I have spoken about my books, service in the IDF, and Israeli affairs at synagogues, and Jewish Community Centers, to Birthright groups, university Hillel organizations, schools, and student programs in Israel, as well as to the U.S. Coast Guard.In my new “Necessary Stories” presentation, I add a new dimension of humor and storytelling to my portfolio.
My next U.S. visits are scheduled for Sept. 2011, January/February 2012, and July/August 2012.
Please contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topics and Programs
1. Necessary Stories
Life in Israel as portrayed in my “Necessary Stories” column in The Jerusalem Report is alternatively absurd, melancholy, and lyrical. Combining personal experience with literary allusion and juxtaposing my own angst with that of everyone from Second Aliya pioneers to Felix Mendelssohn to Batman, these tales are unique and unforgettable. In this one-man presentation, I talk about the craft of writing, the ups and downs of writing and life in Israel, and tell several of my Necessary Stories. The program is flexible; it can include between 3-7 stories, for a program ranging from 45 minutes to an hour and a quarter in length.
“Haim Watzman transports his audience both in time and place in an authentic, heartfelt and intellectually thought-provoking performance.” – Doris Traub, Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn
“Haim Watzman brings the Israeli experience to life in a way that a history book never can. He reminded me again why Israel means so much to me. Mr. Watzman’s program was at once funny, thought-provoking, wise and enjoyable.” – David Greenberg, Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn
2. A Crack in the Earth: Turning the Landscape of Israel’s Rift Valley into a Story
In this slide show talk, I tell the story of my trip through the rift valley that stretches from the Red Sea through the Jordan River valley to the Sea of Galilee and beyond, and how it turned into a book. The raw material of experiences and library research became a narrative in which three geographic segments of the rift each takes on a theme. The bare desert of the Arava become a place where the rift is seen by people who study the physical evidence on its surface; the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley are disappointed utopias; and Lake Kinneret and the Hula Valley are the realm of myth, where stories move over the landscape.
3. Company C: Conscience and Duty
A major theme in Company C is my service as a soldier during conflicts in which I opposed the Israeli government’s policy. I served in Lebanon as an enlisted man and in the West Bank during the first Intifada as a reservist, despite my opposition to Israel’s occupation of these areas. My story of my doubts and questions, leading to my decision to serve as a soldier while protesting as a civilian, serves as a basis for a broader discussion of current trends in the army and in society, and about how I can be a committed Zionist even if I disagree with the Israeli government’s policies.
“Thank you so much for sharing your story and views at Cardozo. I think the event was a huge success and lent some much-needed diversity and passion to the debate over Israel-related issues on campus. I also think you handled the tough questions and some harsh feedback from a few attendees quite well. You conducted yourself professionally but at the same time came across very personable and approachable.” – Josh Gajer, Cardozo Israel Alliance, Cardozo Law School, New York City