SNAC/shots The Ties that Bind
Issue #12 /
September 2021 / Tishrei 5782 / Postcard photo: Courtesy of the Netanya Museum
The First 50 Years P.20
Molly & Jack at Home in Netanya P.10
Malka and Shimmy Pine P.30
Surprise Discovery P.21
The Glorious Dead Sea! P.26
Marilyn & David Ashton Norman A. Bailey & Barbara P. Billauer Laraine & Roy Barnes Birgitte Savosnick & Michael Baziljevich Myriam & Howard Beenstock & Family Brenda
& Eric Brett Belinda & Graham Calvert Carolyn & Robert Casselson Lesley & Roy Cohen Shirley & Marcel Cohen Ros & Tony Cole Leah & David Cutler Sheila & Graham Davies Terrie & Ephry Eder Sylvia & David Fellerman Gertie & Morris Forman Reva & Mike Garmise Toni & Charles Green Miriam & Yisroel Haber Gillian & Lee Heron Brenda Katten Linda & Ronnie Kaye Annette & Stephen Lambert Ros & Martin Landau Irith Langer Tamar & Marc Lesnick Haya & David Lewi Miriam & Alan Lewis Karen & Julian Lewis Shosh & Stuart Lewis Ann & David Marks & Family Dorothy & Stanley Mason Joyce, Alan & Emma Mays Ayana Jazanovich & Meir Nisim Elaine & Bernard Oster Marcia & Nate Peretzman Ginger & Roy Pinchot Malka & Shimmy Pine Angela & Peter Redstone Helena & Norman Rose Roberta & Rafe Safier Julian & Clarice Saitowitz Eric & Barbara Salamon Pam & Mickie Sallmander Tina & David Son Barbara & Edward Susman Harold Sterne Mindy & Avi Tokayer Jenny & Leslie Wagner Barbara & Paul Westbrook Shelli & Tom Weisz Barbara & Brian Wolkind Iresine & David Woolf Norma, David, Shloime, Moriel & Adam Zacks Molly & Jack Zwanziger Sue & Issy Zuckerbrod
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
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Chairman's Message With the approach of Rosh Hashanah our individual and communal focus shifts forward. And yet, Rosh Hashanah is also called Yom Hazikaron, a Day of Remembrance. We must remember in order to move forward. But what happens when the past year is one we would rather forget? And for most of us, that describes the year of Covid. Is that the test? Can that be the message? We cannot and should not forget the closed synagogues, the lockdowns, the masks and the sense of isolation. What we can do is pull those memories forward into the New Year. To remember how this resilient, strong and caring community worked together and raised our potential over and above what we thought we could achieve. The Kabbalists say that the three medium, wailing blasts of the shofar – the shevarim – represent the sobbing cry of a Jewish heart – yearning to connect, to grow, to achieve. This year, the blasts of the shofar should not only awaken us to the possibilities inherent in each of us, uniquely and collectively, but they should also remind us of the year that brought us to this moment. On behalf of myself and the board of SNAC we wish you a Shana Tova u’Metukah. • Shelli Weisz, Chairman
5 Kehillat Tzfat Netanya www.snacshul.org SNAC@snacshul.org Chairman: Shelli Weisz Editorial Committee: Reva Garmise Roy Pinchot Proofreading: Gloria Deutsch Graphic Design: Michal Magen Advertising: Ephry Eder Graham Calvert Printing: OBAR printing, 9 Shmuel Hanatziv, Netanya Tel. 09-862-0769 email@example.com
This issue’s theme, “The Ties that Bind,” gave us an opportunity to express our feelings of connection to Israel. We were delighted to have received so many contributions on the subject, each reflecting a personal approach to the subject. One spoke of a moment of epiphany during Shabbat prayers on Mount Scopus; another recalled the Motzei Shabbat Voice of Israel broadcasts in England. Yet another related long-ago visits to Israel when strangers urged her to make aliyah. One described feelings of unity with the nation when sirens broke the quiet of a restaurant dinner as rockets and the Iron Dome provided an unwelcome sound and light show in the skies above. And for one couple, a Dvar Torah at SNAC sealed the deal. In our last issue, we expressed the hope that by Rosh Hashanah the coronavirus would no longer be making headlines. Well, we almost made it. On June 17, after a year and a half of praying at home and then in the garden of the synagogue, we joyously entered the synagogue portals to once again pray together inside our home. Then Covid 19 reappeared, and once again many of our SNAC members living outside of Israel cannot join us for the holiday season. At the time of writing a growing number of Covid-positive members has again closed the doors of our synagogue. We look forward to the day our members in Israel and around the world can offer a prayer of thanks within SNAC’s walls. Shana Tova • Reva Garmise, Roy Pinchot
SNACtivities Photos by Charles Green
arrived at the Tura Winery in Rehelim by way of the major town of Ariel. We were greeted by the proprietor of the winery, who related her fascinating life story along with the winery’s history. After tasting several types of wines, we made our purchases including the low acidic olive oil produced there. We arrived back at SNAC happy in spirit and deed, realizing that the long wait for communal activities had finally arrived. ~ Yisroel Haber
First Post-Lockdown Tiyul – the Shomron
fter several days of rainy and cloudy weather, the morning of April 11, 2021 was happily mild and clear – perfect for a SNAC tiyul to the Shomron. SNACers had the bus “sold out” within 36 hours of its announced scheduling. After a 17-month absence of
SNAC tours due to the corona pandemic we all were grateful to experience a bit of “normalcy” once again. We all were surprised to discover, after a short bus ride, how close Netanya is to the heart of Shomron in the PeduelLeshem – Alei Zahav area. Minutes later we arrived at “Israel’s Lookout” in Peduel. Enjoying beautiful panoramic views of the Tel Aviv skyline and BenGurion Airport, we were even treated to a glaring sun-shined window calling out to us from a tall building in... Netanya!! A short walking path led us to the nearby massive Roman Fortress of Deir Kala, built in the year 545 CE by the Emperor Justinian I. From there we looked out upon the area known as Tzradya, mentioned in the Book of Kings I as the city of Yeravam ben N’vat. We took a short drive through the lovely new town of Leshem and then on to Alei Zahav where we enjoyed our fill of falafel and salad cuisine. Driving through the picturesque countryside, we
his year’s Yom HaShoah program was again held over Zoom, which has proved to be an excellent medium for relating the personal experiences of the speakers, in particular as it enabled members living outside of Israel to attend the event. The program began with a moving video from Yad Vashem – “A Child’s Shoe,” the story of Dov and Zipora Cohen and their daughter Hinda. One day when the parents were at work in their labor camp, all the children in the camp were removed to Auschwitz to be murdered. Dov found Hinda’s shoe that had been left and etched the date on the sole of the shoe. They kept the shoe and a pair of mittens that Zipora had sewn from scraps of material as well as Hinda’s birth certificate for the rest of their lives. Dov and Zipora immigrated to Israel in 1960. After their deaths, these items were donated to Yad Vashem. Following the video, SNAC members David Lewi, Birgitte Savosnick, Ralph Hirschfeld, Shelli Weisz, Jack Zwanziger and Haya Lewi related their families’ Holocaust stories. After each speaker, a memorial candle was lit. Alan Lewis then led everyone in reciting the Prayer for Yom Hashoah and Mike Garmise sang El Maleh Rachamim. It was a poignant and emotional evening for all participants.
MEMORUN Some 25 SNAC members took part in this year’s Memorun. “Running in
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
snactivities Photo by Charles Green
Memorun - SNAC unites with fallen soldiers on Yom HaZikaron
Their Memory” is a unique initiative, commemorating the thousands of Israel soldiers who fell in the service of the country. In this event there is no music or starting point, no finishing point or podium. Each participant wears or holds the name of a fallen soldier. The event started at 5:30pm on Yom HaZikaron. Dressed in blue and white the participants walked along the tayelet, united in memory of the fallen soldiers. The run, or walk, is held towards the end of Yom Hazikaron, Israel Memorial Day, just a short while before the entire nation segues into the festive celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day.
