( – Yuri A /

In an era marked by global connectivity, the resilience of community can transcend geographical boundaries. In the wake of a brutal attack on Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization, Israelis found themselves finding it difficult to cope emotionally and mentally. Many battle insomnia, faced with fears, trauma and sadness that make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. An initiative started by Israelis living in Australia, now offers people emotional support via Zoom during the nighttime hours, leveraging technology to provide assistance to their compatriots facing difficulties back home, YNET reports.

Building a virtual support network

The initiative, titled Hibuk or translated into English as Hug Through the Night, was launched by educator Efrat Wolfson, wellbeing coach Yahav Vidor, and Lina Fleish, who offers guided imagery and healing

“We talked to our families in Israel and many of them were saying how difficult it was for them to cope, especially how hard it was for them to sleep, since during the nighttime hours they were overcome with anxiety. So we came up with this idea to do something during the night in Israel, when here in Australia it is morning,” Vidor told Goodnet.

“We decided to offer an open zoom to anyone who can’t fall asleep, where we will allow a space that is not therapeutic, but simply offers relaxation. The response was greater than expected,” Wolfson told YNET, adding “It’s hard not to be in Israel at times like this, especially when life around us here continues as usual and our hearts are completely in Israel. We channeled the feeling of helplessness into this project that allows us to help even from afar.”

The project currently operates from Saturday-Thursday from 22:30-2:30 Israel time. Joining the original founders, to date the initiative has some 50 volunteers from Australia, Canada, the US and Costa Rica.

(Photo courtesy @ Hug Through the Night)

Connecting across the miles

Hug Through the Night is a virtual support network that is a testament to the strength of community bonds, offering a safe space where individuals can share their experiences, offer advice, and express empathy and provide a sense of belonging and understanding.

Volunteers have received heartwarming feedback from participants who have found comfort and support in joining the Zoom meetings. Vidor shared some positive feedback with Goodnet. “Before I started joining the meetings with you I could not fall asleep. You have really changed my life, in some ways saved my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“This project does not provide help just to the participants but it is good for the volunteers as well. Giving of ourselves this way is so much more personal and powerful than just sending a donation,” Vidor explained to Goodnet.

In the face of challenging times, the Israelis living abroad have demonstrated that compassion, understanding, and a shared commitment to supporting one another can flourish, even in the virtual realm. The unity forged through this grassroots online community serves as a shining example of the enduring ties that bind communities, regardless of where they are on the map.


This article was originally published on Goodnet and appears here with permission.


Skip to content