Makom Video Salons
Welcome to our video salons – fascinating video conversations with fascinating people talking fascinatingly about Israel.
Dorit Rabinyan was born in Israel to an Iranian-Jewish family. She is the recipient of the Itzhak Vinner Prize, the ACUM Award, The Prime Minister’s Prize and the Jewish Wingate Quarterly Award (London). Her first two novels PERSIAN BRIDES and A STRAND OF A THOUSAND PEARLS were both best sellers and translated into fifteen languages. In 2014 Rabinyan published her third novel, BORDERLIFE, an immediate best seller in Israel. In January 2016 BORDERLIFE became the center of a political scandal in Israel when the book was removed from high schools’ curriculum.
Borderlife, by Dorit Rabinyan
Winner of the 2015 Bernstein Prize
A chance New York encounter brings two strangers together: Liat, an Israeli from Tel Aviv, and Hilmi, a Palestinian born in Hebron. For one frozen winter away from home, on snowy streets, filled with longing for a Middle East sun, Liat and Hilmi demarcate the place reserved only for them, an intimate short-term place, a universe for two. At the fissures and margins of things, in corners and in gaps, the reality lurking in Israel peers at them and snarls. The story, with its passions and twists, follows them even when they each go their own way – Liat returning to Tel Aviv and Hilmi to the village of Jifna, north of Ramallah – refusing to end.
Chayuta Deutsch was born and bred in Tel Aviv. She has taught at Ulpana Kfar Pines, at Bayit VeGan College, Maaleh Film School, Hebrew University, at Bar Ilan University, and at Bet Morasha Academy for Jewish Zionist Leadership. She began her writing career with the children’s magazine “Otiot” in 1983. Between 1997-99 she edited “Otiot” and “Sukariot”. She was the literary editor of “HaTzofeh”, and the deputy editor of “Nekuda”. She has written op-eds for “HaTzofeh”, Ynet, Maariv online, and currently writes her own column “L’pnai ulifnim” in the Shabbat supplement of “Makor Rishon”. “Were I to hear another voice” is her first novel, after having published a collection of short stories “This is what redemption looks like”, and a biography of Nechama Leibovitz. She was among those who established Kolech, Israel’s first Orthodox Jewish feminist organization, and was on the Board of Directors for several years. She is currently the head of publishing for Bet Morasha, and the editor of “Akademot”.
Were I to hear a different voice, by Chayuta Deutsch
After having tried again and again to realize her dream of having a family, Uzia decides to leave her home town of Tel Aviv, and build herself a new life in a small village in the North of Israel. She leaves everything behind: Her memories of her life in Tel Aviv as an only daughter of National-Orthodox parents; the man she had loved all her life; her close childhood friends; and her work as a respected journalist.
A friendly little café in the village becomes her refuge and source of income. She opens up a writing workshop at the cafe for local characters both charming and mysterious, but the demons of her past do not leave her. As the writing workshops become an arena for secrets and confessions, it turns out that Uzia’s refuge is no safe space at all, and that those around her are not who they seem to be.
And all this while, threatening graffiti that appear throughout the country lead a team of secret police to set off in search of the members of a messianic sect who threaten to sow violence and destruction. At the head of the sect stands a charismatic man called “Levi”, who sweeps up youth into acts of rebellion not just against the State of Israel, but also against the world of Jewish religious law. When his dangerous teachings lead the State to the brink of civil war, his pursuers realize they must hurry and uncover the identity of this “Levi” before it is too late.
In late November, as part of the Jewish Agency’s Assembly, Makom hosted a fascinating conversation between former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and historian and writer Professor Fania Oz-Salzberger. Hosted by Yonatan Ariel, the conversation turned out to be a highly-enjoyable and intelligent meeting of two very different intellectuals – one orthodox, one secular; one male, one female; one British, one Israeli.
Here we speak with master educator and leader, Avram Infeld, about Yom Ha’atzmaut. For the first time on film he spells out his vision of the Nine Days of We. He suggests that we view Yom Ha’atzmaut as part of a process that begins on Yom HaShoah… For more on our thinking about this extension of the Day of Israeli Independence, look at our materials on Chag Ha’atzmaut.
In 2010 Kobi Oz released his album, Mizmorei Nevuchim (Psalms of the Perplexed). The entire album can be found in its entirety here with subtitles on all the songs and guiding information. While working with Kobi on this online resource we sat down with him to ask what led him so such a creation.
As part of our work for the Global Jewish Forum on Israelis living outside Israel, we wanted to understand where Israeli Jewish culture meets or departs from Jewish culture as understood in the Diaspora.
We went to talk with Assaf Inbari, whose work we have drawn on in the past. It was at his apartment in Degania that he explained to us what he sees as Ben Gurion’s Big Mistake…
For more on Yochanan Ben Zakkai, look and listen to this song written in his praise, and the materials on the page.
For more on the restaurants’ “Kashrut Rebellion”, click here.
The follow-up text we prepared was from Ahad Ha’am. Click here for free download.