Ithamar Handelman Smith

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File:Ben canaan. Tel Aviv 2010.jpg
Handelman Smith as seen in Tel Aviv Museum, 2010

Itamar Handelman Smith (Hebrew: איתמר הנדלמן סמית; born May 30, 1976 in the city of Eilat, Israel), also known by his pen name Ithamar Ben-Canaan, is a Jewish writer [1], columnist, filmmaker, playwright and DJ [2] based in Paris.

His book The British Detective, published by Keter Publishing House. As a documentary filmmaker he's known for Shalom Belfast [3] about Northern Irish factions taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict. He writes weekly for Time Out (magazine) about politics and fashion.

Handleman is named after Hebrew language reviver Itamar Ben-Avi. Via his paternal side Handelman Smith is great descendent of 18th century hasidic leader grand rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch.


Handelman Smith and friend Yoram Kaniuk, 2009
The British Detective, novel by Handelman Smith, Hebrew edition 2015

Handelman Smith began writing for the Herzliya supplement of Haaretz network at the age of 17. Between the years 1998 and 2003 he wrote a weekly culture critic column in Maariv weekend magazines. During those years he published two volumes of short fiction: Where Have You Gone, Arik Einstein? (1999), and Dreaming of Junkfood (2001).

In 2004 Handelman Smith began writing a more personal weekly column in the Time Out magazine of Tel Aviv that earned cult status in Israeli culture, according to Nana 10 [4]. Other than those collections of short stories he produced two volumes of poetry and one erotic narrative novel including photos taken by his then partner, artist Olga Borozina. Handelman Smith also translated the poetry of Charles Bukowski into Hebrew and edited translations of other American writings.

In 2005 he was a subject of a documentary film entitled The Ashkenazim.[5]

Handelman Smith currently lives with his wife Julia Carolyn Ann Handelman Smith in Paris and was employed by Ha'ir, a Tel Aviv local newspaper associated with Haaretz as well as Globes (from 2013). His columns often provoked Israeli mainstream. In the summer of 2011 his piece concerning the Sephardic Jewish Israeli singer Margalit Tzan'ani was the cause of great controversies and even allegations of racism. [6]

During 2009 and 2010, while living in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Handelman Smith was commissioned by the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry and the Legacy Trust UK to write a musical titled The Naked Tornado (2011) [7] [8] alongside young Northern Irish composer Neil Burns. A 30-minute long piece of the play was staged in Belfast. In early 2012 Handelman Smith's film Shalom Belfast (2012) was released [9] and broadcast on BBC northern Ireland.


  • 1999 – Where have you gone, Arik Einstein?[10]
  • 2001 – Dreaming of junk food [11]
  • 2002 – Like those dogs who die of sorrow when their owners take off for the weekend
  • 2004 – Open[12]
  • 2014 - The British Detective, published by Keter Publishing House

See also

External links