Donald Silverberg in the video on Nordic Walking
Our family’s lives were changed for better by the war
The Six-Day War changed the lives of our family in every way. We had spent a year in Israel in 1963-4. We made plans to return for the summer of 1967. We reconnected to all our friends in Zahala where we had lived for that year and I suddenly knew I could not return to live in the U.S. The emotional feeling in Israel after the Six-Day War was something one could not describe - you just needed to be here and feel it. My husband and I left a great many responsibilities behind, but that was not as important as being here and becoming part of this land. We were the first American family to make aliyah after the war and were photographed and interviewed by The Jerusalem Post. My husband contributed a great deal to the electronics industry in Israel, which was just beginning to grow. I taught gifted children for many years and then joined my husband in his field. We just celebrated together with our four children, 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren our 50-year celebration of our life in Israel. Yes, the war changed our lives - only for the better.
What Ben-Gurion said to me when he signed card
The article in the Summer 2017 issue of the ESRAmagazine #190 about the volunteers who came to Israel in 1967 is most interesting, especially Judy Copeland’s article about WUJS.
I am one of those who knew very little about Israel at the time of the Six Day War, but I had the opportunity to visit for the first time in 1969, and on returning to England, the bug hit me and I had to return.
The WUJS year in Israel project was really attractive to me, because the Hebrew Ulpan and Jewish Studies program were valuable necessities, but it also gave me an opportunity to test how I could use my qualifications in Israel. I arrived at WUJS in Arad in April 1971. I don’t regret a minute of my stay. As well as learning a lot, I had a great social life and found myself living in beautiful desert surroundings.
Because we were mostly English speakers, I’m afraid that my Hebrew didn’t improve much, though it has done since. The Jewish Studies program greatly increased my knowledge and understanding and the tours were so good that I learned to love and appreciate our country even more. WUJS certainly gave me an excellent grounding for my future life. I made aliyah in 1979.
Judy and Copey (Copeland), I know that you worked hard and you did much more than just your bit.
I am still in close contact with four friends I made at WUJS. Evelyn Mendel of St Louis married David Young of Leeds, England, and today they live in St Louis, and Esther Nahon married Esmond Gross and they live in London.
Card signed by Ben-Gurion
The photograph in your article that shows WUJS students meeting David Ben-Gurion at Sde Boker, his home kibbutz, brought back a special memory. My group was taken to Sde Boker during the Negev tour, and after hearing Ben-Gurion speak, I managed to find a pen and blank postcard, and approached him to ask for his signature. Before he signed, he stopped and looked at me and said, in English, “I am signing in Hebrew because I want you to continue learning Hebrew, then one day you will be able to read my signature in Hebrew.” I have never forgotten his words and the importance he placed on learning the language – and yes, today I still have the postcard with his Hebrew signature, and I can read what he wrote.
A few romances started at WUJS . . .
Re the article about WUJS in your last ESRA magazine #190, just a few comments.
A cousin of mine, Miriam Kaplan (Shapiro) was one of the first graduates who was at WUJS in either 1968 or 1969.
My son Howard Feldman was there in 1998 when the 30th anniversary was celebrated and his now wife Janine Plein, who had been there a few years before came to the reunion They met and the rest is history. They live in Kiryat Hasharon and have three beautiful children.
I might add that I know of a few romances and marriages that were begun at WUJS.
Pity that WUJS has had to close its doors.
Thank you for a wonderful magazine and for the good work done.
An excellent issue of your magazine – it had me in creases
I was abroad when the latest ESRAmagazine #190 was delivered, and only now have I had a chance to read it, practically cover to cover.
I would like to compliment you on an excellent edition, which, inter alia, rightly pays tribute to a life-changing event in so many of our lives. Mine too was influenced by the Six Day War. We came on aliyah 18 months after the war, at the end of 1968, and have been here ever since.
All the articles were interesting, varied, funny/serious and informative, and overall, offered an excellent read. I usually fold the corner of a page or two in the magazine for future reference. This edition however, elicited no less than nine page corner folds…. a lot to follow up on.
The ESRAmagazine is a prime outreach tool, enjoyed by members and non-members alike. And it seems to go from strength to strength with each passing edition. The content of this particular one will be a hard act to follow.
To you and your dedicated team, yasher koach!
Shouldn’t ESRA reach out to Arab communities as well as our own?
As a relatively new member of ESRA, I wish to express my appreciation of the magazine filled with rich reading experience. More than this, with the amazing work done with disadvantaged communities in our country - most particularly in the field of education: the real key to upgrading a people.
While adhering without question to the apolitical principle of the organization, I find something missing in this very important contribution to our communities. We declare a policy of “Embracing differences”, yet I see no mention of serious efforts being made to reach out to the Arab communities of Israel, large numbers of whom could benefit enormously from such a program as offered by ESRA. I have every reason to believe that local leaders and educators in Arab towns, villages and schools would welcome such assistance with open arms.
Chairman Baruch Tanaman replies:
Welcome to the ESRA family. I am pleased to hear that you enjoy our ESRAmagazine, which is indeed a very professional and rich publication, thanks to our wonderful volunteer magazine team led by our Editor, Merle Guttmann, who is also founder and Life President of ESRA.
You are partly correct. We do not have any projects in Arab towns so far, but that does not mean that there will not be in future. However, where relevant, we have no problem including Israeli citizens from any sector. For example, our Riding Therapy Center at Kibbutz Magal has mixed participation from the Arab and Jewish sectors. You can read about this project at http://esra.org.il/tlamim-riding-therapy-center
We operate where we have ESRA members and volunteers and our projects require ESRA volunteers and local partners. If you have specific proposals for the town where you live and would like to volunteer, please let me know.
Thanks for your suggestion.
Thank you, Judy and Copey, for all the fun you gave us
Candles lit to remember the dead
I proudly carry Levi’s number on my arm