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Audio: Eytan Bensinger: Making the Past Come Alive

A blog about sightseeing in Israel and a film about the lives of Holocaust survivors bring the past to life.
8/31/2012, 12:21 PM

A7 Radio's "Life Lessons with Judy Simon" with Judy Simon
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Eytan (Ethan) Bensinger was born into a good Yekkishe (German Jewish) family in a small town in Israel.

At the age of 6, he learned what it means to be an immigrant when his family moved to America.

It wasn't easy. Perhaps that's why he grew up and became an immigration lawyer, though his childhood dream was journalism.

After a satisfying 30 year career, Eytan retired, and developed new passions.

One is a sightseeing blog that focuses on out-of-the-way places in Israel, such as places an Israeli may not even know about.

The blog has both articles and a podcast, serving as a virtual tour guide for armchair Israeli tourists as well as backpacking ones.

The other passion is a critically acclaimed film that Eytan created about the SelfHelp Home in Chicago, where his 100 year old mom still lives.

The film began as a way to capture the stories of Central European Holocaust survivors, who were slowly leaving this world.

Eytan filmed 30 stories and presented the archive of memories to the Self Help Home. From those 30 stories, an idea developed to create a film.

The film is called "Refuge: Stories of the Self Help Home," and it contains historical documents, background information, plus the in depth interviews with 6 residents of the Home.

Critically acclaimed, the film has been selected for various film festivals, in addition to showings on PBS and at local schools.

Eytan's blog can be seen at , and details of his film can be obtained at

Tune in to meet a delightful gentleman who is connecting to his past and his heritage in so many wonderful ways.

Judy Simon is the host of the show Life Lessons and the mother of six children. After almost 20 years of teaching English and special education, Judy now serves as the Beit El Tourism Coordinator, and organizes tours of the site of Jacob's Dream in Beit El. Check out Beit El's website: and "like" the Beit El Heritage Center Facebook page: To "like" the Hebrew page: Life Lessons explores fascinating people from all walks of life and follows their stories of lessons learned along the way. The Life Lessons podcast airs every Thursday from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Israel time on Israel National Radio.
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