Thursday, March 7, 2013

Roni Keidar's Visit to the US: Arizona

Roni Kedar has lived in Israel since 1951 when at age 7 she made aliyah with her parents from England.  She married Ovadia, an immigrant from Egypt, and together they settled on Moshav Netiv Haasara  on the Sinai Peninsula.  In 1982, 40 of the 72 members of the moshav (after the peace agreement with Egypt and the return of the Sinai to Egypt) moved to a new location just feet north of the border with Gaza.  The new Netiv Haasara has more than 700 inhabitants now.

In the late 1980s, Roni and her family lived in Egypt while Ovadia served as an agricultural consultant to the Israeli Embassy.  There they met and made friends with many Egyptians.  And through those contacts, the seeds of a way to communicate were born.

In Roni's retirement, she decided (in addition to spending time with her 5 children and many grandchildren) to study international relations to help understand the impossible situation they are living in and to create a new reality of peace in the region on both sides of the border.

Roni is active in a group called "Kol  Acher"--another voice.  People in her region have suffered emotionally and physically from rockets landing and flying over their communities, but she knows taht there are people across the border that have had the same type of suffering.  She also helps transport very ill people from Gaza to get medical treatment in Israel.

In Tucson, Roni spoke to over 1000 people in 16 different groups,  as a guest of the Weintraub Israel Center. In addition to the Heartbeat of Israel lecture, she held a question and answer session on Friday, March 1 following the 7 p.m. Shabbat service at Congregation Chaverim, and spoke at St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church, on Sunday, March 3 at 12:30 p.m.  Keidar also gave the final lecture in the Israel Past and Present adult education series cosponsored by the WIC and Temple Emanu-El, “Building Alternative Bridges for Peace Under Fire,” on Monday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. (prorated fee, $15), and presented a lunch and learn at the Jewish Federation-Northwest on March 5. "Kol Acher: Nurturing Peace on the Gaza Border" was one of her topics.  The photo below is of Roni before she spoke at St. Phillip's Episcopal Church on her views of peace.

She spoke to two of Dr. Hammer's classes at the University of Arizona.
She also spoke at Or Chadash congregation to 40 people.