How to coping with bad news is news

Coping with daily reports which we read, hear or see on TV is increasingly difficult ,here we outline coping mechanisms which can prove invaluable.


Daily we hear on the news of thousands buried under rubble after an earthquake, countless migrants drowning in the Mediterranean trying to get away from wars to a safer shore, hordes of people in refugee camps with food and water in short supply, children used in the sex trade, police shootings, fires and floods, polar bears drowning from lack of ice flows, and worsening drought in California…and we are assured that these things will only get worse.

Not all the news is really bad, but people are more likely to watch TV or read about some catastrophe somewhere in the world or a robbery in our town than a hopeful story.

coping one family

Dr Amy Farabaugh writes: “Modern news coverage sometimes focuses on violent, shocking, or disturbing content that is intended to attract attention and generate an emotional reaction in the audience.” So the media follows the dictate: “If it bleeds, it leads,” and spins even neutral stories negatively. All of this may attract readers and viewers, but it is not an accurate picture of the state of our world if it only deals with the negatives.

Bad news has so much power because we have a visceral reaction when we hear or see it, we are literally hit in our gut. Many people get really anxious or depressed when exposed to so much suffering and turmoil. Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate, had a special newspaper printed for him with only good news. Pessimistic people may actually look for depressing or anxiety producing stories to reinforce their views of the world. Even I, though tending to be optimistic, get upset and have a heartache about the suffering, starving, displaced, frightened children in the newspaper photos.

Marian Preble, told the story of two little girls playing in a rose garden, one came running to her mother terribly upset about all the thorns that could prick her fingers, but the other came back all excited about the beautiful roses growing everywhere.

coping one family

Dr. Richard A. Friedman, clinical psychiatry professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, has found a genetic variation in the brain that makes some people able to cope better with bad news, forgetting bad experiences, while others tend to remember every detail of negative events and perceive them all as having equal weight, so that the loss of a good parking spot seems as terrible as the loss of an heirloom.

Certain announcements (“You’re fired,” “I want to break up,” “There’s been an accident”) have a way of slamming into your life like a wrecking ball. When they do, researchers have discovered a healthy way to cope: a simple technique called self-distancing.

coping one family

Rather than immersing oneself in the bad news and sinking into obsessive analysis, “self-distancing essentially gives you a psychological time-out,” says Ethan Kross, PhD, “It involves taking a mental step back from a painful episode. You become a fly on the wall, watching yourself in the experience and reflecting on it from a distance.

Coping mechanisms

Meditation is used by many as an antidote to the constant stimuli battering their brains. Coping with bad news by going for a walk, being in nature, and looking at trees were also frequently mentioned. Being part of a support group where problems can be shared is helpful to some. One idea of particular interest is making a rule that for the next meal the conversation cannot touch on medical, family problems or politics. The topics suggested are books one is reading, worthwhile journal articles, and the positive actions one is taking—in other words, talking about ideas, intellectual pursuits, and all the fun stuff.

The way Dr Amy Farabaugh deals with her own sadness of the coming demise of the polar bears is by remembering how evolution works: species come and species go. The polar bears may become extinct, however, some have begun mating with brown bears, so she is looking forward to a whole new species of speckled or striped bears. You cannot do anything about suffering multitudes, but if you turn to the problems of children in the city, you have some leverage by either funding a program or speaking up on behalf of some organisation that is making a difference.

In one experiment, Kross and his colleagues asked students to think of a difficult episode from their past. Those in one group were told to relive the event as if it were happening again; the others were instructed to visualize moving away from the situation to a vantage point where they could watch themselves in the unfolding drama as if it were a video. The self-distancing group not only felt less distressed but registered notably lower blood pressure. “This distancing,” Kross says, “facilitates the ability to work through the event, leading people to have insights that buffer them against future negative reactions. If you ask them to recall the same experience a week later, they don’t become as upset as people who don’t distance. They also ruminate less.”

