Pepe Mel, ex football player and actual coach writes a new novel

Known in the sports field for his long professional career, Mel is a rare insider in his profession when combining his work with writing; “The Sephardic key” (La llave Sefardí)

is the fourth book published.

A book whose background reflects the author’s concern for any form of fanaticism, whatever it may be, and which he captures through a story of intrigue, in which such notable characters as the painter Velázquez are part of an intricate puzzle, whose end It will not leave the reader indifferent.

A key carried by a Jew expelled from Spain – Samuel Ha Levi -, will pass from generation to generation and will coexist alongside their owners what will happen to them throughout their different lives.

On the other hand, the obligation to return to Sepharad will also be a heavy burden that the descendants of Samuel’s saga will have to live with.

This fact will be present in the passing of time and will take the different protagonists to periods and places as disparate as the archdeacon Ferran Martínez’s Sevilla, to the time of the Holy Inquisition, to Velázquez’s Madrid, to Nazi Germany and its Holocaust, to the 11-M and the dates of the Jihadist attacks in Madrid.

In short, The Sephardic Key is a book that aims to stir the conscience about fanaticism that uses literary resources that every novel must have to engage the reader with a suggestive story of suspense, which reveals facts as worrisome as the Palestinian and Jewish problem.

José Mel Pérez was born in Madrid on February 28, 1963, he was a professional footballer for many years. He finished his playing career in the French team of Angers, and has trained in the Premier League in West Brombich Albion.

Established in Seville for years for his close relationship with Real Betis Balompié, he is currently a football coach. Passionate about reading, history and archeology, he is a tireless traveler in search of stories that he can take to his books.

El Mentiroso (2011), El Camino al mas allá (2013) and La Prueba (2016) are his first three novels. Now he returns with an exciting story: The Sephardic Key.


Top 5 “Jewish Films” for Oscar Season

steven-spielberg-jew-oscarThe Academy Awards are rapidly approaching, and many people are curious about the films on this year’s short lists. This Oscar season’s short lists are filled with films that feature a diverse crop of directors, actors and plotlines. Some of this season’s best, however, are films with Jewish themes. Here are the top five Jewish films to watch this Oscar season.


This gut-wrenching film deals with a variety of heavy topics including the grief of parents who lost their soldier son, the joys and challenges of marriage and the boredom of daily life in the army. Directed by Samuel Moaz, “Foxtrot” was named the second-best film at the Venice International Film Festival and is on the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. “Foxtrot” also won the award for Best Film at Israel’s Ophir Awards despite generating controversy in Israel over the film’s portrayal of Israeli control of the West Bank.

“Foxtrot” follows an affluent Tel Aviv couple who learn that their son has been killed in the line of duty. The film stars Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler, and it opens in U.S. theaters on March 2, 2018.

“In the Fade”

Directed by Fatih Akin, this German film dramatizes the rise of neo-Nazism through the murder of Nuri and Rocco Sekerci, a Kurdish man and his small son. Katja Sekerci, the surviving widow, pursues revenge against the neo-Nazis who murdered her family. The film won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes and is shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

“In the Land of Pomegranates”

This documentary follows a mix of young Israeli and Palestinian men and women who are brought together in a scenic German town. The Israelis and Palestinians live under the same roof, go on joint excursions in the countryside, take a riverboat cruise and argue for hours on end as part of a program called “Vacation from War.” This program began in 2002 and aims “not to make participants love each other [but if] only five people change their attitudes…that’s progress.”

“In the Land of Pomegranates” uses the arguments between the program participants to explore the chasm between young Israelis and Palestinians. Directed by Hava Kohav Beller, the young Israelis’ and Palestinians’ arguments are set against the backdrop of the contradictory meanings of the word “pomegranate” in Hebrew: “fruit” and “hand grenade.”

“The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm”

Few people have managed to find ways to teach young children about the Holocaust, but this short documentary attempts to tackle the issue. In “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” 10 year old Elliot asks his great-grandfather, Jack Feldman, about the Holocaust. Feldman, a Holocaust survivor, opens up to his American-born great-grandson about his experiences. The goal of the film was to transmit Feldman’s experience “gently and with clarity.” The documentary will premier on HBO on January 27, 2018, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“116 Cameras”

This documentary is on the Oscar shortlist for Best Short Documentary and gives a behind-the-scenes look at filming a Holocaust survivor’s testimony. Specifically, it focuses on how filmmakers worked to preserve the memories of Anne Frank’s surviving stepsister, Eva Schloss, in the form of an interactive, holographic image.

Oscar season always brings new documentaries and foreign films into the American limelight. People spend days watching and discussing films on the short-list, and almost everyone has an opinion about which film should win the award. So, what do you think? Which of these Jewish films is your favorite?

2018 Giro de Italia will start in Jerusalem

Igiro italiasrael has invested about 12 million Euros in the starting of the next Italian round, whose first three stages will be played in Israel.

The 2018 Giro will begin in Jerusalem.

Guy Sagiv, who is not only Israel’s time trial champion and star in David’s jersey, is also a sergeant in the country’s army, competed last October at the Qatar World Cup, which not only prohibits the entry of every Israeli citizen, also closes its doors to any foreigner who has visited Jerusalem or Tel Aviv in recent years. It was a significant exception in relations in the Middle East; a further demonstration of the power of sport as a political agent; and one of the examples that the director of Sayev in the equipment Israel Cycling Academy, Ran Margaliot, used to convince of the project to the government of his country. «I knew that cycling, sport, unites like nothing else. That is the best way to break many prejudices and that people visit our land, “explains Margaliot to THE WORLD before his dream comes true: the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem is presented on Monday the Giro 2018 with departure and three stages in Israel. From the 4th to the 6th of May, an individual time trial in the city and two flat days between the Negev desert and Tel Aviv will serve to start the 101st Corsa Rosa and, at the same time, to incorporate the country in the race to organize events. Like its hated emirates years ago, Israel has been convinced to open itself to the world through the sport. If this year already hosted the Eurobasket and tried to host Euro 2020, next year with the Giro, with an investment of 12 million, according to local media, will give in to that eagerness. “People know Israel about the news, about Gaza, about the settlements, but we want to show that we live well here and that we can spend some very pleasant days,” proclaims Margaliot, who tried to be the first Israeli to play a great turn – in Saunier or the Saxo Bank of Contador -, and ended up resigning in 2012 to set up his own team and another to fulfill that ambition. If for him, as well as for his Government, it makes sense to be shown in an international way precisely with the Giro is by a man: Gino Bartali. “He’s a national hero,” he says. His role in World War II, transporting fake passports through Italy to save some 800 Jews, earned him the title of Righteous Among Nations by Israel and a corner in the Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial. The Israel Cycling Academy team paid tribute to him in April traveling the 195 kilometers between Florence and Assisi that formed his training route, the presentation will be his family and in the next departure the Giro reserves a tribute. Before that, we will have to overcome two problems: logistics and security. Of the first, they say, “do not worry”. Although it has never done so outside Europe – not even any other big one -, the Giro already has begun 10 times outside Italy and the protocol of the organizer RCS Sport is proven. The race will start on a Friday and on the fourth day, on a Monday, it will return to Italy: three charter planes will displace cyclists and staff; a cargo plane, to bicycles and parts; and two boats, to cars and the rest of the material. Safety is another matter. The Israeli Government has promised “the greatest display of history”, but tension in the area is always present. “Organizing a race here now is no more dangerous than doing it in Brussels, Paris, London or Madrid. We are prepared, “said Margaliot, with his plan ready. If the sport got Guy Sagiv, an Israeli soldier, will stroll through Doha, can improve the image of the country in three stages.