Above and below ... wall panels and furniture in the new Medicks Machal Room, Tel Aviv

The Stanley Medicks Machal Room, a new component of the Michael Levin Center for Lone Soldiers in Tel Aviv, is a praiseworthy tribute to the memory of the late Stanley Medicks, Chairman of the British, Scandinavian and European Machal, who passed away in June 2013. Medick’s daughter, Elana Overs, husband John, daughter Natalie, and Stanley’s long-term partner Marion Warner came from the UK to be present at the inauguration on May 4.

Also participating were current lone soldiers, veteran Machalniks, as well as representatives of Telfed (South African Zionist Federation) who initiated the project together with Machal. Regrettably, Smoky Simon, Chairman of World Machal, was unable to attend due to ill health, but he sent a message that was read out by USA Machalnik, Zipporah Porath, who served as M.C. of the event. Smoky Simon said, “Stanley was an outstanding man who will always be remembered as a great fighter, an impeccable gentleman and a proud Jew”. Elana told the audience: “My father would have been delighted to have been honored in this way. His name and deeds will now have a permanent place in the country he fought for and loved”.

The Medicks Machal Room offers a fascinating exhibit comprising a wide range of remarkable wall panels that highlight the heroic and inspiring history and tradition of volunteering by Jews and non-Jews, men and women from abroad, who rallied to the defense of the State of Israel throughout the years.

The panels embrace the story of Aliyah Bet, Israel’s War of Independence, the Sinai Campaign, the two Lebanon Wars and conclude with the tale of today’s Machalniks. Photographs are interspersed with quotations from Yitzhak Rabin, David Ben-Gurion, Ezer Weizman, and Col. Miki Edelstein (Commander of the Nachal Brigade), as well as Machalniks themselves – Col. David (Mickey) Marcus, Dr. Leo Bornstein, Ira Feinberg, Smoky Simon, and others The wall panels display barcodes for Smartphone holders to access the full story, plus Machal websites and videos.

Three individual biographies are displayed on the central pillar in the room -of Stanley Medicks, Dr. Mary Gordon and Smoky Simon (the three major donors who made this project possible). 

In addition, on one wall there is a continuous 2-hour television presentation of photos of the 123 Fallen Machalniks, intermingled with photos from Aliyah Bet, the Haganah and Israel Defense Forces in 1948-49, as well as the Sinai Campaign, up to current Machal and the Lone Soldiers Center. It also includes excerpts from historic video films, among them, “Exodus”, “Waves of Freedom”, “Volunteers in 1948”, “Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israel Air Force”, “804”, and the Bet Hatfutzot 7-minute clip which includes an interview with Stanley Medicks. Also, excerpts from “804” and “My Brother’s Keeper,” the film produced by the late Ira Feinberg (USA Machalnik).

This exhibit will be on permanent display at the Tel Aviv Center and the plan is for the current wall panels to be reproduced and eventually presented in the Jerusalem, Beersheva and Haifa Lone Soldier Centers.

See video of opening taken by Telfed: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMOZ3tcN6fo

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Zipporah Porath

Zipporah Porath is a free-lance writer/ editor/ and publications consultant. Born and educated in the USA, she arrived in pre-state Israel in 1947 on a one-year scholarship to the Hebrew University. C...
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