Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

A Family without a Home

Cover of book (illustration by Daniella Koffler)

Along with being at war with Hamas in Gaza, Israel was attacked on its border in the north. In order to avoid civilian casualties Israel evacuated the population in the towns and villages in the south and the north of the country. Initially, people were accommodated in hotels in the centre of the country, with each family being allocated a room in a hotel, and this situation has persisted in the months since then. Thus, over two hundred thousand people have been forced to leave their home and live in unfamiliar and cramped conditions for a much longer period than was originally envisaged.

The two young women, Talya Tomer and Daniella Koffler, who produced the children’s book about parents called up for reserve duty have now produced another book, ‘A Family Without a Home,’ in order to help children who are now living far away from their friends and familiar surroundings to understand and come to terms with this new experience.

The charming illustrations and rhyming text in Hebrew give an account from a child’s viewpoint of what it is like to have to quickly pack up and leave your home under the protection of the IDF, and the experiences of becoming acquainted with the new surroundings, and the surprise, curiosity and even delight at the differences between their old, familiar home and the new environment of a hotel.

But once the novelty has worn off the children long for the familiar life they have left behind. They miss the food their parents used to prepare, the friends they used to play with and all the familiar frameworks with which they have grown up. One especially touching page depicts the visit the family makes to their former home and how the little girl embraces and kisses the front door she once knew so well. The book concludes with the child’s acceptance of her mother’s explanation that one’s home is not necessarily a question of bricks and mortar but rather a place in one’s heart where one’s family and loved ones reside.

Like the previous book in the series this, too, was made possible by means of crowd funding and has been distributed gratis to all the children who have been obliged to leave their home.

About the Author
I was born and brought up in England. I am a graduate of the LSE and the Hebrew University. I have lived in Israel since 1964. I am an experienced translator, editor and writer.
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