So focus on what you can control

Discuss the troublesome news with others to try to get a different perspective;

  • Pay attention to upbeat stories, heroes are everywhere
  • Look for news of new research
  • Look at innovations in technology, medicine, design, art, or architecture; meditate; list five things you were grateful for today
  • Take a walk
  • Talk to a friend
  • Listen to music
  • Smile
  • Whenever bad feelings recur, try distancing
  • Mentally take a step back so you can visualise yourself in the experience—it’s now happening to the person (you) over there.
  • Ask why this person is reacting the way she is. (Don’t focus on what happened, or you’ll become overwhelmed with negative feelings.)
  • As you watch the person go through the event, try to make sense of why they are having these feelings
  • Try distancing again

Credits; Tim Jarvis –

Credits; Dr Natasha Josefowitz – Huffington Post



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Running with Aaron – a story of endurance

The story below is featured in the One Family UK Haggadah which is available here 

The One Family Haggadah features hand drawn images relating to the Pesach story by pupils from the Sobell Sinai school in north London. There are articles throughout the haggadah featuring the work carried out supporting victims of terror and moving personal victims stories which also relate to the Pesach story.

Marathon - One Family haggadah

Aaron, (26), was critically wounded during Operation Cast Lead in 2009 after he and his unit entered a booby-trapped house on the outskirts of Gaza. Aaron was the platoon commander of the 890th paratrooper regiment. Only two days before the start of the operation he had married his beloved wife Tzvia.

The morning after the wedding, Aaron’s commander called him and asked him if he could lead his troops into Gaza – Aaron and Tzvia did not hesitate! Aaron left his newlywed wife and joined his soldiers who he would soon lead into battle.

On the third day of Operation Cast Lead, Aaron and his troops searched a house in Gaza, which turned out to be booby-trapped. While in the house, the force of the explosion collapsed the building on top of Aaron and two soldiers, who were lightly injured. Aaron, however, suffered critical multiple injuries to his head, face, and chest, while his body took hundreds of pieces of shrapnel.

Aaron was air evacuated in critical condition to Beilinson Hospital and was operated on by Dr. Steven Jackson, a senior Neurosurgeon, who operated on Aaron’s penetrating brain injury. Aaron remained in a critical condition and few believed he would survive. Dr. Jackson and his team saved Aaron’s life, and during his three weeks in hospital, Aaron made a miraculous recovery, regaining consciousness. When his condition stabilized he was transferred to Tel Hashomer Rehabilitation Hospital, where he began a long rehabilitation and recovery process that continues till today.

As a result of his injuries, Aaron is now confronted with problems such as finding the correct words when he speaks, remembering names, and has difficulties focusing cognitively. However, there was a time when doctors did not think that he would ever speak or walk — let alone live.  

Aaron frequently says, “To get to where I am despite all the hardships I went through, for me it’s a miracle and divine providence. It is true that there are other difficulties that stand in front of me but I believe that I can move them and move forward. It is important to look at the good things in life and grow out of the difficulty. It is impossible to explain the course of events and difficulties that will always face some of us in life, but it is important to know to continue even when it is hard and it seems impossible.”

Over the last four years, Dr. Jackson has operated on Aaron several times, and together they have been trying to improve Aaron’s his motor skills and quality of life. Dr. Jackson and his wife, Yitzchaka a lawyer and paediatric Intensive care nurse, have been helping Aaron with his rehabilitation.

Marathon - One Family
New York Marathon

Yitzchaka, an avid runner, approached Aaron six months ago. She had known him from immediately after his injury and saw a tremendous change in him. Yitzchaka explained to Aaron, that, even though her husband saved his life, he need not give up on future dreams, but he can go further to conquer his challenges. Yitzchaka asked Aaron’s permission to guide him through a new challenge that she was planning to offer him. She approached him with the idea of running together with her on November 3rd, in the N.Y. Marathon, so that Aaron can help and give back and show gratitude to the One Family Fund who has been supporting him since his injury four years ago. OneFamily has helped not only Aaron Karov but also 3500 families across Israel who have been bereaved and injured by acts of terrorism.

Despite the physical hardships, Aaron agreed to join the challenge, and after being examined by doctors he was given the green light to run the New York City Marathon. Yitzchaka Jackson has been training Aaron for the last four months, running up to four times a week with him preparing him for the grueling and challenging New York Marathon ahead. Aaron is on a rigorous schedule with the help of a dietician, regular health checks in Wingate Institute,all this in order to prepare him for this upcoming challenge.

Let’s help them reach and cross the finish line! This is important so that they can continue to help others by serving as an example of successful rehabilitation despite the effects and damages of terror.


