July 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Literary Journal in Memory of Adira Koffsky, z”l, To Benefit Magen David Adom

Adira Koffsky, z”l

On a rainy night in Jerusalem last February, a horrific car accident off Emek Refaim in the German Colony area claimed the life of beloved gap-year student Adira Koffsky, z’’l. The students of Amudim, housed in the area, were on their way back to their dormitory from a lecture when the accident occurred. Roommates and classmates who had been walking ahead of Adira and were not aware of what had occurred, were informed late at night of her demise. Word of the tragedy spread quickly in Israel as well as in the U.S. The Jewish community of West Hempstead, Long Island, was grieving for the precious daughter it had lost.

Adira, who was a graduate of Yeshiva University’s High School for Girls (Central) had always been recognized as an aspiring writer. While studying at Amudim, she organized several inter-seminary poetry slams in person and online. No doubt inspired by her mother, Ann Koffsky, a published author of many children’s books, a significant number with Jewish themes, Adira was planning a career in the literary arts. She was a deep thinker and considered many issues about the world around her. On the last night of shiva for Adira, a poetry slam in her memory was held in Jerusalem and aired in the U.S. for her friends and relatives to hear the outpouring of tributes from her many admirers.

At Amudim, the loss of their dear friend and classmate was immense. In May, in response to this pain, three of Adira’s closest friends, Irit Wiseman, Ayelet Levine and Yakira Colish, sought to create a project that would recognize Adira’s writing talent and dream of becoming a published author. They decided upon a literary journal, which would feature the writing of fellow gap students who were impacted by her loss. The writing would center around the themes of “God, Love and Loss,” which became the title of the journal. The three sections of the journal would be ordered so that they would flow from one to the next.

A flier was disseminated to gap-year students throughout Israel inviting them to submit poems, short stories and essays to be included in the journal as tributes to Adira, whose work was to be included as well. By the deadline of May 14, dozens of submissions were received.

Irit Wiseman, Ayelet Levine, and Yakira Colish worked together as co-editors. Irit selected the submissions to be included and coordinated the final compilation. Ayelet advised on textual changes that were then discussed with the poets. Yakira handled manuscript formatting and the fundraising to finance it through Kindle Direct Publishing. The responses were generous and encouraging. The first copies went out to the contributors on November 9, 2023. Proceeds will benefit Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency first responder service.

Introducing “God, Love and Loss” is a moving foreword by Amudim Rosh Midrasha Dr. Julie Goldstein. “Through her writing, Adira was taking things that were going on inside herself—her thoughts, feelings, emotions, analyses, questions and struggles, and bringing them into the world,” Goldstein wrote.

“As Adira expresses in an essay in which she addresses God directly, ‘My thanks for this gift, this ability to show the world what I see and feel. None of it mentions You by name, but it doesn’t have to.You’re already there—pen on paper, text on scraps; it’s a manifestation of the creativity of mankind, the mankind I am part of, the mankind You created.’ As Adira expressed, ‘My pen is my siddur and my stories are my davening.’”

Also in the foreword is a message from Adira’s parents, Ann and Mark Koffsky. “Thank you to everyone who shared their love, memories and thoughts about Adira with us in letters, visits, texts—and now, in this beautiful journal. These stories and poems you have shared and continue to share, not only comfort us, but also help us understand the impact that Adira had on her friends and the world around her … Thank you for helping to keep her memory alive in this most beautiful way.”

To order a copy of “God, Love, And Loss” please go to Amazon or use this link: https://tinyurl.com/2xcx7re8. All proceeds go directly to first responders Magen David Adom.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles