Monday, August 16, 2010


By Sara L. Shomron

In keeping pace with the 5th Gush Katif memorial, here is a selection of books on Gush Katif written in, or translated to English, all authored by former residents of Gush Katif:

1. Prayer for the Poor by Rabbi Elnekaveh,
the former area rabbi of Gush Katif.
Book Description:
Talks in a general way about life under the backdrop of Disengagement.
Shiloh BarChetz, © 2007.
Available from Moriah book store in Jerusalem

2. 222 Days of K’far Darom by Dr. Aryeh Yitzhaki,
military historian.
Book Description from the Jewish Press book review reads in part:
“The book portrays an unparalleled heroic episode. For eight and a half months in 1948, several dozen young men and women faced the local Arab enemy and the invading Egyptian army. The defenders were under almost complete siege, suffering from terrible hunger and thirst. Most of them were religious kibbutzniks, reinforced by Palmah fighters…"
Eretz Israel Publishers, © 2007.
Now available in English.

3. Eviction by Rachel Saperstein, Founder and Director of Operation Dignity.
Book Description from
“Rachel Saperstein moved to the beautiful area of Gush Katif in Gaza to raise a family and enjoy an uncluttered life. Trouble is, she and her kind" pose an inconvience to Arab power brokers. You see, Jews and Christians are not suppose to live in Arab/Muslim lands even though Muslims may live in Christian or Jewish lands. This book sheds light on this nasty situation.”
Pavilion Press, © 2005.
Available from

4. Grains of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim
by Shifra Shomron (Literature Study Guide available for free downloading).
A teenager raised in Neve Dekalim wrote, in English, the first published historical fiction novel leading up to the controversial Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Jewish communities in Gush Katif, Gaza Strip.
Book Description from the author’s website in part:
“Set in Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif, Israel, "Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim" is told through the vantage point of teenager Efrat Yefet, a high school student living under the dual threat of Arab attacks and the Israeli government's 2005 Disengagement plan to destroy her town and adjacent communities. She, along with family, friends, and neighbors, try to lead ordinary lives as the ever-encroaching conflict gets closer, and the whole community joins efforts to save their beautiful towns from destruction…”
Mazo Publishers, © 2007.
Available from, Barnes & Noble, select Jerusalem book stores, Gush Katif Museum, and Mazo Publishers

5. Katif Nine Days in Av Portrait of a Struggle
by Miri Tzachi, journalist photographer.
Book Description from reads in part: “Beautiful Coffee-table Size Photo Album Depicting the Saga of Gush Katif…Text in 4 languages: English, Hebrew, French & Russian…”
L'Chaim Publications, © 2006.
Available from

6. The Expulsion From Gush Katif, educational resource.
Book Description:
A compilation of articles from Gush Katif residents and journalists leading up to the expulsion.
“…For those who never lived in Jewish Gaza, The Expulsion of Gush Katif provides a clear picture of the suffering of its residents and what they went through when their homes were destroyed. It is also a moving record of faith and strength, and hope for the future."
Southern Hills Press, © 2008. Edited by Naomi Grossman.
Available from


Keli Ata said...

I definitely want to get Grains of Sand. I have read so much about it.

Sara Layah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara Layah said...

Keli Ata -
I think "Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim" is of particular interest because it is written in English from Shifra Shomron’s teenage perspective and is a historically accurate, fictional account.

Shifra Shomron doesn’t tell readers what to think in her book “Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim” but gives them awareness. She utilizes narrative, poetry, diary entries, news articles, photos, and Biblical text to give the reader a more intimate look at stressful, traumatic events than that given by general coverage of major media networks.

Shifra takes the reader on a journey into her Gush Katif community. The reader can blend their own thoughts and thinking with the story, and better understand issues related to the uprooting and destruction of the Jewish Gush Katif communities that are still being nationally grappled with to this day – 5 years later.

Book details, book excerpt, book reviews, and more are available on Shifra's website:

Sara Layah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara Layah said...

Journalist photographer Miri Tzahi (Katif Nine Days in Av Portrait of a Struggle) is not a former Gush Katif resident. She is a staff photographer for the Israeli newspaper “Makor Rishon”

Sara Layah said...

Awesome power point slide-show presentation on the Literature Study Guide for Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim is now available:

Batya said...

wonderful, thanks