April 5, 2006

by Reb Yudel
Ben Yehudah biographer honored with Israel Prize

Ynetnews reports on this year's Israel Prize for lifetime achievement and contribution to Israeli society and state

The judges concluded: “Israel Prize is awarded to Mrs. Dvora Omer for her success in turning the Zionist-Israeli past into a vivid array of exemplary characters and thrilling events, that together worked for the Zionist cause… In her activity she confronted the issue of forgetfulness and the gap between the dedication and vigor which accompanied the founding of the state and the routine of everyday life.”
Among her biographies of Zionist heroes was Rebirth: The Story of Eliezer Ben Yehudah -- a book that deeply moved this this blogger as a child. Ynet continues:
Omer was born in 1932 at Kibbutz Maoz Haim, in the Bet She’an Valley. As a young girl she published her writings in the youth journal “Bama’ale”, edited by her father. Upon completing her military service, she studied at Oranim Seminar and became a teacher at the kibbutz. In 1955, inspired by her students, she began to write “Tamar Papers” as a regular column published in the now-defunct “Davar for Children” newspaper. She named her literary heroine Tamar – a name she had always envied.

Since them, Omer has written and dedicated her work to stories, characters and events about the history of Zionism. Omer’s heroes are the founders and torchbearers of Zionism: Herzl, Ben-Gurion, Mania Shohat, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Itamar Ben-Avi, Zvia Lubtkin, Menahem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and many more.

Today, at age 73, Omer lives in the village of Ma’as. She is married to Shmulik, and is a mother of three and grandmother to three granddaughters.. The pace of her writing has slowed in recent years due to an acute heart condition, but she continues her life’s work.

Recently she published a book for preschoolers entitled “Stories for Diapers”.

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