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Dorothea Shefer-Vanson


Shefer-Vanson is an author and freelance writer based in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion.  She may be contacted via dorothea.shefer@sdjewishworld.com.

‘A Boy in Winter’ Brings Privation, Fear, Horror of Holocaust Graphically to Life

A Boy in Winter appears initially to be an firsthand account, told from the viewpoints of the various individuals involved – both directly and indirectly – in the roundup and murder of the Jews of...

Novel Relates Tangled Lives of Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivor, Neo-Nazi

This well-written book is about people, specifically the two main characters, who have psychological and sexual hang-ups and issues which complicate their lives, as well as those of the people around them. The chapters...

Book Review: ‘The Age of Exodus’

Although not a fan of swashbuckling, derring-do literature, I was tempted to buy this book because its subject-matter combined ancient archaeology and the struggle to establish the modern State of Israel. An irresistible combination...
photo by Dorothea Shefer-Vanson of book cover

Biography of David Sealtiel Tells Struggles of Pre-State Israel

This small book, subtitled (in German) “I want to be a compatriot of the Jewish people,” describes the life of the man who rebelled against the bourgeois and orthodox way of life of his...
Declaration Hall, Independence Hall (Beit Haatzmaut, בית העצמאות), Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel Lowers Its Cultural Standards of Excellence

Another Independence Day. Another day in which the aroma of roasting meat fills the air wherever you turn. My Other Half (OH) and I are as guilty as anyone else of adding to the...
Photo by Kashif John via Flickr

An Immigrant’s Struggle to Learn Hebrew

A recent article (by Elaine Samuels, on Facebook and in the Israel Telegraph online) recounted the trials and tribulations she experienced in her efforts to learn and speak Hebrew. This triggered long-dormant memories of my attempt...

Book Review: ‘Inflitration’ by Joshua Kenaz

The death a few months ago of Israeli author, Joshua Kenaz, led to renewed interest in his work, and impelled me to read this book (published by Am Oved in 1986). For me, reading...

Contemplating life after the coronavirus

What are your plans? In my youth, that was the question that a beloved uncle would always ask the younger members of the family. The only problem was that his heavy German accent would...
Visual cacophony (Rear of a closed factory), Lawrenceville, January 20, 2016 by William Real

The cacophony of politicians talking about music

Two politicians in Israel recently referred to music in one context or another. This made me prick up my ears and pay attention, which is not something I usually do when I come across...
Campets autour du bourg de Nant (Aveyron, France).

The World War II bravery of remote French villages

Based on extensive historical research, personal interviews and visits to the places concerned, Caroline Moore has produced an astounding account of life on a remote, mountainous plateau perched on France’s Massif Central, where the residents...