International Spotlight: Multi-Cultural Stories from Israel

Event for Ages 10+

Presented by Israel Storytellers Association and hosted by Rinah Sheleff.
A potpourri of folk tales and personal stories, reflecting the multiple cultural backgrounds that characterize our society.

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Tales of the Baal Shem Tov: A Forest, a Fire and a Prayer told by Rinah Sheleff
Sometimes, all that’s left is the story.
Born in U.S.A., Rinah has lived most of her adult life in Israel. Like the Hasidim, she comes from an Eastern European background; like the Hasidim, she loves to tell stories; and like the Hasidim, she loves to dance.

A Bridge in Chelm told by Sephie Shochat-Beeri
Everyone stumbled on that bridge, but when the rabbi’s hat fell into the water, the elders knew they had to take action!
Teacher of English as a Second Language & instructor of creative movement, Sephie finds ways to include stories in everything she does. Her greatest fan was her mother, Marlene, whose memory she honors with today’s story.

How I Became a Storyteller told by Oshik Achinoam
What does a sick nature guide do just before he leads a group of children in survival skills? His solution surprised Oshik; the outcome, even more.
Oshik is a natural-born storyteller, the kind you love to listen to around the campfire. He also teaches survival skills to children and introduces them to the magical world of nature.

Abu-Katrina the Lazy told by Yoel Shalom Perez
Abu-Katrina was too lazy to work for a living – “I’d rather die than work!” -but he was no match for his clever and desperate wife.
Dr. Yoel Perez, storyteller, folklorist and author, is chairperson of the Israel Storytellers Association. He is a natural storyteller, following in the footsteps of his mother and grandmother. His website is the largest site of folklore & folktales in Hebrew. It includes an international folktale collection of more than 4,000 tales (many have been translated into English.) Yoel is the go-to person for Israeli storytellers looking for a special story on any subject.

How the Rooster Got His Crown told by Hanan Abo Zlaf
A trickster rooster gets his crown in a parable that may help explain some things about Israeli politics – or about politicians in general.
Hanan hails from a Druze village in northern Israel. She discovered her storytelling skills when she once spoke about her experience as a survivor of domestic violence. Today Hanan tells folktales to school children, and shares her personal story with women who need to hear it.

Is There Anything Stronger than Love? told by Doron Kaynar Kissinger
The saga of a family as it unfolds, starting in pre-war Germany.
Doron is an actor in the theatre of life. He creates personalized ceremonies for couples as they enter matrimony, and for mourners as they accompany their loved ones to their final resting place. Doron’s stories range from reminiscences of his parents, who fled Nazi Germany, to personal adventures as a “sabra”– a native-born Israeli.

The Troubadour sung by Guy “Zandy” Zandman
Singer-songwriter Zandy will give us a break from the spoken word to hear a song in Hebrew about a wanderer who travels far and wide to seek more and more stories that he can tell to kings.
Zandy is himself a troubadour who draws his inspiration from ancient sources and from wildlife.

God and the Desert told by Na’ama Tel-Tsur
The origin of their special relationship.
Na’ama is a storyteller and actor with the Pashut Forest Theatre, which performs in the forest, with the earth as stage and the trees as scenery.

Why Worry? told by Sharon Aviv
Some sound, well-known advice from Ireland takes on a very personal twist with Sharon.
Founder and director of the Gollem Storytelling School (“gollem” in Hebrew means cocoon), Sharon performs and lectures all around the world. She is a great believer in the power of stories to heal and to bring people together.


Rinah Sheleff

Sephie Shochat-Beeri

Oshik Achinoam

Yoel Shalom Perez

Hanan Abo Zlaf

Doron Kaynar Kissinger

Guy “Zandy” Zandman

Na’ama Tel-Tsur

Sharon Aviv

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