Rank and File
In a new documentary set to debut next week, a bereaved mother in Israel poses the question whether conflict resolution measures in South Africa can be applied to the local conflict with the Palestinians. The Docaviv festival will screen "One Day After Peace," a film about the personal journey of Robi Damelin, who was born in South Africa during the apartheid era and who later lost her son David during his reserve duty in the territories. Besides visiting South Africa, Damelin became involved in the Parents Circle, a forum for bereaved families of both Israeli and Palestinian victims of the conflict. Damelin told Haaretz she went "to see what lessons we could learn from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission about the Parents Circle and my personal journey with the man who killed David." The screenings are scheduled for May 7 and 11 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, followed by showings in Herzliya on May 16, Rosh Pina on May 17, Haifa on May 18, and Jerusalem on May 23 - all at the local cinematheques. For more information, call the Cinematheque box office at 03-606-0800.
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Tania Elfersy, an immigrant from Great Britain, has won international recognition for her book "Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal & Toolkit." The critically acclaimed, illustrated book picked up two awards on Friday: a 2012 Nautilus Silver Award and a 2012 Silver Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Elfersy, who has lived in Israel since 1994, says she developed the idea for the project, which "provides tools to help women cope with the early years of motherhood," as a stay-at-home mom with three young children in 2009. Her hand-picked team for the self-published book includes co-author Andrea Katzman, who was on sabbatical from Rhode Island; and illustrator Nomi Melul Ohad. "Today anyone with a computer and access to the Internet can start selling their own books online," explains Elfersy, 42, who lives in Rishon Letzion. "And when self-published books such as 'Purple Leaves, Red Cherries' win awards alongside the largest publishing houses in the world, it is evidence that this revolution is good for writers and readers alike."
Building on the success of Birthright, which has brought more than 200,000 young Jews to Israel from 52 countries, UJA-Federation of New York launched a new program this week for a pioneer group of 34 older American Jews who have never been to Israel. Entitled "Birthright Israel for Boomers," the program gives participants the same 10-day experience their younger counterparts have enjoyed for a decade. "Dozens contacted us and wanted to participate in the project," said the Federation's Nancy Leipzig Powers. "We plan to offer more trips to Israel in the future and hope that the project will be as big as the original Birthright program." Birthright Israel for Boomers chairman Michael Lax, who initiated the project, said the program "includes a few adjustments for those who are older in age." The group, which arrived on Sunday, is slated to meet with Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky.
Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.
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