Israel-Australia business

PTG – post-traumatic growth

The tour was an emotional ­roller-coaster as participants went from moments of bursting with pride to being moved to tears.

IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer addresses the delegation.
IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer addresses the delegation.

Many people are saying that Israel is a country in a state of post-trauma while others say it is too early to use the word ‘post’ as the unfortunate current situation is still evolving. But the consensus is, Israel will bounce back using its innate resilience which is second nature to Israelis and permeates all walks of life, including the economy and the innovative high-tech industry.

Last week, the IACC had the pleasure of hosting the AJF – Australian Jewish Funders study tour, which included close to 30 philanthropists who went to Israel to bear witness and provide support. The overriding themes were resilience, insights, impact and inspiration.

The tour was an emotional ­roller-coaster as participants went from moments of bursting with pride to being moved to tears.

One concept which sums up where Israel is at, or perhaps where it needs to get to, is PTG – post-traumatic growth.

Yotam Polizer, CEO of IsraAID spoke about this on the final day of the AJF Study Tour. PTG recognises that trauma has occurred and is real, but the response is not a disorder but rather a positive psychological change.

As CEO of Israel’s largest humanitarian aid organisation, Polizer is a real expert in PTG through IsraAID’s incredible work around the world. On October 8, IsraAID launched its local emergency response which includes providing tangible psychosocial support to the evacuees plus education services and much more.

The AJF delegation with President of Israel Isaac Herzog and first lady Michal Herzog. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld

First responders

The AJF study tour was a jam-packed itinerary that went from early morning to late at night, including a very meaningful day down south visiting the region outside Gaza and the most affected communities. The schedule covered numerous and varied topics such as education, social finance, family foundations, advocacy, intergenerational philanthropy and then issues relevant to October 7 like gender-based-violence and injured soldiers who were simply inspiring with their positive attitude – PTG case in point.

One of the organisations visited was Israel’s main ambulance service, Magen David Adom (MDA), which played an integral and constructive role on October 7 despite the fact that Hamas pre-meditated to attack, harm and damage Israel’s emergency services. I am referring to the fact that four MDA employees were murdered on the day, another two MDA staff members are currently held hostage in Gaza and 14 MDA ambulances were intentionally destroyed.

Thankfully, over the years, MDA has developed its own home-grown technology and solutions which are globally recognised as being world class, allowing MDA to offer a holistic fleet management solution integrating AI and IoT (internet of things) connectivity, enabling remote management of essential resources.

All of which contributed to MDA saving countless lives on the day.

Paul Israel is executive director of the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce.

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