French organizations and institutes
L’Institut francais de Beer-Sheva of the Centre culturel francais de Beer-Sheva is currently situated at Ben-Gurion University of the the Negev, Faculty of Humanities (Bldg. 72, Rm. 120), where French language and culture are taught by professors Deborah Dahan – 050-4321898 and Raya Koffman – 054-4724461.
The BGU Aranne Central Library grants adults free access to French literature and provides a comfortable place to sit, read and/or research – https://in.bgu.ac.il/aranne/Pages/default.aspx.
Union of Immigrants (Olim) from France, North Africa and Francophone Countries – 02-6799334, http://www.unifan.org.
Ambassade de France en Israel – http://www.ambafrance-il,org.
French VIPs/key figures
Major Thadee Diffre (a.k.a. Teddy Eitan, 1912-1971) was the Commander of the “French Commando” during the Israel War of Independence in 1948. His memorial plaque is on a round stone marker on the hill south of the Negev Bridage Monument. He was a non-Jewish volunteer from France who came to fight with the Jewish People in the Negev Region; he fought in the ranks of the Palmah during the conquest of Be’er-Sheva and was probably the highest ranking non-Jew serving in the I.D.F. at that time.
Chaya and Michael Adam have been doing French/Hebrew translations for decades – 08-6276593. French author, poet and Holocaust survivor, Michael Adam (b.1939-) first published his French book Les Enfants de Pitchipoi (The Children of Pitchipoi) in Paris, describing childhood in a WWII concentration camp (at age 4, he was imprisoned in the Drancy Concentration Camp in France). This book was later published in Hebrew (1988) in Israel. As an Israeli representative to the International French Writers’ Guild, he was awarded the 2010 gold medal for foreign writers in French by l’Ordre de la Francophone.
In 1986, Ya’el (b.1965-) and Yehudah (1964-) Gabay opened a Parisian-style cafe & patisserie called “Rosaline,” where they make excellent brewed coffees, delicious Sabrinas, freshly-baked cakes (dulce-de-leche [my personal favorite], cheesecake [also excellent], etc.), located at 69 ha-Histadrut St. in the Old City, in the passage across from the red Post Office. Personalized cakes may be ordered for special events – 08-6434245.
There are two Petanque (French bowls) clubs in the city: the Be’er-Sheva “Shavit” Petanque – Ami Sasportas, 052-4709932 and “Bet ha-Lohem” (lit., fighters’ home) – Danny Segev, 052-6932915.