VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The television has been on for two days straight in Nofar Trem’s home and office.
“First thing I did was call my mother and make sure everyone was OK, let out the tension I was holding in my body until someone answered,” Trem told WAVY.
Trem has lived in Hampton Roads for five years. She works at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center as the Israel Education & Engagement Manager. She served as a sergeant in the Israeli army during her mandatory service in her home country.
“For me personally, so far away from it is sort of gut wrenching,” she said.
It is gut wrenching as well for two 18-year-old women who came to Virginia Beach two months ago. They are serving as emissaries spreading awareness of Israel in Hampton Roads.
“I think our families are relived that we are not there,” Maya Ostrov said.
They cannot share pictures of their families. They fear that amid the murder and kidnappings surrounding their homes, their loved ones might be targeted.
Ostrov’s older sister is in the Israeli army now.
If not for their work in Hampton Roads, the young women would be in the army as well, alongside their siblings, cousins and classmates.
“For us, hearing that Israeli soldiers are on the way to fight, it’s calming because someone is going to fight,” said Naomi Friedland, “but its also very scary to know this is our friends who are risking their lives right now.”
They are taking some comfort in the belief that their job here is now more important than ever.
“People cannot leave their houses,” Friedland said. “There is no school, nowhere. Some people had to hide for over 24 hours in their houses because terrorists were surrounding their homes. This is the reality in Israel right now and that’s what people need to know.”
They are scared for their families and the fight. The only thing scarier for them is having no home to fight for.
“We have the right to defend our country and we need the world to know that,” Friedland said.
All three women ask for all of us to keep an open mind, stay informed and show support.
One way you can do that is to attend the Community Solidarity Gathering for Israel.
It’s happening at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday on the Sandler Family Campus at 5000 Corporate Woods Dr. off of Witchduck Road in Virginia Beach.
Elected officials and community and religious leaders will take part in the program. Enhanced security will be present.