Margaret Kartus Duvdevani, a Birmingham native who lives in Israel near the Gaza Strip, will be in Birmingham for a series of events over the next two weeks.

She will give her perspective on the current Israeli actions in Gaza, as well as the background of how it has been living within firing range of missiles from Gaza over the last several years.

Duvdevani lives in Moshav Talmei Yosef, which grows flowers for export, and has been there for 30 years. The moshav is three miles from Gaza, which means the community lives under the constant threat of random Hamas missiles.

School is not in session and most on the moshav do not work because of the constant threat. Duvdevani reported, “We venture out only when necessary, for food, to the doctor, or out of the area to a safer part of the country for a few days of relaxation away from the stresses of the moment.”

When a missile is launched, “We are warned of an imminent strike by a siren as well as a beeper that everyone has in their homes that beeps like crazy and sends us running to the "safest" room in the house. We have exactly 15 seconds to take cover, where we anxiously await the big boom.”

She will speak on Jan. 13 at a joint meeting of the Birmingham Jewish Federation board and the Birmingham Jewish Community Relations Committee. The 5:30 p.m. event will be at the Bais Ariel Chabad Center and is open to the community.

On Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. she will speak at the annual Birmingham Lion of Judah program, at the Pine Tree Country Club. Lion of Judah is the group for women who contribute at least $5000 annually to the Federation’s annual campaign. Originally, Israeli Consul General Reda Mansour, who serves the Southeastern United States from the Atlanta Consulate, was to speak, but the situation requires him to stay in Atlanta.

On Jan. 16, Duvdevani will speak at the 5:45 p.m. Shabbat service at Temple Emanu-El, where she grew up.

She is also scheduled to speak at the Levite Jewish Community Center’s annual meeting, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m.

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