Barbara Sofer

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Barbara Sofer

Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day, Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem Post.

Barbara has written five books and contributed to several others


Jerusalem Post

The Human Spirit: Who's speaking for whom?  

By Barbara Sofer

In one of those strange juxtapositions, no one finds it odd that the Palestinian Authority is demanding a role in the investigation of the murder of the three pacifist Muslim students in North Carolina, and a Jewish organization is gathering signatures to make it known that if on March 3 Israel’s prime minister speaks 435 km. away in Washington, he won’t be speaking in their names.

First, the Chapel Hill tragedy. A medium- sized city in North Carolina, Chapel Hill is home to a campus of the University of North Carolina. It was the first municipality in the South to elect an African-American mayor. Buses there are free.

On February 10, Razan Muhammad Abu-Salha, 19, an architecture and environmental design student at North Carolina State, came to visit her newlywed sister Yusor, 21, and brother-in-law Deah Saddy Barakat, 23, in their apartment in the pretty Finley Forest complex. Deah was studying dentistry and Yusor, who had a degree in biology, was going to start dental school in the fall; the couple’s dream was to open a dental practice together. The two sisters were wearing the traditional Muslim head covering.

Their downstairs neighbor Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with their murder. Speculation is that he was annoyed about their parking in the complex lot. A look at his Facebook page makes it clear that he despised religion, which he blamed for the troubles of the world. A proclaimed atheist, he flaunted a .38 revolver and allegedly shot the three young people in the head. He later turned himself in to police.

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