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Coming Home [with Rachella Sandbank]

Tami Shem-Tov

AGE: 4-8


When World War 2 ended, thousands of European and North African Jews became refugees and set sail for Palestine to find a home. But the British who ruled Palestine did not let them land, and sent them to a detention camp on the island of Cyprus. Little Rosa and her father spent almost a year there, surrounded by barbed wire. Before, Rosa had had a voice like a bell, but in the camp she could no longer sing. However, there was a nice British sentry at the gate, and sometimes he let the children out to paddle in the sea.

The day that this story takes place is special: a famous singer is coming from Palestine to sing for the inmates. Her name is Shoshana Damari, later dubbed the Queen of Hebrew Song. Rosa goes to the hut where the choir is rehearsing for the show. She is dying to sing but she can’t utter a word. In the evening, Shoshana Damari comes on stage and sings “Habayta” – “Homeward.” Her voice is like a bell and her curls are black, just like Rosa’s. And a miracle happens: Rosa starts singing along with her and the two voices mingle. Then the audience also joins in, singing out their longing to reach the place that they can finally call home.


Illustrations: Yael Albert



Title Coming Home
Author’s Last Name Shem-Tov
Author's First Name Tami
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre children-picture bk
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2017
No. Pages 31 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Habayta
Representation Represented by ITHL
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