My name is Adi Menda-Blu and I am a former Central Shicha of Hashomer Hatzair USA. My connection with Hashomer Hatzair is a lifelong one. I grew up in a Hashomer Hatzair kibbutz, the granddaughter of one of the founders of the kibbutz. Growing up alongside the values of Hashomer Hatzair has influenced all of the choices I made in life. Believing in equality and concern for others are not just slogans, but a way of life. My connection to Hashomer Hatzair in the United States began when I arrived as a shlicha in 2018. I met a wonderful community of people who entered my heart and the hearts of my family.
In my work, I am involved in rehabilitation in the field of mental health. I believe that every person has the right to live their life fully and to feel a part of society and the community in which they live. These are the things that I strive to promote in my work.
The current war has caught me and most Israelis very unprepared. In many ways, I feel that something in me has broken forever. I have met many people who have experienced so much trauma and miraculously survived. The depth of horror is something that even a month and a half later, I still find very difficult to comprehend and accept. I feel that many of my beliefs have been shaken, and I hope that we will be able to emerge from this crisis.
In addition to my work in mental health alongside my other role as a lecturer at Sapir Academic College, both located in the southern region, I also volunteer in the welfare team in my kibbutz in case of emergency.
I believe that the Shomeric values of mutual support and helping those in need have guided me and my community especially during this recent period. Many people who have experienced trauma are now receiving psychological treatment. It pleases me to know that more and more people today are aware of the need for therapy and have the ability to seek help and support in times of crisis. This is not taken for granted in Israeli society, and I am happy that at least awareness of the importance of treatment has increased following the war. Early intervention has a critical impact on reducing the development of post-traumatic symptoms.
Since the war began, the Hashomer Hatzair community established a support system that provides assistance to those who came seeking refuge, to their families, and to all members of our community who needed support.
If I had one message to the Shomeric community during these challenging times, I would say that we need to hold on to our values and principles, even in the face of difficult and unexpected challenges. The sense of community, mutual support, and the belief in equality should be our guiding principles.