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Is It a Bird? A Plane? Or an Ornithologist?


Carole G. Vogel and Yossi Leshem Present The Man Who Flies with Birds at the 11th Annual Ann Katz Festival of Books



November 01, 2009
Years before Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III safely landed his plane in the Hudson River, an Israeli ornithologist had long been tackling the problem of airplane bird strikes. In the early 1980s, Yossi Leshem convinced the Israeli Air Force to loan him a Cessna. His plan? To soar with the birds that migrate over Israel every year in search of a solution to the problem of bird-plane collisions. Leshem's goal was two-fold: to prevent further endangerment to humans and to protect bird species that were at risk of extinction.

The ornithologist's dedication to his science is but one part of the magnificent book, The Man Who Flies with Birds (Publisher: Kar-Ben, 2009). Beautifully illustrated with photographs of birds soaring over Israel's varied regions and drawings to explain some of the technical aspects of Leshem's work, this book is less a biography and more an argument for the need for environmental protection, an explanation of the physics of flying and a study of the millions of birds seen in the skies above Israel.

On Sunday, November 8 at 10 am, Carole Garbuny Vogel, co-author of The Man Who Flies with Birds, will appear at the Arthur M. Glick JCC, 6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, to discuss Yossi Leshem's story. Vogel's presentation will include a slideshow and book signing. John Castrale, a Department of Natural Resources non-game biologist known for banding the Peregrine Falcon chicks at Market Tower, will give a local perspective on this topic.

Gregory K. Silver, an attorney in Indianapolis and DC, will introduce Carole Vogel. Silver has been involved with environmental issues for many years. He is an administrative law judge for the U.S. Justice Department and was a candidate for State Senate and City Council. His advocacy to blend economic well-being with environmental control has been heard in Indiana and the halls of Congress.

The Man Who Flies with Birds event is part of the JCC's annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and is a Spirit & Place event. The event is free of charge, however donations are welcome.

Sponsors of The Man Who Flies with Birds include: Indy's Child and Butler University's Center for Urban Ecology. Co-sponsors are Hoosier Environmental Council, and Wild Birds Unlimited

About the Ann Katz Festival of Books

With "something for everyone, literally," the JCC's 11th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books, November 4-21, is the largest literary event of its kind in Central Indiana. This year's festival features 10 authors from a range of genres, 2 film screenings, children's programs, cultural events and a book sale to appeal to all ages and interests.

Highlights of this year's festival include opening night with Martin Fletcher, NBC News' Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent, on Wednesday, November 4, at 7 pm. Martin will be interviewed about his extraordinary, real-life adventures by John Stehr, the Emmy Award-winning co-anchor on Indy's NBC affiliate, WTHR, and former network correspondent for CBS news in New York.

Also this year, the festival will feature a luncheon and an exhibit by one of Indiana's preeminent painters, Lois Main Templeton. Ms. Templeton's inaugural exhibition was held at the JCC 28 years ago and now, in her 80s, the artist has come full circle with her return to the JCC, October 28 through mid-December. Information and dates for the exhibit and all festival of events are listed below and can be found at www.JCCindy.org.

Sponsors for the 2009 Ann Katz Festival of Books include: Lilly Endowment Inc., a 2009 Fast Track Grant from the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission, a generous contribution made by Irwin Katz in memory of his wife, Ann; the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Donor Advised Fund of JFGI; Fifth Third Bank, Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University, Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University, and Cohen Garelick & Glazier.

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