Yom Yerushalayim, 2021
urrounded by friends, a sun-filled garden and colorful flowers, SNAC celebrated Yom Yerushalaym with an outdoor breakfast. Every thought was given to deliver the breakfast in a Covid-safe manner with each member receiving an attractive breakfast box filled with tasty morning food. As it was the first time our community gathered together in over a year, there was much grateful socializing and many smiling faces. However, the
Yom Yerushalyim at SNAC
highlight of the breakfast was a Dvar Torah presented by Grant Leboff, one of the UK’s foremost experts on Sales and Marketing. Grant is professionally engaged helping businesses thrive in a constantly evolving digital world in which he is a leader. In addition, he is about to receive smicha and speaks regularly at his Shabbat minyan in Raanana, where he and his lovely family reside. Grant is the son of SNAC members Penny and Ashley Leboff. Grant spoke of the significance and connection between all of our Yom Tovim from Pesach through Shavuot. Emphasizing that nothing happens by coincidence, Grant revealed the relevance of Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZicharon, Yom HaAtzma’ut and Yom Yerushalayim falling within the counting of the Omer. In addition, he explained the progression from Pesach to Shavuot by calling Pesach our physical redemption and Shavuot our spiritual redemption. His presentation was rich with information and his smooth delivery captivated the crowd. The breakfast ended with a heartfelt round of applause for Shelli, who orchestrated this meaningful and well-planned celebration of Yom Yerushalayim for the SNAC community. ~ Ginger Pinchot
Tikkun Leil Shavuot
An Evening of Study and Discussion
s is customary, SNAC held a traditional Tikkun Leil Shavuot on Shavuot eve. Three SNAC members presented different aspects of the holiday. Miriam Lewis spoke about the prevalence of the number “7” in Judaism, very apt as Shavuot, of course, falls seven weeks after Pesach, the weeks of the counting of the Omer. But Miriam offered many other instances of the number 7 in the Jewish tradition, some of which many of us may not have known. The second speaker was Rabbi Yisroel Haber, who stepped in at the last minute to replace Rabbi Dr. Nachum Amsel, who was unable to come to Netanya due to Covid restrictions. Yisroel gallantly saved the day with his presentation of “The Eternal Covenant.” Only a seasoned speaker like our own Yisroel Haber could be counted on to put together an informative talk on the subject with so little preparation time. The last speaker was Mike Garmise who spoke about “Two Views of Matan Torah,” intriguing the audience with his opening line questioning whether Shavuot is really Chag Matan Torah. He also analyzed a poem of well-known poet Yehuda Amichai, in the spirit of the holiday.
~ Meet Our Chatanim ~ Nate Peretzman Chatan Torah
Nate and Marcia Peretzman made aliyah in April 2015 from South Africa and soon after joined the SNAC community. Although the Peretzmans had always been a traditional family, in 2002 they decided to embrace a more observant lifestyle. This decision was certainly SNAC’s gain. He and Marcia take an active part in synagogue activities. Nate: “I would like to thank Shelli and the Board for this huge honor. From the very beginning I felt comfortable at SNAC. Everyone was welcoming and super-friendly and never judgmental. Being part of the SNAC community enabled us to meet so many people from all walks of life. I enjoy the services very much and especially like the fact that people are encouraged to participate in the service. Kol Hakavod to Brian Wolkind for this.” Nate is a “minyan man,” part of the core group of men that makes SNAC tick. You need someone to daven, ask Nate. You need a helping hand, ask Nate. SNAC is delighted to honor this tall, dark and soft-spoken gentleman as this year’s Chatan Torah.
David Woolf Chatan Bereshit
David and Iresine made aliyah in 2017 from Manchester, UK, bringing with them years of synagogue service that have benefited SNAC over the years. With David’s extensive shul experience as president (three times), treasurer and vice-president (several times), at SNAC he has acted as substitute gabai, shaliach tzibor and Board member. This past year you also could find David in the role of “bouncer,” greeting SNAC attendees and verifying green passes and registration. David: “We were already familiar with SNAC after many previous visits. From the beginning the community was welcoming and we quickly settled in. It’s great to be amongst so many likeminded, nonjudgmental people. SNAC reminds us of the community we left in Cheadle after 47 years there. A community that was more like a family.” One of David’s secret passions is shopping; he and Iresine make a fabulous team, stocking the kitchen with the best deals in Netanya (and beyond!) What a wonderful partnership has been built between SNAC and David Woolf. We are honored to have him as Chatan Bereshit this year.
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Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
Letter from America By Rafe Safier
participating in Shabbat services that day. Orthodox Jews in particular were made to feel they were potential targets of violence in a town which has had uncharacteristically close multidenominational relations for decades. Fortunately, the demonstration passed without incident, unlike unprovoked anti-Semitic attacks that took place in Manhattan and Brooklyn around the same period.
The Writing on the Wall?
uring a recent trip to America, I made the following disturbing observations: The American Jewish community came under threat from the skinhead Right during the Trump administration – think Charlottesville – and is confronted by an increasingly outspoken extreme Left in these early months of the Biden term. A recent pro-Palestinian demonstration in Teaneck, New Jersey drew hundreds of participants including activists from the nearby heavily Muslim-populated city of Paterson. More telling than the sheer numbers was the heightened level of concern and preparedness exhibited by Teaneck and Bergenfield synagogues, which posted notices and warnings on their websites in the days prior to the rally exhorting congregants to maintain their distance from the rally site, to keep their children home on the Shabbat afternoon of the rally, and in general to increase their level of vigilance while walking to and
On a personal level, I felt a vulnerability and discomfort in public spaces, e.g., malls, which I had never experienced in my former home country. Perhaps it was because it contrasted so starkly with the
sense of security I’ve grown accustomed to living among our own people here in Israel. Or perhaps the writing is on the wall and American Jewry would be wise not to assume “It can’t happen here.” Young “modern Orthodox” Jews in particular would do well to be reminded of the Four C’s – Conspicuous Consumption Creates Contempt! Drive through any of several Bergen County towns and one can easily identify which homes are owned by this segment of the community. The mansions and McMansions that continue to sprout up on so many lots formerly occupied by Tudor-style homes seem to shout a message to Gentile residents that “we made it and you haven’t.” When the tide turns, and it may be turning now, watch out. Neighbors can turn against neighbors as happened in so many Eastern European cities during World War II and more recently in Lod and elsewhere during the Shomer Ha’chomot flare-up. Charlottesville, BDS, BLM, and the antiIsrael sentiment that have come to the surface unashamedly in recent weeks – notably including statements by a handful of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle – may be a wake-up call; it’s coming at us from Right and Left. Let’s not ignore the alarm.
My Story By Annette Lambert
y life began in London in 1946, daughter of Lennie and Naftali Eder who had arrived on the last coal boat from Dunkirk on May 12, 1940, just 14 days before the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force! My paternal grandmother sadly died two days after I was born and I was named after her – Chana Gittle. I was exceptionally happy in my first kindergarten, a Froebel school called the Kerem House School, which was a three-minute walk down the road. I was all of three years old and my reports stated that I was an “artistic child.’ My parents believed that girls should play piano and have good deportment, having few expectations of me scholastically! I also had elocution lessons as they were aware that their accent wasn’t ‘British.’ A very strict Russian teacher taught me piano and wanted to send me to the Paris Conservatoire when I was about 11 years old, however my parents decided this was not appropriate for a nice frum girl. The focus of my life in my teens was Bnei Akiva and Jewish Youth Study Groups with their summer/winter holiday camps. These were wonderful times. The ‘ruach’ and friendships of those early years led many chaverim to make aliyah.
Life threw us a ‘left hook’ Post school I initially went to study Interior Design, which totally suited my artistic leanings and then studied and became a Montessori Teacher, which uncannily prepared me for my future role. I married Stephen in
1968 and we had our first child a year later. Life threw us a ‘left hook’ when we discovered that our firstborn Tania was profoundly deaf. Incredibly, she was diagnosed early in her life and started wearing hearing aids at seven months, as I was persistent with doctors (who thought I was a neurotic mother). We had two additional wonderful children – Gavriel, 20 months later and Corinne, two years after Gavriel. In 1973 I took Tania to the Helen Beebe Clinic in rural Easton, Pennsylvania to learn the unisensory auditory-verbal method of working with the hearing impaired. This technique trained the deaf to use their limited residual hearing to the maximum without any lip-reading clues. This was deemed impossible by most educators and I was seen as a cruel mother… covering my mouth when I spoke to a deaf child! Ultimately my goal was to maximize Tania’s listening skills while expanding her vocabulary and focusing on her pronunciation. With considerable effort and dedication Tania was able to attended regular schools. It would be impossible to recount my story without the recognition of how Tania’s deafness impacted our lives. Juggling her needs with those of family, I started each morning at 5am, working with Tania before sending her to school and often for hours after school. I became a ‘human speech trainer’ and no minute together, whether one-on-one or as a family, was lost, expanding her understanding and vocabulary. I was not willing to let our
daughter endure the stigma of deafness and its social consequences!
More Studies While the kids were growing, I enrolled in the London Institute of Education (London University) to study for an Advanced Diploma for Teaching the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (This is now a Master’s degree!) Attending two nights weekly, I needed to be highly organized to manage the school runs, twice-weekly lessons with a teacher of the deaf an hour’s drive from our home and, of course, focusing on our other two children as well. I clocked up 15,000 miles a year on my car alone! There were then the university assignments to complete. At the time I also worked tirelessly, helping parents of newly diagnosed deaf children. Next, I embarked on a four-year course of study to be a Counsellor at The Minster Centre in Willesden. There were group therapy sessions and courses and weekend workshops
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
profile Photo by Roy Pinchot
which I somehow managed by walking from Hendon to Willesden and back on a Shabbat. This was an inspiring course, combining many therapeutic techniques and philosophies, including twice-weekly experiential group therapy for students, Gestalt Therapy, CBT and more. When I was a ‘mere’ 38 years old, I decided to return to the London School of Economics and there completed a degree in Social Psychology (BSc Hons). My final thesis of 10,000 words was titled, “Social Representations of Deafness in Society.” One day my best friend asked if I wanted to join him at a small sculpture course. I had never done anything like this before. That was the beginning of a great love of clay and stone sculpture work. In Israel I was introduced to glass fusing and to this day I enjoy working in a variety of art forms, including: clay, stone, wax, pencil work and the pottery wheel. Fast forward, our family’s love of Israel flourished as our children also became advertisement
staunch Bnei Akiva chaverim. All our children studied in Israel for their gap years – our son attending Har Etzion Yeshiva for two years. They went on to university, then on to Master programs, establishing careers of which we are particularly proud. Tania took her BA at Brandeis University, USA, then her Post Graduate Teaching Certificate to qualify as an elementary school teacher and taught classes of over 35 children! She then studied to become an educational psychologist – earning an MSc with distinction. Our children’s marriages ensued and we soon purred at the wonder of grandchildren. Our two younger children live in Raanana and Tania in Toronto. We feel utterly blessed by the joy from our family! They are the jewels in our crown. We see these as our golden years, here in Israel and in our wonderful SNAC community, and daily pray to the Almighty that we can enjoy this gift in good health for many more years!
