An incident in 1947
Your article "A Friend in Need" in issue #152 reminded me of an incident I was involved in during 1947.
WWII had ended and there were some 500,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors in Displaced Prisons (DP) camps throughout Europe. Returning to their homes was unthinkable after the Holocaust, and Palestine, where the British had promised to establish a Jewish homeland was closed because of Britain's politics at the time.
A special group of Jews from Palestine who had served in the allied forces' English army (some 30,000 Jews from Palestine enlisted) were trying to help the survivors. In the USA some ten vessels, built between 1898 and 1914, were acquired. They were to be manned by volunteers in the US – mostly Jewish – many of whom had served in the armed forces but were not actually sailors. There was one Irish American on the ship, Hugh McDonald, who was not Jewish and whose father, a staunch believer in an independent Ireland, had left his homeland under difficult circumstances.
Married in the US, Hugh McDonald was in his first year at Harvard Law School in 1947 when he learned of the need for volunteers to sail the ships in an effort to bring the Jewish survivors from the DP camps to Palestine (the full story of the Tradewind, it's crew and their efforts to rescue the survivors can be read in the book The Jews' Secret Fleet and the film based on the book Waves of Freedom.*
When the British navy attempted to overtake the Tradewind, now renamed Hatikvah, in order to enforce the blockade of Palestine, McDonald asked me to help paint a green shamrock with the words ERIN – 1922, and a Magen David with the words ERETZ – 1947. It was an act of defiance that both the British and the Jews would understand.
WWII American volunteer and author of The Jews' Secret Fleet
*Both books mentioned were published by Gefen Publishing House.
Anna Wildikann continued
I was so happy to read the article in your last edition of the ESRA Magazine, "Anna and I" written by Sam Zebba about Dr Anna Wildikann amd her wonderful work with and devotion to Dr. Albert Schweitzer in his unforgettable work for the poor and sick in Lambarene, Africa.
When my late husband, Avraham Eidelman and I came to Israel in 1953, the name Anna Wildikann, a first cousin to Avraham's mother Rachel Eidelman, was on the list of relations we were to contact, but we were unable to find her. However, in January 1955 an article by her marking the 80th birthday of Dr. Albert Schweitzer appeared in The Jerusalem Post and we wrote to her.
After an emotional first meeting she became a most welcome and frequent visitor to our home and that of Avraham's brother Shmuel who lives in Haifa. We have treasured memories of all the many times we spent with her. My children, too, were extremely fond of and close to her, and my younger daughter, Tami, always complains that Anna has not been given the attention she deserved.
A book about Dr. A. Schweitzer & Dr. A. Wildikann has been published in Russian and English by the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia and the Association of Latvian and Estonian Jews in Israel.
I am so glad that through the article the ESRA Magazine published, your readers will be able to learn about this remarkable woman and the exceptional work she did in Africa.
International pensioner’s card
It has recently come to my attention that an International Pensioner’s Card is available to Israeli passport holders, who are over the age of 65.
A copy of a current Israeli passport showing details and a photograph should be sent by fax to Misrad Harevacha (Ministry of Welfare) 02 654 7034, together with return address and request for a card.
Discounts are available to card holders in many countries.
Moshav Kfar Yedidiya
Way to Recovery, continued
In ESRA Magazine #152 (pages 26-27) we wrote about “Way to Recovery”, volunteers who transport Palestinian mothers and their sick children to treatments in Israeli hospitals.
We have since discovered that “Way to Recovery” is a small group of volunteers within a larger organization called “Humans – without - Borders.
Humans-without-Borders is a recognized, non-government charitable organization in Israel devoted to helping West Bank Palestinian families obtain medical assistance in Israeli hospitals. It was founded and is directed by Gamilah Yafit Biso, and quoting from a close friend of mine, “Gamilah is a wonderful, amazing person who does amazing work with endless energy. I have volunteered once or twice to help her out when she had no person to drive”.
If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, call Gamilah tel: 052 625 1227.Humans-without-Borders, 2/5 Maniah Shohat Street, P.O.B. Rishon Lezion 75105, Tel: 072-212-2-90; Fax:072 212 6041; email: info@humans-without-borders or firstname.lastname@example.org
Merle Guttmann, Editor ESRA Magazine
Thank you Rika
On behalf of everyone connected with the ESRA Magazine in Netanya; distributors, phoners, packers and readers, we would like to say an enormous "Thank you" to Rika Meyerowitz" for the very efficient way she has handled the distribution of the magazine in Netanya over the past ten years. She was always ready to sort out any of our little mistakes so she made us run like a well-oiled machine.
We wish her and Willy all the very best in the future in whatever new ventures they undertake.
Thank you Rika.
The Move by Rolly King Kohansky
1. I read this article more than once, because I really identify so closely with the situation Rolly was in, and it was one which some of us will probably face in the not too distant future.
It was written with a good dose of humor and hit the nail on the head of many problems which we think about when the next move gets nearer. Not forgetting to show that together with the minuses, there are plenty of good things to be discovered.
Thanks to Rolly, and good luck in her new home.
2.Both painful & inspiring
It was both painful and inspiring to read "The Move" by Rolly King Kohansky in the Dec/Jan issue of ESRA magazine (pages 40-42).
I am grateful to Rolly for sharing her very intimate thoughts and feelings with us as she embarked on a lifecycle adventure. We are fortunate to live to see the "golden years" (my mother always asked "where is the gold in golden years?") and with it come challenges that both strengthen and bewilder.
I could actually feel the anguish that Rolly felt as she described the parade of people coming to cart away her possessions, her "things" she treasured over a lifetime.
As she begins a new stage in her life, as so many of us face, she imbues us with optimism, humor and positive energy and for that I am very thankful. I wish her many years of health and enjoyment in her new home.
Thank you ESRA Community Fund for:
- Your donation of NIS 1000. We are new immigrants, are looking for relevant job opportunities, have language restraints and do not yet have a source of income. Sometime in the future we would like to be part of your social activities and community projects.
- Your quick and generous help of NIS 1000 worth of food coupons. It will get us over a difficult period.
- Two scholarships, each of NIS 1000, for two Ethiopian students studying in our mediation program. Your donation is important and helps the students cope with their financial difficulties.
Dr. Rami Klein, Dean of Students
Ruppin Academic Center
- Your many good deeds which we greatly appreciate.
Irit Hadani & the Social Services Staff
Municipality of Gedera