From capturing the lingering pain of Holocaust survivors to describing the harsh conditions of Palestinian refugee camps, Shulamith Hareven used her writing to push Israelis to confront uncomfortable truths. Born Shulamith Ryftin, Hareven fled Poland for Palestine with her family in 1940. She served as a combat medic for the Haganah during the 1948 War of Independence, and helped found the popular Israeli Defense Force Radio in 1950. She published her first book of poems, Predatory Jerusalem, in 1962, and went on to write nineteen books that ranged from her vivid historical novel City of Many Days (1972) to the powerful reportage of The Vocabulary of Peace (1995). She served as a war correspondent in 1967 and 1973 for the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, and was the first woman inducted into the Israeli Academy of the Hebrew Language. While she wrote passionately about her love for Israel in many novels and essays, she was also a vocal critic of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians and served as a spokesperson for Peace Now. For her political activism and powerful writing, the Parisian newspaper L’Express praised her as one of the hundred women “who move the world” in 1995. Her final book, Many Days, Autobiography, was published in 2002.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Shulamith Hareven." (Viewed on February 27, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/hareven-shulamith>.