"I wish they’d think with their minds instead of their pockets!"

Rachel Keinan

Location: Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv

Residence: Tel Aviv

Age: 62

The encounter: I was on a family outing at the Tel Aviv Museum. At the entrance of the museum I met Rachel’s friend, Leah, who suggested that I interview both her and Rachel. 

What are you doing here right now?
I came to visit the museum with my good friend, Leah, who just arrived from Kiryat Gat. This is the first part of our entertainment for today.

What is your occupation?
I am an event organizer – not weddings, but conferences and things like that.

How do you describe your religious or national identity?
I’d say: Jewish, secular... Israeli.

Can you tell me a bit about your family?
I’m a widow, and I have two grown children. My son, who is almost forty, has three kids. My daughter, who is thirty-eight, has two kids. They are both married and they work. Of course they are both wonderful!

Where is your family from?
I was born in Argentina, but my father’s family originally came from Odessa. My mom’s family came from Transylvania.
My father’s family moved to Argentina after the First World War. They settled in Entre Rios, in a town established by Baron Hirsch, a famous 19th-century Jewish philanthropist who helped Jews escape the pogroms in Eastern Europe and settle in Argentina.
I arrived in Israel in the 1970s. I came as a student. I was studying to become a Hebrew teacher, and one of the requirements was to spend a year in Israel. But then I fell in love with the land, and with this one guy, and I stayed. That’s it, more or less.

What are your hopes and expectations for the future of this land?
For myself, I hope to find a partner for the future, because it’s hard to be alone.
For the country, I hope that the situation will improve so we’ll all have a little bit more quiet and security and rest.
I hope the leadership will think a little deeper and not be motivated by petty political rivalry. There are real big problems to fix! I wish they’d think with their minds instead of their pockets!
This whole story of the elections... Nobody needs elections now! It’s so expensive, such a waste of money!
They don’t want to make peace because war gives them opportunities to have elections and make more money. You see, if there was no war, we wouldn’t have to spend three billion shekel on the security budget. But because of the war in Gaza this summer, they had an excuse to increase the budget. They sell us stories to convince us the other side doesn’t want peace. I don’t believe that’s necessarily true. But it’s the same on the other side: the leaders think with their pockets; not with their minds.