Michal grew up in Beit Zayit, fourth daughter to Daniella and Rafael Sela, out of six children. Michal worked as a social worker at an elementary school in Jerusalem. At 32, on October 3, 2019, she was brutally murdered in her home. The accused of murder is the man who entered her heart and home, the father of her baby daughter.
Michal, as her name, accommodated others and gave with all her heart her whole life. She cared for, supported, rehabilitated and accompanied mentally ill people, youth at-risk, Holocaust survivors, sexual assault victims, people with special needs, guided parents, and assisted children with emotional difficulties and physical disabilities.
Michal conducted international festivals, established and managed a program to promote the English language in the Jewish Agency (a program that continues to this day), mentored overseas youth, worked as a Perach (a National program for social impact) coordinator and was elected as a student representative at the Tel Hai College Student Union. She is a graduate of a pre-military preparatory to social leadership "Nachshon" and has a bachelor's degree in special education and education combined with arts. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in social work at the Hebrew University with a grade of 91.68. She completed her degree ten days before the murder.
Michal Sela loved art by itself and also used art as a tool. A tool for helping others, her patients, and as a tool for self reflection and self expression. Michal's love for art is reflected in her handmade works, her writings, her frequent visits to exhibitions, museums, photographs she took of street art, nature and the like. Michal used to treasure souvenirs and postcards from the places she visited. She kept, wrote, drew, sculpted, cut and pasted memories of the wonder and the emotions that accompanied her as she breathed art, experiences and colors. Her love for paper and book has been immense throughout her life. From birth Michal loved listening to stories, from the day she could read, she eagerly gulped down all the books in her parents' house and as a proper bookworm she has also been wearing glasses. She has always been writing personal diaries - one after the other, and distributed letters and personal greetings embellished with poems, poetic empowerment sentences, colors and paintings.
Even in adulthood, her bag always had hardcover diary and pens and on her desk there was always paint, waiting for her to finish writing and start drawing. Michal's art work was varied and she also incorporated sculpture and pottery.
Every moment, Michal admired the magic of the trees, quiet of the outdoors and the beauty of nature. There, she would find a rock or a large tree, spread a cloth at its feet, sat down and pulled a notebook of her bag, papers and pencil with stationery, and crayons. She wrote and painted her world in those moments, leaving behind her thoughts, ideas, experiences and testimonies for who she is and what's in her heart. There, among trees, streams and expanses, she processed her experiences. Sometimes she took her mandala book, colored and breathed the soul, accumulated energy for the rest of the week, which was always packed with work and activity.
Those who knew Michal experienced her in the colors, her joy of life and the clothes she designed for herself. The versatility of her art and her work transformed every item she wore into Michal and everything she touched into art. With the help of the arts she solved problems, cared for others and listened to herself.
As Michal wrote, her words danced, and as Michal danced the way her body moved told a story, created mesmerizing movement art.
Michal beamed upon us as a bright sun, soft and hugging. Her brutal death, like a thunder on a bright day, instilled great darkness, searing and overwhelming. The cheerful rainbow colors were painted in a black river, flooded with tears. At the same time, after the light went out, the hundreds of sunbeams broke and began to shine through the darkness and returned as love arrows into the hearts, right into the hearts of Michal's loved ones, her family and friends, and with spectacular power. Hundreds and thousands of caressing beams, every picture, story, memory, heartwarming greeting, funny video, inspirational quote, a thankful text message from a patient of hers, a Facebook message from a woman who says that thanks to Michal she left the cycle of violence. Like surprising and joyful gifts from Michal, which kee teaching us about the goodness in people, the goodness and giving that were the essence and the whole of Michal. More and more comforting beams that allow Michal's lovers to feel the warmth of the sun that she was, her light and strength.
Did you know Michal? Did Michal write you a greeting? Do you have a picture with her? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org