Wednesday, July 27th at 7:00 p.m.
For three years, award-winning journalist and novelist Ben Ehrenreich lived among the Palestinians in villages and cities of the West Bank. Initially chronicled in an extraordinary NY Times cover story, his experience ultimately led him to write The Way to the Spring. Trace Ehrenreich’s empathetic footsteps in this conversation with Rabbi Jocee Hudson, of Temple Israel, on Wednesday, July 27th at 7:00 p.m. Signing to follow.
Ben Ehrenreich first started reporting from the West Bank in 2011. As well informed as he was on the Arab-Israeli conflict, he nonetheless was consistently shocked by what he saw, and by how little the vast majority of people in the U.S. (and even in Israel, just few miles away) understood about the lived realities of the occupation. He felt strongly that he wanted to write to break through those silences; eventually, he moved to Ramallah and began writing what became The Way to the Spring. A group of unforgettable characters – men and women, young and old – shared their lives with Ehrenreich and made their own case for resistance and resilience in the face of life under occupation.
“As heart-breaking as it is, The Way to the Spring is also a strangely joyful book, because Ehrenreich grasps the essence of the Palestinian struggle: not Islam, or even nationalism, but the stubborn refusal of injustice, the restless search for ‘how it would feel to be free,’ as Nina Simone said. It is a freedom song, burning with humanity.”—Adam Shatz
Ben Ehrenreich is the author of two novels, Ether and The Suitors. His writing has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, and the London Review of Books, among others. A recipient of the National Magazine Award, Ehrenreich lives in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Jocee Hudson is Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood. Her work has focused on issues of Social Justice, Membership and Family & Youth Education. In addition, she speaks and teaches in the wider community. Rabbi Hudson is a contributor to the Women of Reform Judaism’s The Torah: A Women’s Commentary.