האתר הלא רשמי של כפר האמנים עין הוד Ein Hod Artists Village Casual Site
Ruth Sernoff, who lives in the quaint artists’ village of Ein Hod in the Carmel Mountains, came to escape “bourgeois” life.
Sernoff and her then-husband Ed were American artists, Quaker and Jewish respectively, who found themselves in search of a home, disappointed with Spain, where they found themselves when Israel seemed like the right choice. “We were looking for another country, and we decided Spain was too Catholic,” Sernoff said.
“When I arrived, I was looking at everything with starry eyes; now I’m looking at things with more tired eyes…”
She explains: “We were looking desperately for a place to take the children away from the United States with all the riots and general issues — we thought the children were very bourgeois.” They didn’t know much about Israel, but “we read about the kibbutzim and the attitudes and the dancing.”
Despite their desire for an alternative non-materialistic life — and deep disappointment when “bourgeois” values arrived in Israel “when the American movies came” — her attitude towards the territory gained in 1967 was close to the views of the right. “We were happy because we felt it brought Israel back together,” she says. “We thought that was part of Israel. In 1947 we wanted to have peace, but they fought us.” She adds: “We looked at it as fair because they started so many wars with us.”She converted to Judaism and they moved to Israel in 1969, setting up home two years later in Ein Hod, where they both live today with new partners. They led a “strange life,” working round the clock in their jewelry factory and then “on the weekend would sing and dance at night; sometimes we would watch the sun come up.”
Looking back now, Sernoff, 80, maintains that Israel took the right course of action after the Six-Day War — with one exception. “I think they did the right thing at the time — the only thing I’m sorry about is that they gave back Gaza, because this brought so many problems.”
But Sernoff’s broad satisfaction with Israeli policy regarding the conflict doesn’t translate to satisfaction with life in Israel. “When I arrived, I was looking at everything with starry eyes; now I’m looking at things with more tired eyes,” she says. Sernoff thinks that Israel has become materialistic and “corrupt,” and said that if all of her four children were happy to emigrate, she would leave Israel. “If we could take our family out and leave and they’d be happy, I’d be happy, because I don’t like the government, and I don’t like the religious element and the materialism, and there isn’t the dancing anymore.”