My friend Esther actually put me in touch with Danny. Danny is her dad. I was telling her about my Israel project and how I was hoping to find English-speaking Israelis who were there for the first Independence Day. She told me her dad’s a 7th generation Israeli. It worked out perfectly for my series, especially since he has a Philadelphia connection. He lived here for several years while married to Esther’s mom. It was pretty cool to visit him in Israel. He was so nice. He lives in a great Tel-Aviv location, close to the beach.
Saffrir is a former member of the Haganah army, one of the branches of the underground (illegal) Jewish armies before the IDF, before Israel became a state. The folks at the Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia really helped me out. My friend Nancy who does press for them spent a day with me organizing these amazing interviews for my KYW series.
Yehudit (my aunt) and Neta (my cousin) had been driving me around to these interviews all day. I really don’t know what I would have done had they not driven me around. I scheduled all the interviews on Saturday. In Israel, that’s Shabbat, a day when the busses don’t run. I was so lucky Yehudit offered to drive. It would have been much more difficult to finish the day of interviews, that’s for sure. She really helped me out a lot. Anyway, this is our dinner break.
Omri The Soldier
Back at my aunt’s house in Jerusalem, I chat with her oldest son, Omri who was preparing to go back to the army the next day.
I spent a lot of time at my computer uploading files, editing, and writing. This is pretty much where I spent the first few days of my Israel work project for many, many hours.
I accidently got locked in the office. Oops. I got a chuckle out of that one. I had phone access and called my friend Yael. She thought it was absolutely hilarious, and that I should blog about my “great escape.” I soon realized I could get out, but not in. I figured by the time I returned, someone would be home, so I left.
After the “great escape,” my cab ride to the ultra-religious side of my family.
I meet up with my orthdox aunt Chaya, who has two children and twelve grandchildren.