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Butterfly brings hope to victim of terror

The story below is featured in the One Family UK Haggadah which is available here 

The One Family Haggadah features hand drawn images relating to the Pesach story by pupils from the Sobell Sinai school in north London. There are articles throughout the haggadah featuring the work carried out supporting victims of terror and moving personal victims stories which also relate to the Pesach story.

One Family

Yakov Z”L was killed on 11.06.2003, whilst riding on bus 14 in Jerusalem, he was nearly 22 years old.
Yakov’s brother tells a story

On the second day of an end of year school outing we where on our way to Tiberias I fell asleep on the bus. Suddenly I see Yakov in front of me. He’s glowing and dressed in white. He says to me I’m going somewhere, I’m leaving. I said what do you mean you’re leaving? Where are you going to? He said, you will understand later… I said when? Where? He said you will know when you will find out… the dream continued … he said go home to my room, on the fourth shelf behind my jeans in the pocket of my shirt you will find a necklace; give it to Ima on Friday night. On the top of the TV in my room there is a purple stone, give it to Aba. On Friday night during shabbath meal a butterfly will come in, it will be me. Tell the family not to chase to butterfly away.

I woke up shaking from the dream in hysterics and in a total state of shock. The friend who was sitting next to me asked me what was going on. I remember saying: my life is over.

A few moments later the song that was playing on the radio was interrupted and news broke that an attack on bus 14 had happen and that there were casualties…

The day a butterfly visited

I remember few days later a large beautiful butterfly came into our home he wanted to be with us close to the table where we where all sitting. He wasn’t flying around the room but rather stayed close by us resting on the curtain nearby, it felt like that’s exactly where he wanted to be; with us.

Buitterfly - One Family UK

I thought about it, the fact that he came to warn me and to tell me he was leaving was so we wouldn’t be sad knowing he was going to a good place. It would be painful to him to know we were sad missing him.

Yakov’s mother: A few months before he was killed Yakov said to me: Ima I want a baby brother. I said: you’re crazy I already have four kids and that’s plenty! He said: if you have him I will look after him! I will play airplane with him…

On 7th January 2007 twins Ori and Liraz where born.

On Yom hazikaron we brought Ori and Liraz to Yakov’s grave for the first time. We laid a blanket on our Yakov and put the baby’s on him. We told Yakov: there are your new brothers! You see we listened to you and here they are the two of them. Now you can show them airplanes like you wished in your own way.

Yakov’s second name was Chaim –Life, life carries on


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Israel – Is it a safe place to travel to?

About Israel

Israel is a small, narrow, semi-arid country on the south-eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. It entered history some 35 centuries ago when the Jewish people forsook its nomadic way of life, settled in the Land and became a nation.

​Israel is a land and a people. The history of the Jewish people, and its roots in the Land of Israel, spans some 35 centuries. It’s cultural, national and religious identity was formed here, its physical presence has been maintained unbroken throughout the centuries, even after the majority was forced into exile. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence, lost almost 2,000 years earlier, was renewed.​​​​​


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Map of Israel



Thousands of years of history, the in-gathering of the Jews from over 70 countries, a society of multi-ethnic communities living side by side, and an unending flow of international input via satellite and cable have contributed to the development of an Israeli culture which reflects worldwide elements while striving for an identity of its own. Cultural expression through the arts is as varied as the people themselves, with literature, theatre, concerts, radio and television programming, entertainment, museums and galleries for every interest and taste.

The official languages of the country are Hebrew and Arabic, but in the country’s streets many other languages can be heard. Hebrew, the language of the Bible, long restricted to liturgy and literature, was revived a century ago, accompanying the renewal of Jewish life in the Land.

​​​Tourism in Israel

A total of 3.1 million tourists visited Israel in the year 2015, according to figures released recently by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Additionally, an all-time record was set in the number of Israeli departures abroad with almost six million departures.

On the whole Israel is extremely safe to travel through, however we are all aware of the news stories which discuss terrorism and this makes the traveller more aware of the risks and attacks that can occur. We know from the various members of our organisation who travel regularly to Israel that they never encounter problems. Realistically like any other country as long as you stay in safe areas and do not cross borders you will remain safe.

Favourite places to visit are Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Netanya, Herzliya and Galilee.





















It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Israel is located smack in the middle of one of the world’s biggest political hotspots. But it does take a few to keep this tiny country along the eastern Mediterranean safe and secure, and that seems to be why Israel is bouncing back big time.

