Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up
in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a
graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic
cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New
York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day,
Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine
among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem
Barbara has written five books and contributed to
EXCERPT FROM CURRENT ARTICLE
The Human Spirit: Je suis Hebron
By Barbara Sofer
The night before her death, Hallel Yaffa Ariel danced at my granddaughters' elementary school in Jerusalem.
Not that Halleli, as she is lovingly called by her parents, went to school in Jerusalem. Harikud, the Center for Dance in Kiryat Arba/Hebron, directed by Esther Marom, is so good that it exports teachers to larger cities, even those like Jerusalem with music academies and other vaunted dance programs. To upgrade the final-year performances of the elementary-school dancers, the local dance troupe comes for the end-of-the-year gala. The older girls serve as role models, showing just how good you can be if you practice.
They delight the mothers and grandmothers who come to applaud their small offspring and get to see the adept and intriguing performance of the Hebron dancers.
From Kiryat Arba/Hebron? Surely war dances with scenes of uprooting olive trees? Not at all. Edgy, spare, emotional. Deliberate lifts and drops of the arms. Tilts of the head. Spare with emotional intensity, exploring the darks and lights, the tug between earthiness and spirituality.
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