In the aftermath of the tragic events that unfolded during the Be’eri massacre on October 7, 2023, the family of Canadian-Israeli peace activist Vivian Silver has been grappling with the profound loss of a beloved mother and advocate for women’s rights.
Vivian Silver and her husband, Lewis Zeigen, shared a life committed to making a positive impact on the world. Their union brought forth two sons, Yonatan Zeigen and Chen Zeigen, who now navigate the complexities of grief and hope in the wake of their mother’s untimely death.
Yonatan Zeigen, residing in Tel Aviv with his wife and three children, had a harrowing experience during the attack. After hearing reports of Hamas gunmen targeting civilians near his mother’s home in Be’eri Kibbutz, he reached out to her.
The situation quickly escalated, and they transitioned to texting through WhatsApp as gunshots and screams echoed in the background. The chilling culmination was Vivian’s message stating, ‘They’re inside the house.’ The family home was later reduced to ashes in the aftermath of the attack.
Chen Zeigen, the other son, currently pursuing studies at the University of Connecticut and raising a child, expressed the family’s initial glimmer of hope.
In an interview on The West Block in November 2023, he revealed that the Israeli government had provided information indicating Silver’s phone was geolocated in Gaza. This detail fueled optimism that Vivian might be alive and held captive along with others in Gaza.
“I feel there is still hope that she is alive and well and that we will be able to see her back with us,” Chen Zeigen stated during the interview, highlighting the resilience and strength that the family mustered in the face of uncertainty.
The tragedy of Vivian Silver’s death reverberates not only in the hearts of her family but also within the broader community that admired her dedication to peace and women’s rights.
As her sons, Yonatan and Chen, navigate the dual emotions of grief and hope, their mother’s legacy continues to inspire those who stand for justice and positive change in the world.