Shifra Shomron is an American-born writer who lived with her family in Neve Dekalim from 1992 until the highly disputed, tension-filled Israeli Disengagement from Gaza in 2005. She loved her life and thrived in Gush Katif, Israel where she spent her childhood through teenage years.
Shifra’s previous works, articles, and poems have appeared in in The Jewish Press newspaper and on many websites. Her short story “Fronds in the Breeze” won first place alternate in a youth contest. Shifra is a high school recipient of the “Letter of Academic Excellence” from the Israeli Ministry of Education.
Shifra served one year of Sherut Leumi (National service) at the Brechiya State Religious elementary school which accepted a large number of children from Gush Katif. She helped in the English department. In the evenings she continued at the Nitzan caravilla site youth club where she assisted children with their homework as well as organized arts and crafts activities. In her final month of Sherut Leumi, in the summer vacation, she taught English at the re-established Gush Katif Talmud Torah elementary school.
A number of book reviews and interviews about her debut novel, Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim have appeared in several websites and newspapers including Israel National News-A7 Radio and The Jerusalem Post. She chose to write her historic novel for several reasons. Firstly, as a way to have an accurate account of what was happening in that extremely difficult time – for herself; the entire situation was so absurd. She was afraid that she wouldn’t trust her memory later on. Secondly, after the destruction of Gush Katif, it was important to her to try and eternalize the Gush; and the written word lasts forever. Lastly, she wanted to share her memories and experiences with the vast public – so that anyone would be able to pick up her book and be transferred beyond time and beyond location into her Gush Katif. Shifra’s writings are available on this website.
Shifra graduated from the Israeli government accelerated academic college Excellence Program with a B.Ed. in English and Bible Studies. She is currently enrolled in an English Literature M.A. program. Shifra explains that she went into education in order to help revive a new generation of thinking youth, who are ideological and connected to their Jewish heritage. Her goal is to help strengthen the many people who have become discouraged through the lack of leadership, and the many difficulties Israel is facing through her writings and in the classroom setting. Shifra presently works in public relations for the Gush Katif Committee. In this way she continues to help increase awareness about the plight of the uprooted Gush Katif residents.
Shifra and her family lived in one of several temporary prefab caravilla sites established by the Israeli government for Gush Katif expellees. She is the second of seven children.
Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim by Shifra Shomron © 2007, ISBN 978-965-7344-19-4, soft cover, 185 pages, Mazo Publishers