V'Zot Yisrael

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Netivot Shalom's Israel Focus Group


What we stand for:

  • Israel is the Jewish homeland
  • We approach it with love
  • We are committed to its survival and security


  • Promote our community’s identity with Israel 
  • Integrate identity with Israel into the life of our community through prayer, awareness, knowledge, programming and symbolic acts.
  • Bring our community together by emphasizing a positive perspective



Monthly Speaker Series  -

Sun., Feb. 2, 10:15-11:30am - From Rivets to Reintroductions: Re-establishing Israel's Wildlife Legacy - "What in the world is an onager?" with Professor David Saltz

In 1965 the Israel Nature Reserves Authority was founded and one of its goals was re-establishment in the wild of species that had become extinct in Israel (termed 'reintroduction'). The program was based on captive breeding facilities (Hai-Bar) that were started from small numbers of animals. By 1990 the populations in the breeding facilities were large enough to initiate the release of four species into the wild. Today, the Persian fallow deer, the Arabian oryx, the onager, and the roe deer (many of these are extremely rare) roam freely in the wild in the Galilee and Negev. Professor Saltz has been the coordinator and scientific director of the program for over 20 years. He is currently on sabbatical in Berkeley from his position as professor at the Swiss Institute for Dryland Energy and Environmental Reseach, Ben Gurion University, in Sde Boker. His research focuses on threatened wildlife and human-wildlife conflicts. David and his wife Ahuvit are members of Netivot Shalom along with their 5 children Yonatan, Shira, Yael, Moria, Ariel. For more information contact vezotyisrael@netivotshalom.org

Films -

None scheduled at this time

Book group -

The Book Group meets every other month to discuss books by Israeli authors. Click for full details. Literature is one of Israel’s most interesting and successful “exports.” Join us in reading a variety of Israeli authors -- the discussion is lively in the CNS library on the second Tuesday of every other month, 7:30 - 9:00.  Here are the next planned Book Group discussions:

Tuesday, March 11, 7:30pm,  "A Trumpet in the Wadi" by Sami Michael

Love is love, but love is hard, and never more so than in this story of two sisters, Christian Arabs who live in the Wadi, the Arab quarter of Haifa. Mary is pregnant by their landlord's son but is craftily negotiating a marriage with Wahid and placating his terrible mother. Huda feels herself closed and cold but is taken by the sounds of the trumpet coming from the attic room--Alex, a Russian Jew, plays the instrument. The sisters live with their widowed mother and their Egyptian grandfather, and the dances between Alex and Huda and between Mary and Wahid's family ride the currents of Jew and Muslim, Arab and Christian. Huda's blossoming like a flower is cut short in the most tragic way, a political end to a personal tale. Beautiful writing that survives the translator's journey. GraceAnne DeCandido, Copyright © American Library Association

Sami Michael is a Jewish Israeli born in Baghdad and one of Israel's major Mizrahi writers.  Only a few of his books have been translated into English.   A Trumpet in the Wadi was made into a movie.



Tuesday, May 13, 7:30pm, Like Dreamers  by Yossi Klein Halevi

Non-ficiton book based on interviews with seven veteran soldiers -- Yossi Klein Halevi traces the conflicting beliefs that have shaped modern Israel.   This is a long book, so you may want to start early...


Tuesday, July 8, 7:30pm, The Sermon and  short stories by  Haim Hazaz.

This is a representative volume of stories by Hazaz, spanning his career and interests, from Shtetl life, to the spiritual life of the Yemenite community and his understanding of Zionism and Jewish history. There are translations by distinguished translators, including Hillel Halkin, Yael Lotan, Jeff rey Green, I.M. Lask and Ezra Spicehandler. The collection features an outstanding introduction by Professor Dan Miron of Columbia University. "No section of Hebrew literature has given such powerful, intelligent expression to the experience of beforehand, of almost, of wavering on the threshold, of movement between being and nothingness, as the wide-ranging work of Hazaz."  

Chug Ivrit -

The Chug Ivrit meets twice a month to learn/practice speaking Hebrew, generally on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from 12-1:30 PM in the shul library.  There are some exceptions, so check the shul calendar to verify the dates. To receive more information, contact vezotyisrael@netivotshalom.org

Useful links:


Israel's 24-hour English News Internet Television Station:


It is a 24hour news feed (from the Israeli perspective) and is intended to rival CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC, etc. and it covers world news but also has a specific Israel news section.


News (only English versions listed) -


USA groups:

  • http://jstreet.org/ - J Street - The Political Home for Pro-Israel, Pro-peace Americans
  • http://aipac.org/ - AIPAC - America's Pro-Israel Lobby
  • http://www.nif.org/ - New Israel Fund - works for equality and democracy for all Israelis.
  • http://www.hadassah.org/‎ - Hadassah - Women's Zionist Organization noted for health care and hospitals in Israel
  • http://www.camera.org/ - Camera - Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America - US-based media-monitoring organization battling "anti-Israeli bias in the media".




Videos about Israel:

Click here for a beautiful video of Israel.

Tel Aviv port wins prestigious European award

Did you know:



Israeli, Muslim and Christian High School students, 72 in all met at theIsrael Circus School in Kfar Yoshua, learned to touch and support each other by performing four circus acts;  trapeze, rope climbing, trampoline acrobatics and juggling. At the end, each group put on a performance, and  more importantly, attitudes changed, trust was established and friendships formed.




FoodScan 3000, an Israeli company,  has developed a hand held advanced sensor  that can detect the presence of contaminants and related chemicals in food in just three seconds before anyone can see or smell them.   It detects a change in quality at any level, and can provide a relative indication of the contamination level of cheese, milk, fruit, vegetables, meat and other foods, protecting the public before someone becomes ill from eating contaminated food.  The device is receiving world wide attention. 



Israel 21c - A Focus Beyond Israelity Blog - The Reality of Daily Life in Israel Israel 21c on YouTube
This Week at Israel21c Issues #455 | Week of March 31, 2010 Donate to Israel21c
Israel 21C Beyond the Conflict News Service www.israel21c.org
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