Translated from Hebrew by Orna Raz
These days when carpets of red anemones are covering the northwest of the Negev, Ora Levy, a major activist in Women Wage Peace, is busy inviting the whole of Israel to visit the Red South Festival and to explore the blooming B’sor region. Last winter when I travelled with my family to see the anemones in that area I met Ora and her friends in Yad Mordechai as they “selling” the demand for a political agreement (it was only a short time after the end of Protective Edge and the south was still bleeding) and the red South together.
I haven’t met many people like Ora, she is an enterprising woman, loves her fellow men (and womenJ ) and has a strong sense of purpose. Women Wage Peace is lucky to have Ora among its prime activists.
I became aware of Women Wage Peace through Facebook and ever since I have been an active member—I took part in the Election Patrol, The Yad Mordechai Publicity, the launch of the Movement in Sderot, the Sderot conference, the policy relation team, the group of 100, the Women of Liberia activity and the travelling tent. Now I am organizing visits to “the path to peace” in the red South as part of the Red South festival” (Ora forgot to mention that she is also the coordinator of the Ashkelon Chapter in the movement.
If you think that you have heard of Ora or seen her photo somewhere else, you are probably right. About 4 years ago after being a teacher for 29 years, after she became aware that the education system did not offer her opportunities for advancement, and the pay wasn’t that great, Ora resigned from teaching and started working as a taxi driver in a taxi station. After a year she took a big step, and bought her own taxi, not before she had taken a course in running a business through Mati “I discovered my advantage as a woman driver and leveraged it to start my own business of women’s taxi drivers: Monita. It appears that there is real market for women taxi drivers.” Ora is known as the founder and the leader of Monita.
In between Ora doesn’t rest and keeps learning, “during my sabbatical year as a teacher, I learnt Italian and art in beautiful Florence, and to make up for the mandatory hours I also took a course in driving a public vehicle. “ That is probably how the idea of the taxi came about. “I forgot to mention that I am a graduate of literature and education in Sapir College, I completed a course for municipal leadership in Ashkelon, a course for environmental activists and so forth”
Ora was born in Eilat. When she was two year old her parents moved to Ashkelon, where her mother was among the founders of the medical center in town. During Yom Kippur war she held a position in the scouts and her superior was killed, “I wrote letters to soldiers and one of them is the father of my older daughter.” Ora is a mother of 3, she has a year old granddaughter and she is one of the major activists in Women Wage Peace.
Interviewed Michal Paneth Peleg