Adele Raemer
Life on the Border with the Gaza Strip


Judih picking pomegranates in the orchard of Nir Oz, early fall 2022 Photo: Adele Raemer
Photo: Adele Raemer

This is my friend Judih.
We’ve been colleagues and friends for decades. She’s funny and loving, with a sharp wit and a creative spirit – how else could you explain the spelling of her name? 😉  My forever best editor, who will have a lot of work waiting for her with all these blog posts by the time she gets back.

She’s a 70-year-old puppeteer who learned long ago how to make her own puppets and then infuse life into them: giving them personailty, cheekiness and empathy. She made me one for my medical clowning. She even made me perform in a puppet show in English at school (she is the only one in the world who could make me do something like that).

She rides her bike to school from Nir Oz so she can be independant in her comings and goings. She drove in Canada but never wanted to get her license here. She prefers to fearlessly meander the few kilometers through the fields between the kibbutzim and the Gaza border, on her two wheeler for the exercise and the invigorating fresh air.

Photo: Adele Raemer

She teaches English to kids with challenges. She teaches mindfullness meditation in classes in the “good morning” sessions before academic classes begin, to get the the kids ready for the day ahead. She even developed an app: Class Relax so that ANY teacher can bring the techniques of mindfullness into their classroom, even if they have never learnt how. Even if Judih isn’t there to teach them.

Because she isn’t there now. She’s in Gaza.

Photo: Adele Raemer

She is my “booby buster” buddy who goes together with me to have our periodic mamograph.

And she is the LAST person in the world that deserved to be attacked so brutally and heartlessly and abducted to the hell-hole of Gaza while on her sunrise morning walk with her beloved partner Gadi, in the fields of Nir Oz.  I try to imagine her there, doing relaxation exercises to calm herself, and leading other captives in guided imagery helping them escape in mind, if not in body.  Especially the children.

I should probably do that, too.

She hasn’t been on the lists of returning hostages yet. I hold my breath every day and search for her name desperately.



Praying in my own way.

Not today. Maybe tomorrow. Till then, I’ll try some “Loving kindness” as she prescribes in the YouTube attached here. (The entire playlist of her activities can be accessed and used in lessons from this link. I know she will love it that they are being used)

We really need to #bringherhome.
To #bringthemhomenow

About the Author
Born in the USA, Adele has lived in a Kibbutz on the border with the Gaza Strip since 1975. She is a mother and a grandmother living and raising her family on the usually paradisaical, sometimes hellishly volatile border. She moderates a FB group named "Life on the Border". Adele recently retired after 38 years as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, as well as a teacher trainer and counselor for the Israeli MoE for EFL and a Tech Integration Coach. She blogs here about both Life on the Border, as well as about digital pedagogy, in "Digitally yours, @dele". She is a YouTuber, mostly on the topic of digital stuff. ( Her personal channel covers other issues close to her heart (medical clowning, Life on the Border, etc.) ( In addition, she is a trained medical clown and, although on COVID hiatus, until allowed back into hospitals, she clowns as often as she can in the pediatric ward in the hospital in Ashkelon. As a result of her activity as an advocate for her region, she was included among the Ha'aretz "Ten Jewish Faces who made Waves in 2018" In November 2018 she was invited to Geneva by an independent investigative committee for the UN to bear witness to the border situation, and in December 2019 addressed the UN Security Council at the request of the US ambassador to the UN.
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