One oleh, Nachman Klieman, has decided to build his home within Judea and Samaria, where he works using the internet to help create a better future for Israeli artists and craftsman.
Nachman Klieman and his wife Ruchama made Aliyah in 1977. After twenty years of living in Rehovot, his family moved to Neve Tzuf in Judea and Samaria. Klieman refers to this move as his second Aliyah. Neve Tzuf is an orthodox Jewish community of 260 families that is rich in Jewish history. It is also one of the possible areas where the biblical leader of the Jewish people, Joshua son of Nun, was buried. According to Klieman, “In the center of our community stand the remains of one of the largest ancient olive oil and wine press sites. Eight large circular pressing areas including drainage and collection channels were found including an adjacent mikva for the ritual purification of those who processed the wine.” Not too far away from Neve Tzuf are the wine presses of Rama, which are mentioned in the Talmud as the location where grapes for use in the Temple were produced.
Klieman describes his community with glowing terms, “Our community lacks for nothing and has a clinic, grocery store, 4 Synagogues, an active cultural program for children and adults, the central swimming pool for the area, and public green areas in its center aside from the natural forests that surround it.” Klieman continued, “We love the sense of community, purposefulness and ideology, the security and freedom we feel within the community, children and youth are able to walk around in the evening without fear, there are planned activities and shiurim for all ages. There is the feeling that if you want to be alone you can but if you don’t just knock on your neighbor’s door and you’ll be welcomed.”
Nevertheless, despite the appeals of living in such a close-knit and warm community, there are hardships associated with living in Judea and Samaria. Whenever he drives, he always needs to be on extra alert because “our Palestinian neighbors decide to remind us from time to time that they still know how to throw stones at passing Israeli cars.” Given the fact that Klieman lives about an hour away from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, makes driving to such important places not easy.
Unfortunately, as someone who lives on the front line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Klieman has personal experience when it comes to Palestinian terrorism. “Our 23 year old daughter, Esther, who was living at home with us at the time volunteered at Lev Binyamin (a non-profit organization for children who are physically and mentally challenged) to organize a pre- Passover camp for children of the Binyamin area. Esther’s plan was to provide free time for the parents of these children and to enable them to prepare for the Holiday,” Klieman explained.
“On March 24, 2002, I drove Esther to the bus stop near our home for the opening day of camp and I remember that magnificent smile as she looked at me from behind the large windshield of the bus,” he stated. “Five minutes later, a cell of 4 terrorists standing on a hill overlooking the road, fired automatic rifle fire at the civilian bus. Their only motive was to kill or injure Israeli citizens. One bullet penetrated the roof and struck Esther in her seat penetrating her heart of gold. According to the young girl who sat next to her as well as others on the bus, Esther died instantly.”
After the tragic death of his daughter, Klieman quit his job working as the head of public relations for El Al and devoted all of his time to supporting Israel. He spoke on behalf of victims of terror for various audiences in the United States and worked as a shaliach part-time for Keren Yesod in South Africa. Then, after doing all of this work, about four years ago, Klieman experienced another family tragedy, when his 26-year-old son died of a heart attack.
According to Klieman, upon the death of Gavriel, “I felt lost and looked for a new direction to seek the strength and purpose I needed. Gavriel had begun to develop the idea of an Israeli based website just before he died, a site he named U-Boutique.com that would promote the creations and handicrafts of hundreds of Israeli artisans and designers to overseas markets. I gained the strength I needed when I began to look into the idea of turning Gavriel’s dream into a reality.”
He concluded, “Today, my eldest son and I are working to promote Israeli creativity and design by helping small businesses market their products overseas. Gavriel’s dream of U-Boutique is a reality, and I couldn’t ask for a greater feeling than seeing the creative works of Israeli artists, artisans, and designers of jewelry, Judaica, fashions, and art being purchased by Jews and Christians who seek to support Israel and its’ economy.”
To explore Nachman Klieman’s online market of made in Israel products visit: U-Boutique.com.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United With Israel