What leadership skills are necessary to lead communities in times of emergency and disaster? Tel Aviv University’s one-year MDM program in Emergency and Disaster Management, prepares students to protect and guide in today’s challenging times.
Tamar Uriel-Beeri, managing editor of Jpost.com, interviews Leora Wine, a student in the TAU International program, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Director of Disaster Response, to learn how she applies the skills she is learning in the program in her daily work.
Wine, who holds a BA from Emory University in Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations and has worked for the JDC for more than ten years responding to humanitarian disasters worldwide, and developing strategic partnerships, explains that one of the biggest buzzwords today in disaster management that she has learned is resilience. “We know,” Wine tells Uriel-Beeri, “that resilient communities are made up of resilient people – people that have been through a disaster, that are in disaster-prone areas that know that they’re coming again.” She adds that preparing for disaster not only helps when it strikes but also provides a sense of calm, which is crucial when dealing with these situations.
With all of her years of experience in the field, Wine says that the masters program has helped her take what she has learned in the classroom and apply it to her practical day-to-day work. She likens the skills she is learning at TAU to learning a new word in a foreign language and using it outside the classroom. “Now, I can use it more confidently and in a better way.”
Wine adds that the program covers a wide variety of essential topics. “The Master of Disaster Management has touched upon so many different sectors,” she says. “It’s law and ethics and cybersecurity and risk communication, and psychology – there are so many pieces that come together that I’m able to identify it in the work I’m doing.”