Peter Bailey (far right) with his family.
It was extremely gratifying for me to witness the wonderful reception given to my book, Street Names in Israel, at the Launch Party arranged by Telfed on Thursday evening, 30 March 2017. I was also honoured to welcome past chairmen of Telfed, David Kaplan and Hertzel Katz who was accompanied by his wife Lola as well as the elder statesman of South African expats in Israel, Smoky Simon and his wife Myra. Dave Kaplan did us the honour of carrying out the duties of Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
Adding lustre to the evening was an exhibition of the work of emerging artist, Marianne Davidow, also a South African expat who has been in Israel for 27 years. Her bright and colourful work adorned the walls of the Telfed Moadon, making it a much brighter place for the evening.
Between 55 and 60 people crowded into the venue for the Launch, which took the form of a cheese and wine party, which was very well received and much enjoyed. Thanks to my wife , Jeanne, for her efforts and hard work in catering for an excellent and tasty cheese and wine evening.
Telfed CEO, Dorron Kline, welcomed the guests with interesting, wise and pertinent comments, quoting words relevant to Peter’s book from Tanach before apologizing that he wasn't able to stay on longer, as his daughter was getting married the next day. Dorron then handed over to the MC for the evening, Dave Kaplan. Mazaltov to Dorron and his family on his daughter’s marriage.
After the guests had supped on the cheese and wine, Dave Kaplan introduced me as the writer of my book, Street Names in Israel, with some clever and witty comments referring to the fact that while the launch was of the written word, we also had visual art from Marianne, before calling on me to talk about my book.
I spent the last three and a half years researching and writing this book with the purpose of keeping alive the memories of all those that make up the history of the Jewish people, from biblical times to the modern Israel. I hope I have detailed the results of my research in an easily readable and entertaining form that will assist to educate and remind people about our past. Wherever one goes in Israel, the history is there to see. On every street corner is a sign bearing the name of a person, event or place of historic importance to Israel. The fact is, so many citizens of israel, both Olim and native Israelis, are largely ignorant of many of the heroic personalities, whose names are remembered on the signs telling you which street you are in. As I said at the launch, quoting from the eulogy made by Rabbi Dr. Yosef Burg z”l at the funeral of Aliza Begin z”l, wife of former Prime Minister Menahem Begin z”l, when Dr. Burg said “In Judaism memory is everything. No less than 169 times does the Torah command us to remember the past. The significance of memory is, that by it, the past is made part of the present.”
My sincere hope is that people will buy this book in order to ensure that the memory of all our past heroes, whose names adorn our streets, is not forgotten and remains a part of the present. Street Names in Israel is currently available for sale at the Telfed office in Raanana at NIS 80 per copy.
Next up was Marianne Davidow, to speak about her work, which was on public exhibition for the first time. Marianne spoke about her journey through different techniques and methods until she was finally satisfied with the art form she is producing. The way in which her bright and colourful abstract art is presented, allows each viewer to see and interpret her art differently. Examples of her art can be seen by visiting www.mariannedavidow.com
A big thank you to Telfed Head of Volunteering, Dana Ben Chail, for arranging the evening, and for all her efforts in ensuring that the launch of my book was a great success. Thanks also to Telfed chairman, Maish Isaacson, who wrote the foreword for my book. Maish was abroad and unable to be with us at the launch. Thanks to all those that attended and supported my book launch.
Article written by Peter Bailey