Sunday, November 11, 2012

Adina Bar El in Phoenix

The day after arriving in Phoenix,  Adina and Moshe participated in the Lymphoma 5K Walkathon at the Phoenix Zoowith their host family, Daphna and Yoram Gold, Carol and Chaim Talmon, and other Phoenix Israelis supporting Yoram as a lymphoma survivor. 

After that they were off to to the Fountain Hills Art Festival and Sunday they Talmons drove them to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, beautifully powdered in snow.
Monday morning the Bar-els went to  the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix before Adina began her speaking engagements. 
Philip Haas had a "fruit of the seasons" exhibit which was amazing

Chihully always keeps a few of his pieces at the Gardens.

They also  had a special behind-the-scenes tour from a friend of Adina's, including seeing the Seed Vault, the library, and baby desert tortoises saved from being eaten by the coyotes and birds. They also saw a Brazilian Capoeira demonstration, which is a form of dance and self defense, gaining popularity all over the world,  including Israel.

Tuesday evening at the JCC book fair, Adina spoke to about 35 people about the Yiddish children's periodicals in Poland between the two world wars.

What a fascinating topic! It produced a lot of discussion and questions by the very interested crowd. 

Carol and Haim Talmon took the Bar-el's on a quick, one-day journey to beautiful Sedona

 and then the spectacular Grand Canyon on Sunday, the 11th.

On Nov. 14th, Phoenix held a TIPS committee "meet n' greet" with Adina and Moshe and 7 members of the local TIPS committee at a wonderful kosher, Vietnamese, vegan restaurant called Fresh Mint, in Scottsdale. It gave everyone the opportunity tofind out about our visitors, the Bar-els.
Ethan, Cindy, Tamar, Adina, Moshe
  Adina's next event that day was at Har Zion Synagogue talking to children about her moshav and what is going on there right now with the rockets,
and being worried about her children who live there.
She also talked about one of her books,  showing what the writer and the
illustrator's parts are in the making of a book. She talked to another group about her mother and how it was to be in the ghetto and getting food for the
children.  She used one of the stories that her mother told her to illustrate how her mother got money for food.

On Friday, November 16th, Adina spoke to seniors at Beth Emeth Congregation in Sun City.  Over 40 people attended and who absolutely loved her, loved hearing her stories, and LOVED telling her THEIR stories.
She read Yiddish stories. She also talked about what is going on in Israel with Operation Pillar of Defense right now with her children and grandchildren being
in the bomb shelters, etc.

That same day, Chaim took Moshe and Adina to the MIM, Musical Instrument Museum. They were so fascinated that they stayed for five hours!

On another day, because of the Bar-els have a 700 tree olive orchard, they also visited the Queen Creek Olive Mill.

On Sunday, November 18th, Carol drove Adina  to Tempe to the Temple Emanuel Teacher's workshop, where she lectured about "Bibliotherapy" to Hebrew school teachers.
It was a small, but very attentive group, who had students they felt could be helped with this teaching tool. The audience was given stories and activities they could use in their classrooms.  The teachers gave her A VERY positive response!

Using one of her stories, translated
Using a well-known US board book

Then they were  off to the Health Fair at the Orthodox shul Bet Yosef where we met a few key people from the Phoenix Jewish News who set up an interview with Adina for Monday morning at their office. Adina is looking forward to talking about her feelings regarding what is happening in Israel and what it is like to be here, while her children and grandchildren are there.

Adina proceeded to do a storytelling for a small group of  children for about 20 minutes ), which they really enjoyed.  They  had a great time going around to the vendors, and tasting delicious kosher samples). That was their lunch. 

The following was printed in the latest issue of the Jewish News.  Adina was interviewed by a writer from there just before she left for home.
˜"What will be, will be"

Staff Writer
Adina Bar El, an author and researcher who lives in Hof Ashkelon, Israel, was recently in the Valley speaking at four community events through the TIPS (Tucson, Israel, Phoenix, Seattle) partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix. She stopped by the Jewish News office to discuss the events in Israel.

Adina Bar El has three grown children, one in the Galilee and two in the Hof Ashkelon area. While Bar El was in Arizona, some of her children and grandchildren moved into her house because she has a safe room (a room completely reinforced by concrete, from the floor to the ceiling and around the perimeter). They moved because "after a few days (of the warning alarms), they couldn't bear it anymore," she said. "The children were very frightened."

Their safe room was built, Bar El said, after an attack in 2008, when she had to protect two of her grandchildren, who were babies at that time. "Suddenly, there was an alarm and I laid down on them to cover them and said to myself, "˜What will be, will be. I have to protect them."

"The whole country is a battlefront," she said. "But, we have a (normal) life. We have parties and we go to work and to learn and so on. We are keeping on with our regular life, but we have to defend ourselves. We have to live our lives."

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