Editor’s note: Hannah Follender, who is starting her second year at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, is spending the summer in Israel working at Sherby & Co. Law Firm in Ramat Gan, right outside of Tel Aviv. The firm typically works on international litigation in Israel for foreign companies, and Follender is working with Eric Sherby, vice chair of the ABA’s Middle East Law Committee. The firm’s cases include products liability, commercial disputes, distribution and licensing agreements, international joint ventures, and corporate and securities law. After completing her first year of law school, Follender was excited to gain practical legal experience abroad and hone in on the practice area that aligns best with her interests. Just days after arriving in Israel, though, she witnessed a terrorist attack during her first week on the job. She writes about that experience here.
Only three days into my summer internship and there has been a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Four dead, eight wounded at a popular market not far from my apartment. After a full day of work I met an Israeli friend of mine for a yoga class. I rode the bus home and only slightly noticed the number of cars with sirens racing past my bus. It’s funny. A few days ago I thought about the sirens I see here on a daily basis.
I grew up attending a Jewish school in a Jewish community in New Jersey, and there were many times when I knew more about what was going on in Israel than I did in the US. I remember the newspapers my Israeli teachers would bring to school, whose covers’ showed gruesome photos of the aftermath of the suicide bombings in the 2002 intifada. I remember a classmate of mine whose grandmother was killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Passover Seder.
Because of this I grew up with a very real idea of what it means to live in a place with terrorists at your doorstep. Every trip I’ve taken to Israel since has been safe and peaceful thanks to the tireless work of the Israeli Defense Forces. I’ve found a strange comfort in sirens here because, to me, they mean that people are going about their ordinary course of daily life. I had yet to ever hear a siren or see an ambulance in response to an attack. In spite of living in such close proximity to countries and terror organizations that only call for the death of Israel and its people, this country flourishes.
Israel, a country of a mere 8 million people, leads the world in high tech innovation and is the only socially progressive country in the Middle East. Last night, I walked through my front door to messages from friends and family both in Israel and abroad and it was only then I learned what had happened. The sound of sirens and police helicopters hovering near my apartment died down after a couple of hours. Now, it’s a new day. I, like many Israelis, will leave my apartment, board a bus to work, and continue my day as normal. Life will go on, but sirens here won’t hold the same comfort anymore.
Are you a current law student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law with an interesting story about how you are spending your summer? The college is looking for student stories to publish. Please e-mail media relations manager Melinda Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your post.