In a year with so little to smile about for many Israelis, few interviews on national TV have brought as much to so many as the one conducted by Rafi Reshef with Effie Hercky, an 81-year-old American bubbe from Givatayim.
To showcase the return to (relative) normalcy after Israel reopened its gyms in late February following months of lockdown, one TV channel turned to the New Jersey-born great-grandmother and volunteer nurse who was fully vaccinated.
The three-minute interview, conducted mostly in Hebrew, opened with Hercky hitting the treadmill decked out in makeup, large earrings, and a shirt reading “BADGIRLS.”
Given the huge cultural gap that still exists between North American Jews and Israel, Effie’s moment of fame became a wonderful bridge. Israelis and Diaspora Jews alike felt warmth and fascination towards a woman who so seamlessly mixes Hebrew and English into every sentence. No matter your level of understanding in either language, you’ll understand what Effie is saying.
In the second in our series of conversation guides for teens created in collaboration with RootOne, we explore the phenomenon that is Effie Hercky. It’s a light-hearted guide that offers engaging questions and activities on the topics of language and identity, aliyah, and much more.
Download the guide here >> Conversation Guide – Meet Israel’s Most Beloved Heblish Speaker