This Month’s Pre-Israel Trip Must-Read
Your first trip to Israel will most definitely leave a lasting impression on you. You will encounter Israelis, visit tourist and heritage sites and experience rich local culture at its height. Whether you will be touring the country privately or are set to join a Birthright Israel group, take some time to read this month’s “Israeli Book Club” pick, renowned journalist Yossi Klein Halevi’s "Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation". The book is an eye-opener, enlightening its readers regarding the foundation upon which the country and its citizens rest.
Following the lives of seven young soldiers serving in Israel’s 55th Paratroopers Reserve Brigade, "Like Dreamers" is the “big book on Israel we have been waiting for,” Don Futterman of the Daily Beast proclaims. The sentiment is seconded by Elliott Abrams of the Wall Street Journal, who declared that “Mr. Halevi’s masterly book brings us into [the]…debate and the lives of those who live it, not through fiction but through a factual account illuminated by his own intelligence and empathy.” The book’s eight pages of black-and-white photographs and maps further explains the ardor and passion behind Israelis and their way of living.
In "Like Dreamers", the seven paratroopers’ stories are recounted, and interwoven to trace the unique history of the State of Israel as well as the conflicting ideologies that have shaped the young state from their actions during the Six-Day War to present day. Halevi uses the written word to paint a captivating picture of how a band of seven brothers in uniform acted to significantly shape Israel’s destiny for years to come, reuniting their country in 1967 despite holding vastly different nationalistic views.
Winner of the Everett Family Jewish Book of the Year Award and the RUSA Sophie Brody Medal, this book subtly reflects the diverse and conflicting beliefs, lifestyles and ideologies that form the State of Israel’s delicate fabric and aptly define the sole democracy within the Middle East to this day.
This month, as you prepare to visit the Holy Land for the first time, endow yourself with inspiration, veneration and knowledge of the history of the State of Israel and its influences on daily life. Before you board the plane and set off on your Birthright Israel trip, grab this month’s “Israeli Book Club” pick, "Like Dreamers", by Yossi Klein Halevi, a manuscript hailed as “A fascinating study of modern Israel,” by the New York Post and a book “executed with imagination, narrative drive, and, above all, deep empathy for a wide variety of Israelis… a must-read for anyone with an interest in contemporary Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to Publishers Weekly.