As I was returning from Israel on Wednesday night, a series of horrifying reports surfaced of yet another terror attack aimed at innocent civilians in Tel Aviv. (Read CJP's statement)
Early this morning, I learned that one of the victims had close ties to the Boston area.
Michael Feige was a highly respected academic and former visiting professor at Brandeis. He was a beloved colleague and friend to many in our community.
We also learned more about the three other victims: Ido Ben Ari, 42, a father of two and ex-commando from Ramat Gan; Ilana Naveh, 39, a mother of four from Tel Aviv; and Mila Mishayev, 32, from Rishon LeZion, a woman about to be married who was able to make one heartbreaking final phone call to her fiancé before dying of her wounds.
This act of terror has caused such senseless loss and enormous pain in Israel and in our community.
The statement below is from Ilan Troen, one of Professor Feige's former colleagues at the University:
"Prof. Michael Feige, who was a Visiting Professor at Brandeis’ Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, NEJS and Anthropology, was one of the victims of the terror attack in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, June 8. Professor Feige was a beloved colleague and friend of many in our community and a reminder of how close terror is to each of our lives.
Michael was a gentle man and a sensitive teacher. His scholarship earned him the annual Shapira Prize in 2010 of the Association for Israel Studies for the best book published in Israel Studies: Settling in the Hearts; Jewish Fundamentalism in the Occupied Territories.
A graduate of the Hebrew University in sociology and anthropology, much of his work was focused on memory and identity in Israeli politics and culture. He engaged in original research on the settlement movement and Gush Emunim as well as on Peace Now, the use of archaeology in contemporary Israel, the assassination of Rabin and religious fundamentalism, and the place of Ben-Gurion in national memory.
After his degree he spent a year as a Fellow of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and then returned to Israel where he joined the Ben-Gurion Research Center for the Study of Israel and Zionism at the Ben-Gurion University campus in Sde Boker. He was serving as the head of the BGU program in Israel Studies.
He leaves a wife and three daughters, and many friends and admirers. May his family and friends find comfort among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."
We join with the Brandeis community and with our brothers and sisters in Israel in remembering Michael, Ido, Ilana and Mila. Their memories will be a blessing to all those who knew and loved them.