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
The writer (aka "Zioness on the Border" on social media) is a mother and a grandmother who since 1975 has been living and raising her family on Kibbutz Nirim along the usually paradisiacal, sometimes hellishly volatile border with the Gaza Strip. She founded and moderates a 13K-strong Facebook group named "Life on the Border with Gaza". The writer blogs about the dreams and dramas that are part of border kibbutznik life. Until recently, she could often be found photographing her beloved region, which is exactly what she had planned to do at sunrise, October 7th. Fortunately, she did not go out that morning. As a result, she survived the murderous terror infiltrations of that tragic day, hunkering down in her safe room with her 33-year-old son for 11 terrifying hours. So many of her friends and neighbors, though, were not so lucky. More than she can even count. Adele was an educator for 38 years in her regional school, and has been one of the go-to voices of the Western Negev when escalations on the southern border have journalists looking for people on the ground. On October 7, her 95% Heaven transformed into 100% Hell. Since then she has given a multitude of interviews. She has gone on four missions abroad in support of Israel and as an advocate for her people. In addition to fighting the current wave of lies and blood libels about the Jewish state, she is raising money to help restore their Paradise so that members of her kibbutz can return to their homes on the border, where they can begin to heal. If you wish to learn more about how you can help her and her community return home, please feel free to drop her a line.
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