Friday, April 19, 2013

Rediscovering Efrat's Past with a Living Museum

Naomi and Ruth tell of their trials upon their return to Bethlehem from Moav
My hometown of Efrat has just celebrated its 30th anniversary on these rolling Gush Etzion hills. So, it's natural that we look back at our beginnings three decades ago, and at at the growth of our town, our population, and even our positive influence on Israeli society. Efrat residents have many reasons to be proud, B"H.
Efrat's story, however, did not begin 30 years ago on these hill, or almost 100 years ago when Shmuel Holtzman purchased land here. 
Efrat in Jewish History
Abraham and Sarah
Our Jewish presence on these rolling hills stretches back to our patriarchs and matriarchs, Ruth and Naomi, King David, the Chashmonaim, Bar Kochbar, and yes, forward into time to the modern Jewish resettlement of this area, Shmuel Holtzman, Moshko (Moshe Moskowitz), Rabbi Riskin and our residents today.
An exciting way to teach residents the history of their town is through a Living Museum. A Living Museum portrays life and historical events through performance.
I proposed one last year when we began planning Efrat's 30th Anniversary. The Living Museum would make Efratians more familiar with their note-worthy history, and foster in our residents an even great connection to our beautiful city. 

Boaz, Naomi and Ruth
This year's Efrat's 30th anniversary celebration was a perfect time to launch Efrat's LIVING MUSEUM. The Efrat Community Center's director Neta Magen and Local Council staffer Keren Claster were very supportive of the project, and helped make it happen.

Our Patriarchs Slept Here?? 
Jacob, little Benjamin and Rachel
This year's living museum explored our earliest roots here through conversations between Abraham and Sarah; Jacob, Rachel and Benjamin; Ruth, Naomi and Boaz. Hundreds of adults and children were able to meet our historical ancestors, hear their stories and even photograph with them. It was a humongously fun part of our celebrations.
I was excited to write, produce and direct Efrat's Living Museum program. Our Living Museum performers were Abraham - Betzalel Yablochnik, Sarah - Aviva Danziger Cohen, Rachel - Noa Choritz, Jacob - Brian Choritz, Benjamin - Akiva Choritz, Boaz - Peter Abelow, Ruth Bati Katz and Naomi - me (Sharon Katz).
Costumes were provided by the collections of the Raise Your Spirits Theatre, Noa Choritz and Sharon Katz.
Everyone wanted photos
with our Biblical figures
This year's Living Museum is only the beginning. IY"H, I hope we'll be able to expand it every year, introduce new Biblical and historical figures, and include more Efratians in this exciting program, where history and creativity come together. IY"H, I'm hoping its success will one day encourage communities throughout Israel to show their pride and their deep roots in their own towns.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What's Up, Efrat? Israel's Independence Day 2013

There's so much  going on in Efrat and Gush Etzion on Memorial Day and Israel's Independence Day. Find out all about it here on What's Up, Efrat?

On Sunday night, lail 5th of Iyar, Matnas Efrat presents its Yom HaZikaron Ceremony in memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. 7:50 in the Ulam Sport. This will be followed by appropriate activities for the youth in the Ulam Rakefet.

On Monday night at 7:30 PM, there will be community tefillot in synagogues all over Efrat to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut.

Then at 8:30 until 10, we’ll join together at Park Asor for the greatest Yom HaAtzmaut Celebration ever – with a special 30 year torch lighting ceremony, a special spectacular program, local entertainment, honored guests, fireworks.

At 10:30, the party continues on with youth bands taking the stand after the main ceremony ends.

There’s more happening on Monday night, as well. At 10 PM, we’ll be SINGING YOM HA’ATZMAUT in Shdema. Gush Etzion Mayor Davidi Perl, as well as other dignitaries will be present. For more information 050-550-0834.

Also Monday night 11:30 PM, Matnas Gush Etzion is continuing its tradition of Singing Songs of Yom HaAtzmaut. Come on down to the Matnas Gush Etzion Lobby and join in. For more information 993-7999.
On Tuesday, Yom HaAtzmaut, the Pina Chama is hosting its annual Yom HaAtzmaut Barbecue in honor of all those soldiers who stay on duty that day. Thousands of burgers and franks – with all the toppings – will be handed out to our chayalim.

Thanks to all the good folks who work so hard from morning until night on this barbecue. This is your opportunity to bring over large salads, cakes, sodas to add to the menu. And your monetary donations are welcome too. Please call 050-8434797.
  Also on Tuesday from 10 AM to 3 PM – Efrat’s Most Spectacular Yom HaAtzmaut Picnic and Celebration Ever!!!
As Efrat turns 30, we’ll be celebrating with a giant Carnival and Street Fair. It’s so massic, it will stretch from Park Asor all the way to the Matnas.
Excitement EVERYWHERE!!!! Activities for the family: inflatable, mats and cushions, Fair Sales, stage and music festival, activities recreation and picnic areas, A LIVING MUSEUM, quizzes and all kinds of fun activities.
There’ll be food booths with everything for a hungry family – both dairy and meat - at affordable prices, tables and chairs, plus barbecue grills for free.
Plus exciting youth activities, like paintball, climbing wall, archery and more...
Admission is free. It's going to be a great day for Efrat, its residents and Israel!!
Also Tuesday, Yom HaAtzmaut, drive out to Nokdim from 9 AM to 4 PM for Gush Etzion’s Chanyon Tzahal, IDF Parking Lot.
 Not only will Nokdim be the base this year for many IDF vehicles of all kinds, but there’ll be state of the art surveillance and warfare equipment, and all kinds of special safety and emergency equipment. Plus inflatable castles, a petting zoo and a Military Band performing at 2 PM. Admission is free.
For more information: 050-2639549 (Rotem)

Happy Israel's Independence Day #65!!!
Happy Birthday Efrat #30!!!


First ever trip in a series of trips for Efrat’s 50+ Club.
Save the date – 23/4/13 to the Judean Plain!!
It’s going to be fantastic. For more information - 9932936