My essay, “Under One Sky,” was awarded first prize in the Creators of Justice Literary Awards, given out by the International Human Rights Art Movement. Normally I’d be thrilled to hear that a piece of my writing won an award but this news came on October 12, so the timing was…weird (to say the least). It’s about the (very) occasional volunteer driving I do for The Road to Recovery / בדרך להחלמה organization, which transports Palestinian patients to and from the border crossings for treatment in Israeli hospitals. I wrote about one particular day of volunteering, around the 50th anniversary of the Munich Olympics massacre. I was listening to Matti Friedman’s Who By Fire, so Leonard Cohen and the Yom Kippur War is mentioned as well. And, unbeknownst to me until this week, Leonard Cohen gave a large donation to The Road to Recovery when it was getting started. My gratitude to Kathy Fish, in whose workshop I wrote the first draft over a year ago, and to my dear writing friends from that workshop.
My thoughts, however, are with the fellow Road to Recovery volunteers (or family members of volunteers) who are still, at this moment, being held hostage in Gaza: Oded Lifshitz (83) Chaim Peri (79), Amiram Cooper (84). #BringThemHome #BringThemHomeNow. My thoughts are also with the families of fellow volunteers who were murdered on that Black Sabbath: Vivian Silver of Kibbutz Be’eri, Adi Dagan of Kibbutz Be’eri, Tammy Suchman of Kibbutz Be’eri, Eliyahu Orgad (Goldberg) of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, and the half a dozen other volunteers who lost family members.