This very funny book can be picked up and read in its entirety or section by section, in any order you choose. Israeli Life and Leisure in the 21st Century is a series of 53 essays about, as the title implies, Israeli life. It is not about politics or tensions; it is not about any of the issues we read about in the news. The numerous contributors to this work are players in their fields — tourism or nature, kibbutz life or sports, and, of course, Israeli dance.
There are also essays on wine and essays on beer. There is an extensive look at the Israeli wedding. And there is a major debate about kibbutz life.
Michael and Sara Leitner have compiled a book about real life in Israel, a book about authentic Israel. The Leitners are from California; after living in Israel for a time they continue to spend long periods there. This work benefits from an enchanting combination of laid-back California civility and Israeli chutzpah.
In his several essays for this book Michael Leitner uses examples of ways to teach coexistence through sports. Leitner created United Soccer For Peace, a Jewish – Arab soccer program that now has 40,000 children playing not against one another, but together. He uses sports and games as tools for conflict management.
What makes this book unique is that it unveils the beauty and complexity of Israel without focusing on security and politics. This is a book about life’s lessons and an entertaining look at Israeli society.