Beer-Sheva Local-Patriots

As the author of My Be’er-Sheva,” a unique pro-Be’er-Sheva website and as the translator and publisher of the first English Be’er-Sheva guidebook, I’m certainly one of the city’s most dedicated resident local-patriots. I immigrated to Be’er-Sheva fromEthelea Katzenell portrait Philadelphia, PA in 1972 (at the age of 22), not due to persecution or dissatisfaction with my life there, but rather out of a sense of returning to my true home–the place where I really belong–and I’ve never regretted that decision. I may have been this city’s first real PR person and remain among its most senior ones. I voluntarily created and maintained a ethelea honored 2006similar website from 2000-2010, for which the city honored me in 2006I’m proud that my 4 (now adult) children and 6 (and counting…) grandchildren were all born here and still reside in Be’er-Sheva. I know no better place to live and thrive than in this timeless and prolific city.

Others also appreciate Be’er-Sheva [The Hebrew to English translations are mine.

Drummer/keyboard player Itamar Abuhatsera stated that: Be’er-Sheva’s is a good place to make music … there’s no posing … and creativity comes straight from the guts … and amazingly enough, eveyone’s very accommodating to one another.”

Journalist Zvika Alousha, an active local-patriot, wrote: “Be’er-Sheva long ago Zvika Aloushreplaced its dusty countenance with a young, cheeky look.”

Inbal Amitai, a native Be’ershevan said: “There’s something special here and I’m proud to be a part of the city … There’s no other city I’d rather live in.”

Arieh Bar (b.1944- in Be’er-Sheva) served as the General Manager of 3 different Israeli Aryeh BarMinistries: Transport, Housing & the Interior, but never stopped living with is family in Be’er-Sheva. In 2011, he was honored by the Municipality as an “Esteemed Citizen.” On a few occasions he has stated“I truly love this city … I’ve never left and I’ll never leave.”

Local singer/songwriter Avia Barkao (b.1983-) stated: “I really love Be’er-Sheva and all Avia Barkaothat’s been happening these past few years.”

Singer/songwriter Israel Bar-On (b.1989 in Be’er-Sheva) claims that Israel Bar-Onwhenever he’s not in Be’er-Sheva“Somehow, my head’s always thinking of Be’er-Sheva … as the safest place to be.”

Perhaps in honor of the upcoming centennial celebrations of the liberation of Be’er-Sheva (on October 31, 1917) from the clutches of the Ottoman Empirein October 2017, a non-local, Israeli singer/songwriter, Hanan Ben-Ari (b.1988-), wrote & sings a charming (andHanan Ben-Ari well-informed) Hebrew parodic song on the City of Be’er-Sheva, entitled “Be’er-Sheva” that includes the lines: “I’m in love with her charms … From the North to the South, you’ll not find another city like Be’er-Sheva.”

Native Be’er-Shevan, Elad Cohen, has only praises for the city: “I had a great childhood … dancing all the time … Be’er-Sheva is a special city …  What makes it special is its good, familial atmosphere. It’s a fun city.”

Mayor “Ruvik” Danilovich (b.1971-, in Be’er-Sheva) has been serving and promotingRuvik Danilovich - Mayor the City of Be’er-Sheva as its mayor since 2008. His most recent vision for the burgeoning Negev metropolis describes ambitious projects for completion by 2020. He has often stated: “I owe a great debt to this city…Be’er-Sheva and the Negev are my life’s work, the pinnacle of my public career. I’ve promised the city’s residents that I’ll never leave and I’m a man of my word. I love this city and its residents. I was born here and I’m committed to transform our city into a leading, high-quality metropolis in Israel.”

police departmentAvi Dichter, former Minister of Internal Security, stated: The Negev District Police Station should serve as a model for all the other police stations in Israel.”

Ariela Binyamin Domfrocht, an educator and entrepreneur of educational projects, says: “Be’er-Sheva is the warmest and most exciting city in the world for me. The warmth and love we receive from the wonderful residents of this city, the embracing feedback, and the responses we get for each of our projects and enterprises create my unique bond with Be’er-Sheva. It’s my family and my home.”

Gal Gabai (b.1970-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a well-known mandolinist, a journalist, a TV presenter & a social activist who says: “Whenever I come back to Be’er-Sheva, my heart-beat changes. The food tastes better, the wind’s more Gal-Gabaipleasant, something inside me relaxes and is reconnected. This city taught me about diversity, about wisdom, about love, and about simplicity. Here, my ears grew accustomed to hearing Hebrew, Moroccan Arabic…, Bedouin Arabic and Russian from the new immigrants.”

zvika-hadarZvika Hadar (b.1966-, in Be’er-Sheva, nee Fruchter), a very popular and prolific Israeli comedian & TV personality, stated: “Be’er-Sheva is part of my DNA…I immediately commit myself to anything related to Be’er-Sheva.”

