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Times Will Tell

Podcast: Bereaved mothers portray mourning and renewal in Koby Mandell play

A conversation with writer and mother Sherri Mandell, along with director Yael Valier and actress Rebecca Sykes, about their production of ‘The Blessing of a Broken Heart’

Welcome to Times Will Tell, the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel.

This week we’re speaking about the play “The Blessing of a Broken Heart,” based on the book by Sherri Mandell, directed by Yael Valier of Theater and Theology and with the lead role played by Rebecca Sykes.

The production was supposed to be performed this week in Jerusalem, but is being postponed due to the current wave of the omicron variant.

This latest version of the one-woman play is now backed by an ensemble created by Valier in order to underline the story and reflect what the Mandell character is thinking and feeling throughout the work.

The production is about the brutal terrorist murder of Mandell’s 13-year-old son Koby Mandell and his friend Yosef Ishran in 2001, near their home in Israel.

This terrible tragic loss led Mandell and her husband Seth to do many things, including establishing the Koby Mandell Foundation that offers support programs to people who have lost family members to terrorism.

Mandell has always been a writer and “The Blessing of a Broken Heart” was written in the year after Koby’s murder, portraying her experience of mourning and renewal.

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