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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press

A designated safe space

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

“If there’s an air raid siren warning of an incoming rocket attack, I will have to leave this Zoom session and go to a safe room.”

This is how I begin every online session with communities abroad.

It makes sense to me.

But I know it doesn’t make sense to my audience.

And why should it?

People in the United States and Canada (where I have been giving talks these past few weeks) don’t have a designated safe room.

Every room in their home is a safe room in the sense that they are at home, where it is safe.

But in Israel, every home or apartment must have a designated safe space.

Because Israel is a country that is often attacked by some of its neighbors.

Our homes are not always a safe place.

In fact, it is a law that every home or apartment building, public building and institutional building in Israel must have a specially built safe space in which to shelter.

Newer residential buildings often include a safe room in a family’s apartment, as one of the bedrooms or perhaps the study.

In my building, there’s a communal room on the ground floor of our building.

It has a steel door.  The room is encased by thick walls of concrete. And it is not a place you choose to go.


Unless you have to.

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