Be’er-Sheva-born and educated Eyal Halali is the young founder of “HalaliComp” – a computer firm. Together with Sarit Greidingher, he created a Hebrew pro-Be’er-Sheva website entitled “Beer 7 streets.” Halali wrote: Be’er-Sheva is a mosaic of populations, a mini-model of the State of Israel, composed of new immigrants, native-born sabras, with different levels of education, students, and others. It hasEyal Halali - local patriot private businesses and companies that come and discover our amazing Be’er-Sheva, with its variety of places to have a good time. Be’er-Sheva’s the Capital of the Negev and the South, worthy of reclaiming its former glory and our love and esteem.”

Yael Lerner, a newpaper journalist, claims that: “Something’s happening in Be’er-Sheva … Today, its no longer that desert transit town, but rather an attractive and renewed city … The significant change that Be’er-Sheva‘s undergoing is successfully integrating modernization and authenticity, along with great respect for history and the varied multiculturism it encompasses.”

Rapper Idan Miro, a member of the combo “Mister I. and Shai,” states with pride: “It’s important that they know that we’re from Be’er-Sheva and we’re staying in Be’er-Sheva.” 

After completing his B.A. in Behavioral Sciences at BGU in 2013, Yaron Nitsan (b.1985-, in Jerusalem) decided to stay and live in Be’er-Sheva because: “Here, there’s fertile space for development. In Tel-Aviv, I wouldn’t have opened a pub, and I certainly wouldn’t have had time to do improvization theater [“Shlofta” Improv Theater], because I’d have found myself struggling all day to survive economically.”   

Avraham NumaAvraham Numa, one of the champion Ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva soccer players, talked about the city: Be’er-Sheva‘s the best city of all … If you want to be a pioneer [a ‘soccer forward’], run to Be’er-Sheva!” 

Zohar Oholiav, an expert in Feng Shui, wrote the following about Be’er-Sheva“Be’er-Sheva is a power in feng shui, leisure activity & catering. The city puts on no airs, rather displays high-octane kindness, liveliness and exhuberance and, above all, is accessible.” 

Itay Pearl (b.1978-) was born in Safed, moved to Tel Aviv in 1999 to further his musical career; then, in 2012, Pearl made Be’er-Sheva his new home. He is a successful singer & guitarist, and writes and produces rock, pop, blues & jazz music for other popular Israeli singers. His 6th (solo) album was released in 2018 here in Be’er-Sheva. Pearl says: “I fell in love with Be’er-Sheva, because here I don’t have to pose for anyone.”

Be’er-Shevan singer/songwriter David Peretz, nicknamed “the suffering artist,” wrote aDavid Peretz song about Be’er-Sheva entitled “The smoke of time.” Some of the lyrics are: “Who would have thought we were meant to live here only with songs and dreams about Be’er-Sheva … The smoke of time rises to the white ceiling. It’s a new morning in the ‘Old City’.”

Eliezer RivlinSupreme Court Judge Eliezer Rivlin said that: “To be a Be’er-Shevan is to be a partner in pioneerism and renewal … to bear fascinating memories … to address the need for real equality as being a self-evident task … to maintain human dignity.”

Be’ershevan actor Dani Roy-Shapira (b.1984-) says: “Everything I do–I want to do in and for Be’er-Sheva… I love every street in this city with every centimeter of my body.”

Ofer Sela - SinfoniettaOfer Sela, former General Manager of the Israel Sinfonietta Be’er-Sheva (2005-2017) stated: “You can take me out of Be’er-Sheva, but you can’t take Be’er-Sheva out of me.”

Oded Shoham, popular accordionist and promoter of Israeli culture (especially music & dance) stated: Be’er-Sheva’s an international city with a cultural fabric woven from the unique cultural threads of about 70 distinct Jewish ethnic communities… Each community retains its own special hue, while fitting into modern Israeli society–and that’s what makes it so beautiful.”  

Reuven Teper - HeaDsWell-known “HeaDs” hair stylist Reuven Teper said: “We were raised and educated in the special Be’er-Sheva environment. I strongly believe in this city; it has enormous potential and, needless to say, I have great love for it.” 

Sha’ul Tsafani, former head of the Metrodan Drivers’ Committee, stated that, though their strike wasn’t completely successful: “Be’er-Sheva is full of warm, easy-going and hospitable people.”

Another native of Be’er-Sheva, Ms. Ori Nir-Winter, founder and CEO of “Creactive – Organizational Design,” stated that she loves the city: “People have no idea how astounding this city is … They aren’t aware that this city has a very high-quality population.” 

Since “Our future is inspired by our past” – join the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites You are welcome to come to the Be’er-Sheva Office of the Society, now located in the Old City at Mordey ha-Geta’ot 74 and/or call Michal Montal – 054-4606496.

Author: etheleakatzenell

I came about 45 years ago from Philadelphia, PA (a city of American founding fathers) to Be'er-Sheva, Israel (the city of Abraham, the biblical Patriarch) and have never regretted that move. Be'er-Sheva is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. My four adult children and 5 grandchildren, all born here, still live and work happily in Be'er-Sheva. This is a place of endless opportunity and open horizons.

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