SNAC/shots my aliyah
Molly packing up for shipment to Israel
B’Nefesh. The gist of the letter was there would be only one flight out of the US, and it would leave from JFK on February 28. Get here by stagecoach, by car, by boat, or by raft. So in the space of less than four days, we buy our tickets to NYC, repack our suitcases (repack # 3), give away our keys, ready the cars for pick-up, find COVID tests, and off we go to JFK!
A Motley Crew at JFK “Arrive at the airport no later than 7:30pm. The flight will leave at precisely 11:30pm.” There is no way we will not be there on time. We are 192 olim, a motley crew – young marrieds, middle-agers, young singles, widows and widowers, along with guitars, skateboards, and strollers. After four hours, we board our glorious flight to Israel!
Coming Home The Long Way By Molly Zwanziger
ell, we made it. Almost two harrowing years after our initial application, we arrived in Netanya as full-fledged olim. Our suitcases stood straight up, packed, tagged and weighing in at 50 pounds precisely as we had waited patiently for that all-important phone call, “Yes, you’ve been accepted for aliyah.” That announcement came in early January 2021. We gave our apartment keys away for safe-keeping, prepared for the donation of our cars,
and were scheduled to leave January 26. Then the bomb landed. “Israel has closed its skies until further notice due to the spike in coronavirus cases!” Quick! Get the keys back! Oh no! No car, no food! Call Chabad! No, you cannot pick up our cars, we are not going! Fortunately, we are able to be vaccinated and have final visits with each of our two sons. And then, late one Saturday night at the end of February, we receive a formal letter from the director of Nefesh
Arrival! All 192 of us, masked for over 14 hours, are exuberant and giddy as we deplane. The very handsome captain of our flight, in his navy blue uniform walks arm and arm with an elderly lady, waving to the crowd that had come to greet us. So much for social distancing! We are propelled into a large room, tested for corona (again). A Ministry of Absorption staffer gives us a teudat oleh and an envelope containing thousands of shekels to begin our life in Israel! My thoughts turn to the struggles my family endured here – war after war, economic and other struggles over the past 72 years. It was a poignant moment, looking at that envelope with thousands of shekels. Hotel Corona: “All olim must remain in the Quarantine Hotel for 10 days. You may appeal this decision at the hotel.” Ah, can you direct me to the military head of Hotel Corona? I assume our appeal should be submitted to him.” “He is there,” says a tired-looking young soldier pointing to a heavyset man in military garb, looking totally flustered as 192 olim, 1000 pieces of luggage, car seats and 10 caged dogs descend upon a narrow old hotel in Tel Aviv. Chaos reigns. I march up to the command officer, Ah, Schneur, I would like to appeal the quarantine order. “Miss, nothing can be accomplished
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
my aliyah today. Please be in touch tomorrow.” It is now over 20 hours of mask time and it transpires that no rooms have been assigned to us. “Please, have a seat in the dining room,” says a harried hotel worker. “We will call you when a room is available.” We trudge over to the dining room to see a buffet of soft drinks, coffee, tea, myriad cookies and bourekas. “Try our hot bourekas,” urges an elderly waiter. “No! I just want to go home! I want to go to Netanya!” “Please have some bourekas; they are wonderful!” And so, with hot bourekas and a cup of very sweet tea, our stay at the Corona Hotel begins. Finally, we are assigned a room. It is clean and adequate. There is a knock at the door. We open it to see a silent hallway with two yellow plastic bags on the floor, ditto outside every other room. We open the bags, and find two full meat meals, together with two lachmaniot (buns)! Day 2 – Hotel Corona: The next morning we are rudely awakened by a “cock a doodle doo!” Aren’t we in Tel Aviv? There is a knock on our door; two orange plastic bags have been deposited outside. This time, it is a full breakfast, and again, the lachmaniot… What’s with the lachmaniot? Has some sedative been injected into them to keep us calm and prevent a revolt against our enforced incarceration? Later: We would like to file an appeal for a release from quarantine. We fill out the forms with snapshots of our certifications of corona shots. Day 3 – Appeal Denied: Quick call to Nefesh B’Nefesh. Can you help us? There is no reason we should remain in quarantine. We have our vaccination certifications. “Sorry, but the only evidence that will satisfy the Ministry of Health is a serological test. Someone will take your blood and with acceptable results, you may be released from quarantine.”
“Don’t worry.” We trudge downstairs to see two bearded Lubavitchers with a couple of stands
with test tubes. We would like to have blood tests. “That will be NIS450 each, cash only.” No problem, as we begin the process of returning the State of Israel’s generous gift. We stretch out our arms as the bearded, curly side-burned gentlemen take two vials of blood. Ah, can we have a receipt? “No need! Everything will be taken care of! Don’t worry.” Of course we worry. Day 4: The test results are returned with appropriate antibody numbers. Day 5: Confident we will be released by Shabbat, we prepare (repack # 4), for that happy journey to Netanya. Then the hammer falls! My appeal is accepted; Jack’s appeal: DENIED! What should we do! The serological results are good! I descend to the lobby, ready for a full frontal confrontation with THE ENEMY. The fatigue on Schneur’s face cannot be disguised. I am sure he is thinking… how long do I have to babysit these people? And this woman, what a nudnik! She has become an Israeli after only five days! Schneur replies, “You need to call the laboratory.” He produces a scrap of paper, “Here, phone Yossi.” Who is Yossi? “He’s the Lubavitcher who took your blood
samples… he knows EVERYONE at the lab.” It is two hours before Shabbat and now I have to hound this Lubavitcher. Wearily, I accept that we will be spending a very long Shabbat in confinement… But all is not lost, because outside our door is… you guessed it! A huge paper bag filled to the brim with gefilte fish, Shabbat candles, a fancy cake, and an elegant fruit platter worthy of the King David Hotel… and this time, two challah buns have been substituted for the dreaded lachmaniot! Minutes before candle-lighting, salvation arrives! “You are free to go!” But it is two minutes before Shabbat! Too late to make it to Netanya; however, somewhat more relaxed at the thought that right after Shabbat we will be allowed to leave, we prepare the candles. Suddenly we hear a beautiful voice beginning Kabbalat Shabbat… The voice beckons us. We open our door, as do the other occupants, and hear the clearest, most joyful tenor as he begins to recite Yedid Nefesh. So there we were, our first Shabbat as olim, standing at our doors, ushering in Shabbat with this angel… Yes, we have arrived in the Holy Land. Please come and visit, and maybe you too will stay. Just be prepared for the onslaught of lachmaniot!
Shana Tova Umetukah From
Drs. Ivan and Sharon Miller And the Staff of their Dental Clinic
SNAC/shots the ties that bind
It’s the Old Story. Boy Meets Girl - except they are both Jewish By Haya Lewi
hey meet in Germany three days after the Israeli sport delegation massacre in Munich; he lives in England and she in Ramat Gan. Her dad constantly worried that the unspoken 50-year-old family scandal was going to ruin her shiduch and even her sister’s shiduch. Who would want to marry into such a family? The shame. Die Shande. And yet... They met in shul that Rosh Hashanah in 1973. He looked up to the Ladies’ Gallery where she stood next to her proud aunt. No hat he noticed, she must be unattached. She was unaccustomed to synagogues, having learnt everything she knew about Jewish ritual from Agnon
stories. “He is wearing a tallit. So must be married. Why are all the best-looking men already taken?” When, afterwards, he came over for a chat, her aunt said: “There goes the cantor’s son, the lawyer from London. No, the son is still single as far as I know.” The two met again at the cantor’s house during Kaffee. Sehr Schoen. While this is a story about visiting Auntie, falling in love at first sight, (in spite of the location, the different backgrounds, the language barrier), a back story also emerges, much darker – of war and death and ghettos and camps.
The Back Story It is 1917 and The Great War saw the death of Opa (Grandpa) Hirsh Halevi while serving in Kaiser Franz Joseph’s army, leaving Oma (Grandma) a widowed mother of five, including Auntie. My father, being the eldest boy, aged 14, assumed the role of head of family. The widow began taking in diners. One of Oma’s diners was a young German machine engineer by the name of Jurgen. Auntie fell in love with Jurgen and eloped. Oy! He wasn’t Jewish! My father’s world collapsed overnight. He had failed to prevent this – his sister’s marriage to a non-Jew. How could he be so blind? The neighbors. The kehilah.
