Title: Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel
Author: Ronda Robinson
Publisher: Mazo Publishers
Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel is a compact introduction to decency. Its eighteen personal profiles illustrate how Israelis from all walks of society improve the Holy Land’s quality of life, and then some. Author Ronda Robertson is a freelance journalist who decided to offset mainstream media’s negative stereotyping of today’s Israelis with a book. She did an outstanding job of presenting the goodness of Israel to the world at large in a mere 144-page paperback.
Unlike formulaic biographies from popular publishing houses in the Orthodox Jewish world, Beyond Politics is not predictable. The vignettes of individual men and women who trekked through Ethiopia and Sudan, flew in from Austria, India and Algeria, or were born on Israeli soil are gritty, adventurous and heartwarming.
Robinson lets her readers see, hear and taste the efforts that her subjects made to become part of Israel. Shlomo Malla rose from being an illiterate desert dweller who walked 485 dangerous miles to become an Israeli and later a highly educated politician; former Algerian Sara Lanesman made aliyah to unify Israel’s deaf citizens with a sign language they can share, ending the confusion of multiple signing dialects in one tiny country; Dr. Lior Sasson leads the way in healing indigent children around the world of heart defects – at no cost to their families; terror attack survivor Liora Tedgi saves psychological lives with her Terror Victims Support Center. Each of them explains the gut-wrenching moments that changed their lives forever, and how they chose to help others to cope with fear, social alienation, life-endangering illness and grief. Other people lift just as vividly off the page to inspire you and the information-challenged critics of Israel’s Jewish population.
Younger readers will have material for book reports as they marvel over Chicken Lady Clara Hammer, docent Rena Quint, skateboard king Elchanan Davidson (he’s far more accomplished in amazing ways) and shepherd/diplomat Yisrael Avidor. Adults will also appreciate peace-promoting teacher Miri Flusser, Azerbaijan-born violin maker Lev Strinkovsky, biblically-inspired chef Moshe Basson, Scottish-born Sam Greene, therapist Davina Davidson, happily married Joe and Marion Goodstein, Chevron’s beloved tzabarit leader Sarah Nachshon, plus Faydra Shapiro and her pro-Israel education of non-Jewish tourists. Completing the inside look at Israel are interviews with story-teller Rabbi Hanoch Teller and founder of world-famous B’erot Bat Ayin holistic school for women Rabanit Chana Bracha Siegelbaum.
Enjoy the read. Buy Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel to arm yourself with responses to the next nasty reporter who maligns Israel. And consider sending him or her a copy.
Yocheved Golani is the author of “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.”
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