Deborah grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, where she was raised in a Conservative Jewish home. She attended Sager Solomon Schechter Day School and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.
As an adult, Deborah became an active member of AIPAC, AZM, and other Pro- Israel organizations. In 2012, at age 34, she quit her job in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, sold her car, rented out her Lakeview condo, and with her two cats, made Aliyah.
A year after making Aliyah, she met the Israeli man who would become her husband. She left Tel Aviv and moved with him to the Southern city of Ashkelon.
The presence of Hamas just over the border has been an on-going problem.
While eight months pregnant with her first daughter, she lived through the Protective Edge War, running to her ma’amad (safe room) several times an hour, for days. Two years later, while pregnant with her second child, she and her husband built a home in Kibbutz Zikim, about two miles north of the Gaza border.
She and her family lived there until October 8, 2023.
Since moving into their Zikim home in 2017 they have suffered from Hamas terror. If it wasn’t rockets, it was incendiary balloons floating into their community, sometimes exploding and setting fire to the fields. They suffered from Hamas’ weekly tire burning rituals on the border, causing toxic, smoky air, forcing all area residents to keep windows closed and stay inside. And if it WAS rockets, they had literally 5-8 seconds to get to their ma’amad, which doubles as their daughters’ bedroom. There are ma’amads placed throughout the kibbutz, near the daycares, near the sports fields, the school bus stops, and all the public areas.
This was typical of life on the border, and they had gotten used to it. Until October 7th when everything changed. Hiding in their safe room, closing up their house, arming themselves with kitchen knives, her family survived the horrific infiltrations only because the small kibbutz security team succeeded in keeping Hamas out of the kibbutz when they tried to infiltrate through the gates. Deborah and her family were evacuated on October 8th, to a hotel in Jerusalem where she, her husband and daughters had been living until she decided to bring her girls with her to Highland Park on Oct. 25th. How long they will stay is undetermined. Her husband remains in Israel to work, take care of his elderly parents visit the family pets, while still living out of a hotel.
Deborah is doing as much Hasbara and interviews as she can. She is an advocate for Israel and is a moderator in the Facebook group, Life on the Border with Gaza-Things Most People Don’t Know But Should. Her goal now while living in the States is to use her personal experiences to educate people about the realities in Israel and the truth about Hamas and their atrocities, to fight the growing Anti-Semitism the world now faces.