L to R: Penina, Allon, Sharonna, Haya and David
The shame. The young couple married. A whirlwind of foreign sounding and exotic cities followed: Istanbul, Helsinki, then, finally, Riga, Latvia. A beautiful German-speaking city, in need of young German machine engineers. The Jewish wife thought it would be a good idea for him to start his own company. “We shall build a factory together. Employ lots of locals, talk to the banks” (she was wearing her fox fur over one shoulder, confident, shrewd.) Buy machines. Beautiful knitwear was their specialty. She brought over her younger sister, Antonia. Oma Rochel came too for a while, Antonia was married off to a local Riga Jew, Israel Gutkind, and soon after, baby Sylvia was born.
A Dark Period The war broke out in far-away Poland. With a German husband, Auntie was sure she would be safe, no? The German army occupied Latvia in July 1941, received with open arms by the local populace. All Jews were herded into the Riga ghetto. The family saga is mute as to the whereabouts of Jürgen during this period. By the time winter came, the Jewish ghetto was deemed to be too
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
the ties that bind
Haya is inducted into the IDF
crowded. Room had to be made for the German Jews. So the local Riga Jews were taken to the Rumbula Forest and massacred... 25,000 souls, among them the small Gutkind family. Father never spoke of that dark period. Old photos and stories abound, but fiction and fact mix together to form a hazy memorial. When liberation finally came in 1944, Auntie, as a German wife, was sent to Siberia together with German prisoners of war. Later she was repatriated to Germany and reunited with Uncle Jurgen in return for Russian captives. Of the original family, now decimated and dispersed, only my father and Oma returned to Romania, where he married my mother in 1947. Father was in charge of a wood yard in Communist Romania. On the first Yom Kippur, the only day in the year when he decided to stay and fast at home, a fire broke out in the wood yard. My father, the Jew in charge, was not on site, and a lengthy prison sentence was dealt out in the sham trial.
Aliyah! Perhaps this is the point where the first sign of reconciliation between the
siblings emerged. The distraught young wife, my mother, contacted Auntie, in West Germany for help. She was always shrewd and street wise. Auntie would know what to do. $100 later, and after hefty bribes to many officials, Father was released. Perhaps it was then that my parents’ desire to leave and settle in Israel was forged along with a hatred of
Communism and of Romanians. Yes, his sister had probably saved his life, for the prison regime was too tough to bear – but then, she only did what she had to. Our small family settled in Ramat Gan, a sister was born, and apart from the odd night of terror, life in young Israel was happy and trouble-free. Auntie was always a presence, always there, though still living in that Northern German town. Father’s face still darkened when Jurgen’s name was mentioned. In late 1957 Father made the long journey to Germany to visit his mother for the very last time. He would not set foot in that accursed land ever again. His daughter, however, on summer leave from Tel Aviv University in 1972, went to visit Auntie. Why don’t you stay for Rosh Hashanah? said Auntie. We’ll go to shul together. I’ll show you off, my beautiful niece.” By the time the letter from Ramat Gan came to urge her immediate return as planned, it was too late. The love-at-first-sight story had already happened, and Auntie wrote back to her brother in Ramat Gan: “Your daughter is verlobt (engaged).” Did she mean to write “verliebt” (in love)? Did they misread the words? The wedding took place in Tel Aviv in October 1973. Auntie never got an invitation.
SNAC/shots the ties that bind Photo by Benjamin Recinos, Unsplash
Israeli tourism to book airline tickets for Miriam and me to travel there during Chol Hamoed Sukkot. The agent greeted my phone call with the words “Really? Are you sure?”
"Why had it taken me so long?"
Epiphany By Alan Lewis
pril 1, 1967 was not a big day in the 300+ year-old history of Lloyd’s of London but it was a remarkable date nevertheless. On that date, a new broker joined the Lloyd’s market, the first unassociated broker to be admitted since World War II and Jewish owned to boot! Exactly 67 days later on June 6, 1967, the Six Day War began and the Arab propaganda machine heralded the imminent destruction of the State of Israel. I feared that Israel was about to disappear off the map and I was ready to fly there and do whatever I could to help it. My business partner gently pointed out that I had never been to Israel, that I had never been in the army and that I was the last person in the world that Israel would actually want. Also, he pointed out that our business was only two months old and that I
owed it to him and to Miriam and to my infant son to stay in London. On June 7, I was walking through the Lloyd’s Underwriting Room and a marine underwriter tapped me on the shoulder and said, “The stories are not true, Alan, and Israel has already as good as won.” The Lloyd’s intelligence system was working well and I no longer felt the need to go to Israel to try to help the Israeli war effort. Roll the clock forward to the end of June 1976 and the Air France jetliner was on the ground at Entebbe. Tourism to Israel had stopped because of the fear that the multiple hijackings had engendered and so I decided that this was my time to fly my flag on the Israeli mast and arrange for my first visit to Israel. I phoned the then dominant UK travel agent for
We were met on the tarmac by warm balmy air, by the smell of orange blossom and by Miriam’s cousin (who worked for the Ministry of Finance and so had access airside at the airport). It was a simpler age and security was much more relaxed. We spent the night in Ramat Gan and then were taken (by Miriam’s other cousin, Simcha, and her husband Gershon) on a tour of the North. We drove up the newly opened Highway 2 and stopped for lunch at Kibbutz Lavi. As we stood by the car, Gershon pointed out the Horns of Hittim. I gasped – that’s where Saladin defeated the Crusaders – this is living history. Caesarea, Hazor, Meggido, Haifa and the Good Fence with Lebanon later, I had fallen in love with Israel. I was excited by the contact with the past that I had read about and had never really believed was real. It was the living Bible. And then we went to Jerusalem and the love affair was cemented. This was our country, populated by my people who were exercising their sovereignty for the first time in 2000 years. OK – so the economy was shaky, security was perilous and the future was insecure but I knew that Israel was the cause for which I would have to work for the benefit of my children and future generations. Miriam had visited in 1961. Why had it taken me so long? In the summer of 1979, the culmination of a year’s course of adult education in the UK was a month in Jerusalem. The first two weeks of that month the group was based at the Faculty Club of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus and we davened the Shabbat services on the terrace. We faced West for our prayers and there, at our feet, with the rising sun behind us, was the Temple Mount. It was a moment of Epiphany.
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the ties that bind
Israel Calling By Issy Zuckerbrod
was probably seven years old when our family became the proud owners of a 20-valve (tube in US) 4-waveband “PYE” radio set. To receive short wave transmissions, a long aerial wire had to be attached to the radio. We used a 100-meter fine insulated wire, one end attached to the aerial socket at the back of the radio and the other tied round the top of a glass milk bottle which was then thrown over the highest branch of the tall tree at the end of our garden. It worked!! Although only seven years old, I was the operator of this magnificent piece of equipment, and couldn’t wait to try out the wavelength, 33.3 meters, given to me by a friend in school. He told me, to tune in on Motzei Shabbat at 21:00 hours GMT. If I didn’t want to miss the broadcast, I could start trying to tune in to the station a few minutes before the scheduled program when the station would transmit the call sign, which to me sounded like the middle of the tune that we sang for Shir Hammaalot before Birkat Hamazon. When I heard the call sign, it sent shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes. The distinctive clear voice of the announcer could be heard… KOL ZION LAGOLA – THE VOICE OF ZION broadcasting from the foreign service of Israel State Radio, broadcasting in English to the diaspora. A chazan sang the classical ‘Shavua Tov’ melody During the winter months when Shabbat went out early enough, listening to this station became a fixed ritual, which I never missed. There was always a political report, which I did not understand (not that I can understand Israeli politics today!), and then came a Dvar Torah on Parshat Hashavua
Issy's love of his heritage was clearly inherited by his children and grandchildren who presented him with this collage.
followed by some traditional music, which always managed to touch my soul.
...and the rest is history Of course I was learning Chumash in school, and knew about Eretz Yisrael in the Bible but never thought that this was a reality in our day, so you can imagine the impact these radio broadcasts had on me as I began to realize there now was a State of Israel, where Jews actually lived. That was the start. The rest is history. I discovered Bnei Akiva, visited Israel as a student and was totally in love with the idea of aliyah. However, I didn’t make aliyah until I was 33 years old and married with five out of our six children. My parents fought against my move to Israel, emotionally blackmailing me with their history of surviving the Shoah. They lost two children who were killed by the Germans after local Poles informed on their hiding place, only a few weeks before they themselves were liberated.
