To Belong

A Novel by Judith Galblum Pex

Tamar, an Israeli woman, is fiercely loyal to her husband and children but carries psychological scars from growing up in a kibbutz children’s home, separated from her parents. She dreams of fulfillment as a mother of a large family. When a group of Sudanese refugee children come to Tamar’s nursing clinic for immunizations, their predicament tugs at her heart. She becomes obsessed with thoughts of rescuing a small brother and sister whose mother has abandoned them at the refugee camp. As Jews who follow Yeshua, Tamar and her family walk carefully as they live in community comprised of Messianic Jews, secular Jews, a former Orthodox Jew, Holocaust survivors, and immigrant Jews from other countries and cultures. Fostering the children leads to constant red tape and the brunt of official hostility toward refugees. As Tamar’s family, along with extended family and friends, enfold the children and seek justice for the refugees, an unlikely group of people are united in loving fellowship. Along the way, healing happens—of emotional scars, rejection, relational tensions, and religious extremes. They all find belongingness—to each other, to God, and to common purpose.

Judy Pex (Judith) is an explorer, adventurer and author. Together with her husband, John, they are the pioneers behind the Shelter Hostel in Eilat, Israel. From there all the journeys started that Judy has written about. Her previous books are: Walk the Land, A People Tall and Smooth, and Come Stay Celebrate.

ISBN: 978-1-945099-30-4 · 272 pgs · Paperback · Publication date: July 20, 2022

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“Once again, Judy Pex writes of places and people who at first seem foreign or unfamiliar. With her compassionate spirit, she reminds us how we are all connected, all united in common desires for safety, love, place, and acceptance. To Belong is a well-researched and evocative story torn from international headlines. Whether we deal with Ukranian, Ethiopian, or Sudanese refugees, we have tough questions to face. Pex doesn’t shy from these dilemmas. She introduces us to wonderful people in a beach town of Israel and shows us through their eyes the true cost of caring for others.”  Eric Wilson, NY Times bestselling author of Samson and From Chains to Change

“I highly recommend reading To Belong by Judy Pex. This is a truly inspiring story of a family motivated by their faith in Jesus/Yeshua who open their home and show true hospitality by ‘loving the stranger.’ As a foster carer, this story especially resonated with me because it gives a realistic glimpse into the joys and challenges of providing a home for a young person who is in need. Set in the beautiful city of Eilat, this story reflects life in the place where the desert meets the sea, and also highlights the contrast of cultures between Africa and the Middle East and even within Israel, itself.”  –Tim Pfeiffer, The Wellness Shelter (, London, UK



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