Shlicha’s/Shaliach’s View

Celebrating resilient Israeli women

As these words are being written, the entire world is looking anxiously toward the future, and the effects of the coronavirus. We can’t avoid it — people in supermarkets are stocking up, and news from all over the world arrives on our screens with alarming updates, political debates on… Read more »

Preparing for elections, for the third time

As I go around the community in Tucson, many people ask me what I think about Israeli politics. Who is going to “win,” what will the future look like, plus questions about how our political system with its many parties works and how it relates to the world and… Read more »

‘Shtisel’ watch party, lecture to give insight into Israel’s ultra-Orthodox

The ultra-Orthodox make up some 13% of Israel’s population. The main cities in which this largely secluded population lives are Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, with large ultra-Orthodox communities in Elad, Betar Illit, and Modi’in Illit. There also are ultra-Orthodox communities in mixed cities such as Sefad, Ashdod, and Tiberius.… Read more »

Gaza clash evokes painful memories of rockets, shelters

As these words are being written, an Israel-Gaza truce has been already achieved, after 48 hours of intensive fighting. The attack from Gaza — retaliation for an Israeli action against an Islamic Jihad leader — included over 300 rockets fired at Israeli communities near and far. Eighty Israelis were… Read more »

Easy or not, it’s all about participation

Inbal Shtivi, Tucson’s shlicha, votes in the Israeli election at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, Sept. 5. (Courtesy Inbal Shtivi)

The dark I-10 road of the Arizona desert was never-ending. Hours and hours of driving, passing dozens of trailer trucks, with both kids sleeping in their seats. Me and my husband, Eran, perfectly awake, fully aware to the dangers of this night ride. We were listening to music downloaded… Read more »

Ethiopian aliyah stories resonate amid protest

Oshrat Barel

Ethiopian protest in Israel It’s been more than 30 years since the first immigrants came from Ethiopia to Israel. As a young teenager I remember the new immigrants coming to the merkaz klita (absorption center) in Revaya next to my hometown. My mother volunteered as the chair of the… Read more »

Shlicha’s view: Contemplating Israeli election, family politics

Even if a donkey will be at the head of the Likud, you will vote Likud,” I laughed with my father, and he said, “Yes,” smiling, “because I am a man of ideology.” I was raised in a pluralistic home in terms of political approach. My beloved late father… Read more »

As elections near, Israelis seek new way forward

Oshrat Barel

Elections in Israel — why now? During my recent visit to Israel, many of the conversations I had with family and friends were about the upcoming elections in Israel. The fact that the elections are being held prematurely did not come as a surprise, especially given that Israel has… Read more »

Two writers’ views of Israel and a sad goodbye

Oshrat Barel

  Israeli culture Every year there is an Israeli book or two that tries to shed new light on the complicated situation in Israel. I found two recent books very interesting and in a way even complementary.  “The Industry of Lies” by Ben-Dror Yemini explores the mechanism that causes… Read more »

Terror demands appropriate, careful response

Oshrat Barel

Terror in Israel, again Since the recent escalation of terror in Israel, I have been asked about one of the latest incidents in which a young Israeli Arab from Kafr Kana ran toward an Israeli police car and stabbed at the car. Several policemen stepped out of the car… Read more »

Exodus to Berlin, Rabbi Akiva and a kind family

Oshrat Barel

Current Israel “I have a dream,” wrote a young Israeli, Naor Narkis, several years ago, describing the life he would love to have. Now the 25-year-old is leading a social protest that is making him a role model for many young Israelis, even though for weeks he kept his… Read more »

Naivety lost, but hope for peace must always remain

Oshrat Barel

Current Israel So much has already been written about the past summer in Israel, the kidnap and murder of our three teens, nonstop missiles firing into Israel, tunnels, terrorism and the double standards of the international media. It is almost four months since it began. Only last week, while… Read more »

Sacrifices add to the power of Israel’s Independence Day

From Commemoration to Celebration The uniqueness and in a way, also the beauty, of Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut) is that it doesn’t stand on its own. Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah) and the Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror (Yom Hazikaron) serve as the buildup,… Read more »

Around the world, when rescue is needed, Israel is first to help

Oshrat Barel

Line between life and death/ ­good and evil Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu likes to draw lines, especially red ones, as he claimed at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee national conference earlier this month. What caught me in his speech, to a very welcoming audience, wasn’t the Iranian… Read more »

Israel memorial, rally honor the disenfranchised

Oshrat Barel

Pluralism in Israel Israel is known for its pluralism, yet there is still room for improvement. Lately, two different events made me realize that Israel is making progress even more rapidly. First, a national monument that honors 15,000 Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were persecuted by… Read more »

Exploring Israel through Tucsonans’ eyes

Oshrat Barel

Let me tell you about the best part of my role as a shlicha (emis­sary from Israel). Without a doubt, it is the opportunity, every single day, to meet the most interesting people and to do what I like most: explore Israel through others’ eyes — your eyes. This… Read more »

After years in Tucson, seeing Jewish identity differently

Guy Gelbart

It is time to say shalom, the He­­brew word for hello, goodbye and peace. We came in peace, we go in peace. How does one summarize three years? Do you list all the events you created or took part in? Do you make a list of achievements? What was… Read more »