How could I leave the safety of the United Kingdom? How could I leave my parents in England? My late mother held that the Jews were safe in England as long as there was a monarchy. I wonder what she would think now! In any event, my parents eventually bought an apartment in Netanya and divided their time between Israel and England. They loved it here, and even tried to encourage my sister to make aliyah. Of course there were many other events in my history which strengthened my resolve. I will leave that for another time. Young Issy
SNAC/shots the ties that bind had already flown the nest and were living abroad in New York and Toronto. We bought Corinne’s house, half demolished it, and created the palace where we would spend the rest of our days. At the end of February 2012, Annette and I were relaxing in our holiday home in Florida when Annette suddenly said, “Stephen, why are we going back to London? We have no family connections there. Our parents are no longer with us. Perhaps we should consider moving to Israel.” Wow, where did that come from? We decided to spend the following Pesach at the new Ramada Hotel in South Netanya and take the opportunity to look around. We liked the area and even looked at a couple of apartments.
SNAC Seals the Deal
Three generations of Lamberts
My Israel Connection By Stephen Lambert
y connections with Israel go back a long way – from JNF blue boxes, to planting trees in Israel and JNF fundraising committees. My father was always involved with the JNF and as young marrieds Annette and I joined a fundraising committee called Galil 4, which for several years organized dinners and balls in swanky locations to raise money for Israel. I first visited Israel with an IUJF student group in 1963. We were a group of about 40 and spent six weeks touring and hearing lectures by many important personages. We also spent a
couple of weeks working on a kibbutz. Annette joined a similar group two years later. In 1978 we joined a JNF mission to Israel with excursions ranging from planting trees in Yamit in the Sinai to dedicating a nachalah in memory of Annette’s father in the Galilee and an audience with then President Yitzhak Navon. Annette and I raised our children in England; all were heavily involved in Bnei Akiva, but we never had any thoughts of living in Israel. Our youngest daughter Corrine made aliyah in 2009 when our other children
That Yom Tov, still undecided, we attended the local synagogue with the strange name of SNAC. The service was held in a double garage in the basement of a local villa. During the course of the service the gabbai, Uri, presented a Dvar Torah. He spoke of the crossing of the Sea of Reeds. According to midrash, Moses stretched out his rod over the sea. Nothing happened. Then Nachshon ben Aminadav, the head of the tribe of Judah, paddled into the water first up to his ankles, then to his knees and waist. Still nothing happened, but as the water reached his chin, the sea parted. The lesson: SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO GO FOR IT. Annette and I exchanged glances across the mechitsa and the decision was made. I thought of the many occasions in my life when I wanted to do something but just didn’t have the impetus or the guts to go ahead. This time it would be different. We had seen a property we liked in the Horizon Building, one of the last, and we gave a lawyer power of attorney. He advised us not to hurry but to let him negotiate a better price. We then made for the airport and while sitting in the lounge I telephoned him and said, “Forget the negotiating; just get the property.”
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the ties that bind
Snapshots of Israel By Rosalind Cole Iron Dome intercept photo by Shelli Weisz
srael and I were born only a couple of years apart, with our country being only two years older than I. The first Israel memory is at cheder. I am sitting at a rickety desk and am so happy as I have at long last stuck the last stamp onto the map of Israel so that I can buy a tree in Israel. I would now be responsible for a tiny part of this country that I had seen only in photos. Will the tree have my name on it? Will I be able to go and see my tree? In my next memory I am 13 and am very excited as my mum and I are going on holiday to tour Israel. We can’t go with my dad as he doesn’t have anyone to look after his butcher shop. We arrive by ship at Haifa Port and while this sounds glamorous, the boat was probably a basic cargo ship, nothing like the cruise ships we travel on today. The Bahai Temple’s golden dome shimmers in the early morning light of Haifa. I have never seen or smelt anything in my life so vibrant as the scene in front of me. Aged 17, I spent six weeks touring Israel with a group before going off to university. So many memories, with each one reinforcing my ties to the country. Getting up at 4 in the morning to pick apples at Sde Boker, Ben Gurion’s kibbutz. I remember standing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a joy denied to me when I was 13. I slept on the beach in Eilat which sounds lovely but in reality, was an uncomfortable and sandy ordeal. So many new experiences! After I married at 21, I had the privilege of introducing Tony to Israel. He had never been and to be honest it took a while for
him to warm to it. But he obviously did and we made aliyah in 2006. Our son Simon served in a sayeret, an elite fighting unit in the army, and I am very proud of him. I know nothing of what he did as he was never allowed to tell us. At times of crisis we watch on television what is happening to our country. But life carries on as normal, sipping coffee in the coffee shops and shopping in the mall. Which brings me to the night of May 11. We were having a meal in a restaurant on the beach with Mike and Reva, a new and special thing to do after this hard corona year. Suddenly the sirens went off and to our surprise we watched rockets being shot down by the iron dome. Such an unexpected show!
We heard the many booms as well. Were we frightened? Maybe. I was, just a bit. There was no panic and a camaraderie and togetherness formed with the other diners. A very Israeli feeling somehow. A bit of nervous laughter and indecision. Our gorgeous young waiter apologized for the trouble as if it were his fault. Should we stay on the beach in a building with no safe room or jump in the car? We decided to come home when the sirens and the rockets stopped. So, I had a brush with a very small experience of what it is to be at risk. Our brave soldiers do it all the time, as do the residents of the towns and villages surrounding Gaza. This was an Israeli experience I had not had before and pray one that will not be repeated.
SNAC/shots the ties that bind Platoon photo. Myer is in the middle row on the right
My Grandfather Myer Clapich By Graham Calvert
here was no escaping the Zionism that pervaded every part of my life as long as I can remember. I can’t say for sure who was the first driving force, but I have succeeded in tracing it back as far as my grandfather Myer Clapich (1899 – 1967). In 1918, Myer joined the Engineering Division of the Jewish Legion of the 38th Battalion, which comprised the Egyptian Expeditionary Force that fought the Ottomans in Egypt and later in Palestine. Myer’s uncle Mordechai Klapisch died in 1934 in Paris and was buried on Har HaZeitim – a special link in the chain from our French cousins. I have fond memories of visits to Myer and his wife Lily’s home in Hendon for Sunday afternoon tea and plava cake, with my parents and my younger brother and sister, joined by several aunts, uncles and cousins. Although I was the eldest grandchild, I was too young to take part in the many discussions about World War I at these gatherings. I was aware that Grandpa Myer served in Palestine near Rishon LeZion. Although there was often talk of a trip to Israel, neither Myer nor
Grandma Lily ever traveled there. I was more fortunate.
My First Visit to Israel In 1968 our family visited Israel. I recollect being very impressed when, just after leaving Lod, our taxi had a flat tire, and a string of cars stopped to offer assistance. We stayed in Herzlia and traveled to Yerushalayim where we were horrified to see the matzeva stones used by the Jordanians to make walls and pavements close to Har HaZeitim, the Mount of Olives. My parents must have had faith in me as they allowed me to travel on an Egged bus tour to Ein Gedi and Masada, unaccompanied by an adult, at the tender age of 13! My passion for Israel was furthered when I went on a Bnei Akiva tour in 1971. We traveled from the Golan to Eilat – a snapshot of memories includes the climb up the Lamed Hey hill to follow the trek of the Palmach soldiers who fought to relieve the beleaguered Gush Etzion; traveling in the back of an open-sided truck; walking up the ramp at Masada at dawn; and a week-long stay on Kibbutz Sa’ad near Gaza.
A couple of years later, I traveled to Israel as a volunteer, again with Bnei Akiva, to Kibbutz Sa’ad. We landed at Lod Airport on December 17, 1973 and left in January 1974 from Ben Gurion Airport, as David Ben Gurion had died during that month and the airport was renamed. This month-long visit left an indelible mark, as we saw men returning to the kibbutz from IDF duty (following the Yom Kippur War). In 1974, while helping my Grandma Lily move from Hendon to Edgware, I came across photos from Grandpa Myer’s service in the British army’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force. A note on the reverse of Grandpa Myer’s photo says, “taken at Bir Salem.” After some research, I found Bir Salem was next to Kibbutz Nezer Sereni, near Be’er Yaacov. The Bet Hagedudim museum in Avihayil near Netanya is replete with four binders of the 38th Battalion of volunteers, who fought in Palestine during World War I and later in World War II, including an entry I put in for Grandpa Myer. Each record has its own photo and narrative. Belinda and I married in 1978 and bought our home in South Netanya in
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the ties that bind
Nu, So When Are You Coming? By Molly Zwanziger
January 2008, 30 years later. We often visit the Bet Hagedudim museum. In February 2020 I brought my grandson Yona to the extended Bet Hagedudim, with its new display hall of the IDF, to see the record of his great-greatgrandfather’s service. We look forward to our children and grandchildren making aliyah. Grandpa Myer would be so proud.
ell, it is six months since we arrived in Israel and I can tell you the reception I received bears no resemblance to the one I remember from my first glorious trip to Israel in 1972. Then I was a teenager, excited and enthusiastic about everything. Israel was in the afterglow of the Six Day War. My relatives, my parents’ friends, even the passengers I met on every bus trip who excitedly invited me to their homes for Shabbat ended every meeting with, “Nu, so when are you coming to Israel?” That Israeli energy and positivity was still alive during my second trip in the summer of 1973. I could feel my feet itching to return to Israel the minute I landed in Canada. Sadly, those halcyon days, those joyous welcomes of “come to Israel!” were gone when I returned in 1977. It was a dismal and depressing time that seemed to last till my next visit in 1987. The reception was cooler, but there was some positive energy. “Nu, so when are you coming?” was not a phrase I heard from anyone. The next significant trip was in the summer of 2001 – intifada, suicide bombings, empty hotels, empty streets, an empty country. Friends and relatives tracked our every move. We were guided about the country with protection by a friend's daughter whose work was
tracking terrorists. When our twoweek trip was over, our relatives and friends all had the same advice, “Go home! Go back and be safe!” They were willing to take the bullets, but we should remain “protected,” out of Israel.
