Barbara Sofer

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Barbara Sofer
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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: Lunching with Cops  

By Barbara Sofer

At noon time on a sunny winter Thursday, Menashe Bibi and a group of retired policemen are sitting on a ragtag collection of plastic chairs under a palm tree in the Mekor Haim neighborhood of Jerusalem. The morning's chopping, stirring and washing up is done, and lunch is about to be served. While other groups of men meet at café parliaments to debate the news, these gray-haired men gather five mornings a week to prepare the food for a soup kitchen and social club called Avivim, the Hebrew word that implies springtime burgeoning.

Today's menu, the volunteers apologize, is a little below par. Earlier in the week, they've been expansive in frying fish and roasting chickens, passing out gourmet leftovers to take home in plastic boxes. Today's entrée is a hot dog stew in a piquant tomato sauce. "The soup is a little Yemenite, and Romanian, and Polish and Kurdish – like us," says volunteer Yossi Ben-Zikri, who notes that he's not a police officer but a former employee of the phone company Bezeq.

Inside the rented stone building, eight elderly women are meeting with a life coach. One was once my grown daughter's nursery-school teacher. Six of the women are widows. One of the others is caring for a sick husband. The eighth is divorced.

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