Israel is no doubt one of the planet’s top bucket list destinations for travellers from all over the world. As a hub of three of the world’s major religions and being cradle-of-civilization-adjacent, the modern state of Israel literally sits on top of thousands of years of incredibly dense history. At the same time, it is also a diverse, vibrant, trendy, and modern country with great night life that would be a top tourist destination even without its ancient biblical roots.


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The Dead Sea

In the past, semi-frequent wars and skirmishes with its neighbours have kept many tourists at bay, and recent conflicts ensured a recent flood of sensational news headlines in the States and Europe that left Israel’s tourism industry in a decline, however this is now growing at a very fast rate again.

Unbeknownst to many, over the past 15 years Israel has implemented a series of both low-tech and high-tech solutions that have amazingly rendered the vast majority of the country perfectly safe and secure even during the occasional flare-ups around its borders.

In 2002, following another round of suicide bombings intentionally targeting Israeli civilians, the government built a physical wall around nearly its entire border with the West Bank. The combination of enormous concrete slabs along some of the more urban stretches with highly sophisticated “smart fences” (which can detect cutting, climbing, jumping, and even stray animals) along the more rural parts of the border almost immediately helped bring about a 98% decline in terrorism in the country by the following year.


Sunset over Tel Aviv

Similarly, Israel’s state-of-the-art Iron Dome missile defence system detects and shoots down any rockets that are now fired into the country from the militants who embed themselves in civilian neighbourhoods in the neighbouring Gaza Strip. While these rockets usually don’t go any farther than the desert area surrounding that border, ones that find their way farther into the country are met with not one but two Iron Dome intercept missiles as backup. Israel is even now nearing completion of a much more advanced system to intercept and destroy longer range guided missiles, such as the kind that more militarized countries like Iran would have access to.

The United States have only had marginal success developing their own missile defence systems dating back to the days of the Star Wars initiatives under President Reagan, however Israel has implemented a system of both tight border and air security that allows Israelis to now go about their daily lives under a blanket of relative calm, stability, and security. For tourists to Israel, this means that visiting the country and even traveling around within it is completely safe, despite the occasional incident or flare up that makes the news back home.



Jaffa to Tel Aviv promenade at night

Despite tourists’ initial queasiness with returning to Israel in mid to late 2014, the few last years have seen a return to higher levels of international visitors. Recently, Israel once again hosted the Middle East’s only LGBT Pride celebration in Tel Aviv and it was its largest one to date, not to mention one of the world’s hottest and most diverse Pride celebrations anywhere.

DJ’s on the beach pumped music out over the white sand and azure Mediterranean by day, and clubs and bars packed in crowds from all over Israel in addition to Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America by night. Cafes, restaurants, and tourist sites throughout the rest of the country were bustling again, and many visitors were even giving Jordan a little tourist love too by jetting over to Petra for a day while they were close by.

There’s no doubt that the political situation in the region remains tense and there are some very serious and consequential issues of territory, citizenship, and governance of the Palestinian people that must be settled before a true blanket of peace will fall on this part of the Middle East. But even while the political processes, dialogues, negotiations, and yes even occasional fights and skirmishes continue, the reality on the ground within Israel proper is that the country is certainly a secure and safe destination for international tourists to visit.








Sunset over Jerusalem


Be’er Sheva
Be’er Sheva
Shopping Mall Be’er Sheva












Travel notes

All visitors to Israel are subject to background checks and security screening. Israel mandates the use of profiling while conducting these checks. These precautionary measures are Israel’s way of attempting to mitigate any violence within its borders.





Israel supports a modernised medical industry that is equivalent to those in ay modern western state. In order to keep tourists safe, the country offers emergency signs and information about hospitals, medical facilities and pharmacies in English and other languages. No vaccinations are required to visit the country, but the World Health Organisation issues occasional travel advisories to help keep you safe from outbreaks as it would anywhere else in the world. It is recommended to obtain medical insurance when visiting Israel to help prevent unwanted costs from emergencies.


Travel within the country is generally considered safe in regards to road conditions, but urban roadways are often crowded, with some drivers failing to practice safe procedures such as maintaining a good following distance and signalling.


So pack up your bags, book your flights and have a safe trip to Israel

and enjoy all the delights that the region has to offer , safely.

Bon Voyage!


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