So... why did you come? After 2001, we made many more trips to Israel as our children came for seminary studies and finally settled in Israel. But “Nu, so when are you coming to Israel?” was never uttered. Not by our family, not by our friends, and by that time, no one even spoke to me on an Egged bus! So imagine our surprise when within three weeks of making aliyah we encountered a different question: “So, why did you come?” This came from an aliyah professional in the US, medical professionals in Israel, and the proprietor of a highly successful café. Only one person greeted us with a hearty “Mazal Tov!” a banking official, an immigrant from France. She knows why she came, and we know why we came. I now have the confidence to answer that question, and am ready to blurt it out, loud and clear: We are Jews. We are thrilled and excited to be living in the Jewish State. Just remember that!”
SNAC/shots the ties that bind
The First 50 Years By Reva Garmise
es. It’s true. We’ve been here half a century. It’s really strange since we’re only about 48 years old. Mike is, anyway. I’m 36. A lot has changed since we first arrived in 1971. Netanya was a one-horse town back then. During weekdays, that horse was attached to a big red buggy, decorated with colorful flags, bells and other trimmings, and kiddies or tourists would be pulled by the plodding horse past the main attraction of the city: a big water fountain on Kikar Atzmaut, the iconic symbol of the city. That was about it for attractions. The poor horse would circle round and round that fountain. Sometimes the horse was re-purposed and schlepped someone’s household belongings instead of tourists. This was how local residents moved from one home to another. The wagon-master was a guy called Pinny. It was Pinny who moved us
from our temporary abode to our own apartment on Hashiva Street. We drove behind Pinny, ready to stop him if our bed or some other precious belonging – precariously perched atop the cart – fell off. It didn’t. That is, nothing fell off. Because Pinny and the one-horse town horse were experienced. At least once a year someone in Netanya moved from one address to another, keeping Pinny gainfully employed whenever such a move was happening. Israelis were like that back then. People didn’t give up their homes so easily in those days.
A Traffic Light When we first got here, driving directions were simple. To find our temporary abode, we were told to drive along Herzl Street until we reached THE traffic light, then turn right-left-right. For our second place, the instructions changed. At
THE traffic light go left and then yashar yashar – straight up – until almost the end of Smilansky Street, then take a left at Hashiva Street, so-called because the street had only seven (shiva) homes on it. That is, until we showed up, upsetting the carefully nuanced name-number balance. That brand new two-bedroom apartment cost a whopping 64,000 lirot ($20,000). Of this 40,000 came as a mortgage from the government, unlinked to the cost-ofliving index, even when inflation became rampant. The government very soon begged us to pay off the outstanding debt as the cost of postage for billing us was quite a bit higher than the amount they were receiving! The remaining 20,000 lirot was paid by a “loan” of $3000 from Mike’s parents and our small but noble contribution to the cause. We sort of had a view of the sea from that apartment, which backed on Smilansky Street – until new six-story high-risers arose on Smilansky. These buildings didn’t totally obliterate our view of the sea. When hanging out our laundry, if we stuck our heads all the way out and peeked to the left at a 30-degree angle, a sliver of blue sea might come into view.
A Kind of Desert Who even dreamed that one day – some 25 years later – we would open our trissim in the morning and see the sea from any and every window. Of course when the new Briga building was constructed adjacent to our building to house the Lamberts and Mays and Wagners and Tokayers and Safiers and Sallmanders and Shermans and Lewises and Polaks and Deacons and Epsteins, a nice-sized wedge of our view was eliminated. But that was progress. Until the chutzpadik Briga and a few other apartment houses went up, we were still living in a kind of desert where sand and more sand awaited the arrival of new pioneers to populate the neighborhood. All we had back then were a few “working women” who showed up every night and a persistent cricket visitor to break the quiet of the desert. With the continued construction in the neighborhood, bits and pieces of our view began to disappear. And soon, a new
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
snacsibs phenomenon made its appearance. The British were coming! With this new influx came the Herons and the Coles who decided we needed our own shul right here in the middle of the desert. No longer would we have to hike 1000 meters to the nearest synagogue. Soon there would be a new shul in one of the imposing new structures going up on Pierre Koenig Street. The British had landed and like the pioneers of old, they made the desert bloom.
The New Israelis It took a while, but eventually news of the phenomenon known as SNAC spread and new Anglos arrived, with accents not-so-British. While Hebrew continued to be a second (and not-soused) language in the neighborhood, the cadences changed. Soon we heard the unmistakable intonations of South Africans, Scots, and others plus more and more no-accent Americans, one of whom serves as our unparalleled leader to this day. By now, several more traffic lights and traffic circles were established throughout the city. The iconic water fountain was relocated westward, to make way for a new interactive Kikar HaAtzmaut. The one large movie theater where customers were advised not to roll bottles down the aisle or spit pumpkin seed shells onto the floor, and another smaller theater whose ceiling would magically retract for screenings on hot and humid summer nights are gone. Replacing these charming centers of entertainment are multiplex theaters located in the new industrial zone of the city. That is progress. Yes, Netanya has changed over the years in many ways, mainly for the good. For us, the most life-changing development was the rapidly-growing SNAC community, filled with friends who more or less speak our native language (although not so much the language of their new homeland). Well, that’s a kind of progress too. One can only guess what the next 50 years will bring... let’s all plan to find out!
Family Ties at SNAC Did you know that several SNAC members are related: brothers, sisters, cousins? In at least one case, one sib lives in Netanya and the other in London. Two cousins found each other at SNAC though neither had known of the other’s existence. Here are some of their stories.
Eric on the far right; Anita,
in front of her mother
Out of Africa (to Netanya, via London – Modiin and Raanana)
nita and I were born in South Africa. Our parents had five children; I was the youngest of three boys and Anita the younger of two girls. There are 10 years between us and Anita is about 16 years younger than our oldest brother, Norman.
Growing up, we were a close family, and though we now have our own lives and have chosen different paths, we remain close and supportive. Anita was dearly wanted by my parents who went ahead and had her against the advice of doctors. She thus became the nachas of my parents and her siblings. Our relationship was of a protective big brother towards his little sister. I would regularly and happily babysit when my parents went out, up until the time Anita left school.
Anita married Howard Jacobson not long after I married Brenda. Within a few years of their marriage they felt that there was no future for them in South Africa and made aliyah. We visited them and saw they were making a successful life in Israel. Some years later Brenda and I also decided to leave South Africa, but I felt Israel was not the place for a nice Englishspeaking Jewish boy to make a living, so we emigrated to London. Our decision to move to Israel was triggered by our daughter who had married in England and eventually decided, together with her husband, that she wanted to live in Israel. We followed, making aliyah and moved to Modiin in 2010. Obviously, my sister Anita and I were in regular contact, enjoying each other’s smachot. Anita was living happily in Raanana and we in Modiin. For some reason, Anita’s husband decided Netanya was the place with a better quality of life and they moved here. We came to visit them and enjoyed Netanya, especially as Brenda had grown up in Port Elizabeth, a seaside city in South Africa. Anita invited us to stay for a Shabbat and attend a SNAC service. We did and found SNAC warm and welcoming. We have lived here in Netanya for six years and it still feels to us like an ongoing holiday. ~ Eric Brett
sibling disagreements but they were always quickly resolved; our parents insisted on this. That said, I do recall, with some residual jealousy, the fabulous dresses that our father brought back from his business visits to Antwerp, all from the luxury children’s clothes store “Princess.”
phry and I have always shared our journey through life, and despite our individual differences, our bond has stood the tests of life’s travails during which we staunchly supported one another. Indeed, I think of his two sons as my surrogate children! No one who knows Ephry can but smile at his wit, joke-telling and wicked sense of humor.
Annette and Ephry... a few years ago
y sister Annette and I are very close. Though I had my Brit Milah in London’s Stamford Hill, Annette was born some four years later shortly after we moved to Hampstead Garden. I still possess and treasure the low armchair in which I recall my mother nursing my sister in her infancy.
