Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Civil Defense Drill

This week, Israel is conducting it's largest ever civil defense drill (read about it here). Today at 11:00 a siren went off in the city and we led the preschool students into the synagogue's bomb shelter. All the while teacher made dark and nervous jokes about how long it was taking, and then assured one another that the exercise was unrealistic as it didn't occur under the pressure of a real crisis. In the bomb shelter, teachers passed out pretzels and sang songs with the kids for ten minutes, along with the Rabbi and Cantor and the synagogue's president, who happened to be in the building at the time of the drill. Although a teacher asked me afterward if I had been scared during the drill, it hadn't occurred to me to be scared as it all seemed very similar to the fire drills conducted in the US - getting in lines and following teachers to safety. The real question, I suppose, is whether the bomb shelter is really safe in the event of a nuclear attack, and would the students be able to get there fast enough?

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