth University; Prof. Zehava Solomon of Tel Aviv University; Prof. Michal Shamai of Haifa University; Prof. Netanel Laor of Tel Aviv University; and other researchers and representatives of government and volunteer institutions.
The New School of Psychology at IDC Herzliya, headed by the Dean, Professor Mario Mikulincer, who is one of the world’s leading and most highly regarded researchers of social psychology, was established in a spirit of innovation and excellence, with the aim of creating, disseminating and applying psychological know-how, and its teachers include the best lecturers and researchers from universities in Israel and around the world. The program of studies at the New School of Psychology is innovative and unique, and right from the stage of undergraduate studies students are exposed to new fields of psychology, such as positive psychology, organizational psychology, political psychology, psychology of the internet, business psychology, and so on, with the aim of giving them the tools and practical, hands-on experience that will enable them to discover the different fields of psychology and the interfaces between psychology and other areas of social science.
The Jewish Agency Fund for the Victims of Terror provides supplementary assistance to victims of hostile actions or their families in a wide range of fields. Since its establishment, it has helped 1,300 terror victims and their families, giving out a total of over NIS 35 million, and among others supporting victims of the Second Lebanon War and of the Kassam rockets. The fund is supported by donations from the United Jewish Communities of North America, and other donors around the world.