He Says, She Says: Ephry and Annette
e are close and this is complemented by our spouses Terrie and Stephen. Ephry’s late wife Sara was the sister I had always longed to have. We had loads of fun and when Ephry went off to university, I felt bereft…though quite enjoyed being the beneficiary of his student life, and potential boyfriends were never far off the radar! Ephry was always brighter than I. His strivings for spiritual and intellectual improvement and his concern for me and others leave me in awe.
phry and I were fortunate to have parents who bathed us in love, laughter and loyalty. They taught us courage, fortitude and a strong belief in family. The years do change a relationship and although he is my elder, my family was the older, so my reverence and oft times differences of perspective evolved as we grew up and had our own families.
s we grew, we shared many experiences. Fondly remembered are winter sledging down our quiet street, tennis lessons in Juan les Pins, the holiday beach club in Belgium, Jewish Youth Study Groups and Bnei Akiva. Less fondly remembered were the piano lessons with Mrs. Beek and our mother’s insistence on daily practice. Naturally there were some
s to our presence in Israel, life beside the sea was an attractive alternative expression of the Zionism on which we had been nurtured. After much searching and indecisiveness, Terrie and I bought our Netanya flat intending it for holiday use. Certainly, at the time, aliyah was not on our minds. We were therefore delighted to learn that Annette and Stephen were coming on aliyah and we were more than happy for them to use our apartment as a base while they purchased, furnished and renovated their own place. So in the end they committed to aliyah before we did, but joined SNAC after we had introduced the shul to them.
hat we are both living out our winter years in Israel, and belong to the SNAC community is incredible. Our father, who instilled Zionism in us, must be looking down and shepping nachas to witness our joint aliyah. How lucky I am to have a really special brother like Ephry, I love him to pieces.
y sister is the most amazing and generous person I know, devoted to Terrie and me, as to her two nephews, Naftali and Arriel, who warmly reciprocate her feelings towards them. I love her unreservedly.
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
Peter, Iresine and Iresine's brother with their grandfather
All Roads Lead to Netanya* *...and to SNAC
Peter and Ann and Iresine
e arrived in Israel in March 2017. Coming to Netanya was an easy decision after spending much time here and making many new friends. We also had a number of connections to Manchester-born residents and visitors. Our first impression was of a very welcoming community where we immediately felt at home. We had never previously anticipated or discussed moving to Israel but a number of family and other considerations made it a viable option. We have a son and family living here but left behind two daughters and their
Peter and Ann with their grandmother
families, which was not easy. I have two family links to Netanya. One is a permanent resident the other is, or was before the corona pandemic, a regular visitor. My first cousin, Peter Redstone, lives nearby. I don’t know how he came to choose Netanya but he and his wife Angela moved here some years before us. About the same time his sister, Ann Marks, bought an apartment on Hagilah Street. Peter and Ann’s late mother and my late father were brother and sister. So of my six first cousins, two are associated with Netanya and all are members of the SNAC community. We were all born in Manchester but when I was six I caught whooping cough and our doctor advised my family to move to a place by the sea. So we left for Southport on the northwest coast of England, about an hour’s drive from Manchester. We saw Ann and Peter on family occasions and I was always friendly with them both; these relationships continue today. I am 72, Ann is eighteen months older and Peter about four years older. After four years in this community there is no doubt we could have moved nowhere better. We love the life here and being part of SNAC. ~ Iresine Wolf
ix years ago when Marcia and I arrived in our Netanya flat, having just made aliyah, we were still unpacking when the doorbell rang. A guy walked in and introduced himself as Robert Casselson. He told us that he and his wife Carolyn were moving from Royal Residence to The Lagoon and needed to borrow the trolley we were using. We chatted and he asked us where we were from. When we told him Cape Town, he said, “That’s interesting, I have a cousin there." I asked him who his cousin was and he said Stanley Cohen, to which I exclaimed “Wow he is my cousin as well!” Comparing notes, we discovered that our families were related and had roots in a small shtetl in northern Lithuania called Zagare. During our discussion, we also discovered that in 1971, while traveling around Europe, I had spent a night at the home of Robert’s aunt and uncle in Manchester. It’s really great that we found each other; our families now share a special bond. ~ Nate Peretzman
Newfound cousins Nate and Robert
SNAC/shots survivor's tale
I Did Not Want to Die By Birgitte Savosnik
he book “I Did Not Want to Die” was recently published in English by Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. It was written by my father, Robert Savosnick, a Norwegian Jew and Holocaust survivor. My father originally published the book “Jeg ville ikke dø” (I Did Not Want to Die), in Norwegian, through the Cappelen Publishing House in Norway in 1986. In the book, he described his experiences during two and a half years of captivity in Nazi concentration camps, mostly in Auschwitz. My father wanted to survive in order to tell the whole world about what had happened to those who never returned. The title he chose for the book reflects this intention. He felt it was his duty to all those who were murdered. My father also saw it as his task to spread knowledge about the horrific cruelty he had witnessed, to prevent it from happening again to Jews,
or to other ethnic groups. As he said: “Next time, maybe someone else will be the ‘Jew.’” After the war, in addition to his work as a pediatrician, he frequently traveled to schools in Trondheim, Norway and told his story. He was often interviewed by the media, including newspapers, radio and television. He also traveled to Auschwitz in 1993 with two journalists from the Adresseavisen, the largest newspaper in Trondheim. The journalists wrote an article about my father’s story and their own emotional experience on seeing the concentration camp. Together with my mother Britha, my father also participated in the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
in Oslo. It had been sold out. I contacted Aktive Fredsreiser which agreed to publish the third edition that same year. I then contacted the Holocaust Center in Oslo, which had never had it in their bookstore. Now it is available there. It is also back in the stores of the Jewish Museum in Oslo, as well as in the Jewish Museum in Trondheim. When my father died, my mother picked up the baton. She traveled with A Second Edition Norwegian schoolchildren as a witness to the concentration camps, on behalf of My father died in 1998. The second my father. These trips were organized by edition of the book was published by Aktive Fredsreiser. My mother did this Aktive Fredsreiser (Travel for Peace) in 2004 after my sister Desiree had met the for many years, until she was about 85 years old. company’s representatives at her son’s school during a presentation. Travel Since 2005, I have been in close contact for Peace organizes educational trips with Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust for schoolchildren to the concentration Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, camps. My father’s book has been part of attempting to have them publish the the educational program for the 15,000 book in English. They considered the students who annually participate in book to be very important and well these trips. The students also have sold written and had planned to publish the book to family and friends, with all it as a part of Elie Wiesel’s memoir of the income earmarked for covering project. However, the book was put the expense of their own trips to the on hold when project funds were lost concentration camps. in the terrible Madoff scandal in the In 2017 I noticed that the book was no United States. Through all these years longer for sale at The Jewish Museum I have been in regular contact with Yad
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survivor's tale Vashem to follow up on progress. Three years ago I asked if it would be possible to advance the publishing date if the family covered the cost; it was. My sister Desiree and I wanted to contribute financially to this so that Yad Vashem’s work on the book could resume. For the last three years I have been heavily involved with the manuscript, the last year almost daily. The book was very good in its initial form, but it has now been historically reviewed and quality assured by Yad Vashem. They have added 127 documentary footnotes, in addition to pictures and other items I have obtained, and they have written a historical introduction. I was pleased to be asked to write
an epilogue about my father, seen through his daughter’s eyes. In its 10 pages, I had the opportunity to describe my father as the wonderful person he was. He was a very kind, empathetic, positive, and energetic person, despite what he had gone through. He was probably the most harmonious person I have ever met. I also related how his Holocaust story has always been a part of me and influenced me, and how his ability to survive and start his life all over again has given me strength in life. It strikes me quite often that my father weighed only 36 kilos when he was liberated, and only a few months later, he was able to continue his medical studies, to become a doctor in 1949. His book can now be purchased in
English at the Yad Vashem bookstore in Jerusalem or through their website. If you, your family, or your friends, cannot read Norwegian, this is an opportunity to read the book in English. It is the story of my father, a Norwegian Jew’s terrible two-and-a-half-year experience in the concentration camps, and his way back to a very good and normal life in his hometown Trondheim, Norway. My mother was deeply moved, and very happy when Yad Vashem approved the book for publication in 2006. My father died in 1998 and my mother, in 2014. I wish my parents had had the opportunity to see the book published at The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem in 2021. It would have meant so much to both of them. Here is the link to the Yad Vashem bookstore: store.yadvashem.org/en/ i-did-not-want-to-die-from-norwayto-auschwitz
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Tom Weisz and Alan Lewis in ruins of a Nabatean Temple
ovid 19 put a full stop to international travel and, until recently, to domestic travel too. But now, confidently vaccinated and raring to go, we decided on a tiyul into the Negev with an overnight stay. WOW – staying in a hotel again! It took about two and a half hours to reach Sde Boker; there, at a new Isrotel called Kedma, we enjoyed a belated breakfast. A nice hotel set up to look as though it is located in the middle of the Sahara Desert. With the inner man fortified and reinforced with a couple of bottles of water, we drove on to Avdat. In the centuries before the common era, incense was carried some 2,500 kilometers overland by camel caravans from the Red Sea ports in Yemen to Gaza, from where it was shipped to Europe. A camel could carry about 130 kilos of cargo and could walk about 35 kilometers per day. That meant that every 35 kilometers or so, there had to be a rest stop for food and water. The
