Chana Thau says there are no words to describe the experience of losing a friend after learning that Vivian Silver was confirmed dead in Israel on Monday.
“We always hoped that she was there, and her son, in one of the interviews, said that she was probably reasoning and mediating, because that was her way of doing things. But she never went that far,” she said, crying and in a breaking voice.
Silver, 74, was born in Winnipeg but spent decades in Israel advocating for peace.
She was strongly opposed to violence and helped launch several humanitarian organizations, such as the Negev Institute for Peace and Development Strategies, aimed at empowering Bedouin women, and Women Wage Peace. She also leaves a legacy of promoting a shared society between Israelis and Palestinians.
She also often drove Palestinian children to hospitals in Israel to receive life-saving treatment.
“She influenced so many people all over the world,” Thau said. “She really put her money where her mouth was.” She was pa*sionate about working for peace and believed it could be achieved.
Silver’s son, Yonatan Ziegen, told PKBNEWS in October that he had been in contact with his mother on Oct. 7 during the Hamas attack. The last message he received was: “I love you. They are inside the house.
Initially believed to be a hostage, sources have now told PKBNEWS that her remains have been identified and that she is believed to have been k**led in that initial attack.
Jeff Lieberman, CEO of the Winnipeg Jewish Federation, knew Silver’s family and says her death is devastating to the local Jewish community.
“She lived a life that everyone can respect. She was such a good person, doing – really – what she thought was important to make things better for people who weren’t so fortunate. She lived a beautiful life that way, she’s a beautiful person and she has the love of all of us,” he said.
Thau said Silver “was just amazing.”
Thau hopes the world remembers her friend as she does: “A very pa*sionate, energetic and effective person who truly accomplished a lot as a peace activist. »
She takes after her mother, Thau said.
“She had a very comfortable presence. She was also very intelligent and caring. She cared a lot about her family, her friends and politics,” Thau said. “She was just very, very aware.”
Silver’s family will gather in Israel on Thursday for his funeral, Thau said. In Winnipeg, Lieberman says the community will organize a memorial in the coming weeks.
“I know there are a lot of people who will want to be a part of this and recognize Vivian for the person she was and the horrible death she had to suffer,” Lieberman said.
– with files from Katherine Dornian of Global
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