Culture & Community

Weizmann on the Home Front: A Zoom Series, December 19, 2023

On December 19, the Weizmann Institute hosted the fifth installment of the “Weizmann on the Home Front” Zoom series for the global Weizmann community. The topic was “Stress and Resilience in the Face of War.”

Weizmann Institute President Prof. Alon Chen, a renowned scientist in the study of stress, was joined by Prof. Orit Nuttman-Shwartz, founder of the School of Social Work at Sapir College in Israel, who studies the effect of continuous and shared exposure to security threats on individuals, families, and communities. 

Prof. Chen shared what happens inside the brain and body when exposed to stressful events like the October 7 terrorist attack. Prof. Nuttman-Shwartz discussed her 20-year work studying the stress and resilience of the population living near the Gaza Strip. What does it mean to live under continuous traumatic stress? How does continuous exposure to stress affect relationships, human development, and attitudes? And how do some people successfully cope with stress?