Storyteller Noa Baum is an Israeli who began a heartfelt dialogue with a Palestinian woman she met while living in the United States. Baum grew up in Jerusalem under the generational shadow of the Holocaust and ongoing wars. Past stories and fear of wars from the ’60s through the ’80s shaped her identity and perceptions. The Palestinian woman had grown up under Israeli occupation, also in Jerusalem. They came from very different worlds.
An unlikely friendship bloomed as they shared memories of the war years. Baum wove their stories and shared memories into “A Land Twice Promised — An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace,” which combines honesty, compassion, and humor as she documents the drama of war and her discovery of humanity in the enemy. She will share those memories and their mothers’ stories in a presentation Saturday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
“I’d had Palestinian colleagues before, but never a friend from the West Bank,” says Baum. “Until we met, she had never known an Israeli who wasn’t a soldier or a settler. The experience of our compassion in the midst of passionate argument propelled me to create ‘A Land Twice Promised.’ Our conversations reminded me of Gene Knudsen-Hoffman’s words, ‘an enemy is one whose story we have not heard.’ I wanted my listeners to connect with our experience of discovery and common ground.”
Baum has spoken for diverse audiences of all ages, including the World Bank, U.S. Defense Department, The Kennedy Center, AARP, prestigious universities including Hebrew University in Jerusalem, inner city schools, and congregations of many faiths, in Turkey, Sweden, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Noa Baum is a masterful storyteller,” says Gerda Weissmann Klein, a Holocaust survivor and author of “All but My Life.” “She has an important story to tell. Her message is an inspiration and a pathway to all who yearn for peace.”
Baum’s presentation is appropriate for ages 12 and up. The cost is $10. For information or reservations, contact Jennifer Selco at 299-3000 or [email protected].