route was controlled by the Nabateans, an ancient Arabic people. Avdat was probably the largest rest stop on the route and its more than 2000-yearold remains are highly impressive. Built on the top of a hill, it enjoyed a commanding view of the surrounding countryside and of the caravans on the trail. It was a wealthy city of 4000 or more inhabitants enjoying large properties and, obviously, a high standard of living. It was fascinating to trace the remains of its pagan temple morphing into a Byzantine Church as the Roman influence spread Christianity into the area. The following morning, we re-visited David Ben Gurion’s desert home in Kibbutz Sde Boker and were impressed all over again at its size for a kibbutz house. The house is immediately adjacent to the hotel grounds. The home has been renovated and upgraded with digital media and exhibitions that relate the story of his life, his Zionism and his connection to the Negev. Next we toured the small Nabatean
town of Mamshit with amazingly preserved mosaic floors in the Byzantine church on the site. We then visited Mitzpe Revivim, one of the three Jewish settlements in the Negev that were approved by the British Mandate authority in the 1930s. It was approved as an experimental agricultural and meteorological settlement and was originally set up by 30 volunteers from Rishon LeZion. Until proper accommodation was constructed, they lived in a Nabatean cave on the site. Water was delivered once a week by light truck. During the 1948 War of Independence, the settlers of Revivim held up the Egyptian army marching towards Tel Aviv, and the settlement was besieged between July and December 1948 without falling to enormously superior forces. They even established an air strip on which DC3s could land. And then we drove home. Some 36 hours away from Netanya and it felt like three days. ~ Alan Lewis
ur daughter Emma celebrated her fortieth birthday in January and we promised her that, once Covid restrictions were lifted, we would take her away for a trip to celebrate. Shortly before Shavuot, we fulfilled our promise and found a boutique hotel on the shore of the Kinneret with a pool and private beach. Happily, the hotel ticked all the right boxes and after a pleasant drive from Netanya, we settled down by the pool to plan the next day’s schedule. Three activities appealed – Mount Arbel National Park; a boat trip on the Kinneret and – possibly – a balloon ride! After the traditional hotel breakfast in the morning, we set off for the short drive to Mount Arbel. We were fortunate to find a guide who explained the history of the area. The historian Josephus relates that Herod was sent by Mark Anthony to suppress a rebellion by Jews from this area
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travels who – as described by Josephus – were lurking in the caves opening onto mountain precipices that were quite inaccessible except by tortuous and narrow paths. Herod overcame the rebels only after his best soldiers were lowered in cages down to the caves suspended by ropes and threw in lighted torches. The Jews fought to the death and some committed suicide by jumping into the gorge rather than surrender. Standing at the site, it was easy to picture the battle. We returned to the hotel after lunch and found that a boat trip was leaving from a nearby pier a little later and that we could join a group that was boarding the vessel. The group was a cheerful party of older folk who sang and played lively Sephardi music which we ‘youngsters’ clapped along with and one of us actually joined – briefly – in a group of dancing men! We had read that there was a place nearby that offered balloon rides and after much phoning, we were finally told that there would be availability the next morning. We checked out of the hotel and excitedly drove to the balloon place. There was the balloon – but sadly no balloon pilot. We had been given wrong information. Feeling somewhat deflated – pun intended – we headed instead for the Birya Forest
Joyce, Emma and Alan Mays in the Galilee
– a magnificent drive from near Rosh Pina to Tsfat. We stopped en route at the Birya Fort which was built by the Palmach in 1946 as a base to defend the Jews of Tsfat and also as a way station for Jewish immigrants escaping from Syria. After a brief lunch in Tsfat, we headed back to Netanya on a somewhat circuitous Waze route. All three of us – especially the ‘birthday girl’ – agreed that it had been a most enjoyable and memorable trip. ~ Alan Mays
Tzipi and friend Misha in front of the stone ark complex that housed the holy ark
A Golan Gem
n a recent tiyul to the Golan Heights, we reached an ancient synagogue situated in southwest Golan in a Jewish village dating from the Talmudic period. The ancient village is at the foot of a moshav called Natur that overlooks the Sea of Galilee, Mount Hermon and the Galilean hills. Natur is an interesting place in its own right. It was established as a kibbutz of the leftwing HaShomer Hatzair movement in 1980 and became a combined religious-secular moshav in 2008. The 100 families of Natur maintain an integrated lifestyle, respecting the varied ideologies of its members.
Holidays and festivals are celebrated together and all cultural activities are communal and inclusive, including the educational system. Natur also offers unique accommodations for visitors in ecological units, including camping options, spa treatments, glassmaking and glassblowing workshops as well as delicious breakfast or lunch from the moshav’s dairy farm, among Natur’s many attractions.
Mother of Arches The synagogue at Ein Keshatot was built in the sixth century, in the center of what was a Jewish village, whose previous name is unknown. Bedouins residing in the area were amazed by the beautiful stone arches in the spring. They named the place, Umm El-Kanatir, which means “Mother of Arches.” The Hebrew name is Ein Keshatot – The Spring of Arches. The synagogue and the entire village were destroyed by a massive earthquake in the eighth century. Although the place was excavated in the 19th century, it remained untouched and deserted until 2003 when a special reconstruction project was initiated. A crane was positioned above the ruins of the synagogue, which helped to remove and eventually reorganize the stones
My Favorite Place
of the synagogue. The stones scattered around the site were marked and numbered. Each stone was scanned with laser technology and its 3D model was stored in a data base. Later, a computer he lowest point on planet earth is program virtually reconstructed the our favorite place in the whole wide building and showed where each stone world. was originally placed in the structure The drive down from Jerusalem is as prior to its collapse. The stones were breathtaking as a drive in New Zealand; returned to their original location. the desert scenery as amazing as that in Arizona; the air as clean as the The most outstanding find of all was Caribbean; the sulphur mud ponds as the stone ark complex which housed unusual as those in Rotorua; free hot the holy ark. The ark itself was not mud treatments like those offered in preserved as it was made of wood, beauty clinics; the tranquility of a desert but the stone structure was perfectly reconstructed from its parts, which were island; the food as plentiful and tasty as on the best kosher cruises. Floating found among the ruins. in the calm warm lake-like sea, full of Near the synagogue is a pleasant minerals instead of fish, revitalizes the small spring under a stone arch with body and mind. The Dead Sea. some picnic tables. Ein Keshatot archaeologists also found two oil presses And all this, not on the other side of the that were capable of producing large world, but just two and a half hours by quantities of olive oil. car from Netanya. A visit is highly recommended. How lucky are we! ~ Tzipi Trogan ~ Charles Green
Shabbat By Barbara Susman
Muddy couple. Toni and Charles Green at the Dead Sea
hen Eddie and I told our family and friends that we decided to make aliyah a bit sooner (18 months or so) than we’d originally planned, the reaction was universal. Shock but no surprise. We had been talking about our rolling two-year aliyah plan since we got married, so many had been anticipating this announcement for over 25 years. After people recovered from the fact that we were headed to Netanya (WHAT? Not Jerusalem, Ranaana, Bet Shemesh, Modiin, etc.), uppermost in their minds was...what will you do? Will your work transfer? Aren’t you a little young to retire? Our goal was to lead a more balanced life. Instead of the focus on careers we chose to focus on giving back. Yes, we
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volunteering an extension of their children’s bar/ bat mitzvah chesed projects. The group had been packing boxes for about 90 survivors for Pesach and Rosh HaShanah for 10 years. When the pandemic hit, they needed to expand the efforts to weekly deliveries and combat the isolation and loneliness brought on by corona. This population was now cut off from their activities and support systems. Through contact with social services, the numbers expanded. Posts on social media requested donations and volunteers to pack and deliver.
Metukah were about to become grandparents, and looking forward to exploring “The Land,” but it was important for us to contribute to our new home and the people in our community. Making aliyah during a pandemic afforded us the opportunity to do so in an immediate way. We found our opportunity on Facebook just a couple of months after we arrived. A posting in Secret Netanya related an effort to deliver “Shabbat packages” to Holocaust survivors. As children of survivors and having had my mother live with us the last 10 years of her life, this charity really connected with us – and the need was increasing during the lockdowns. Shabbat Metukah officially began on May 1, 2020 with 40 recipients. Three women founded and self-funded the organization in response to the pandemic. It was
Noam Henig, of Even Yehuda, developed a food distribution app in memory of his nephew, Hagai Einmer. He gave the app free of charge to dozens of charitable organizations that distribute food to the needy, including Shabbat Metukah. He also instructed people on the proper use of the app. Noam received the President’s Prize for Volunteerism in 2020. We started volunteering right after Shavuot of 2020. At this point just over 200 packages were sent every week to towns in the center of the country, with Netanya having the most stops. Currently, roughly 1200-2000 deliveries are made each week. Volunteers come from every age group, walk of life, and religious stripe. Every
week Shabbat Metukah coordinates the efforts of IDF soldiers and members of Magen David Adom. SAHI – Sayeret Chesed Yechudit – a club that empowers disenfranchised Israeli teens by turning them into anonymous goodwill ambassadors in their neighborhoods – ensures that 200 survivors in Jerusalem who live in hard-to access streets and buildings receive their packages. Packages vary somewhat from week to week and adjust for holidays or special events. They include mainly dry goods and drawings and messages from school children. Some survivors prefer to stay apart and humbly accept the bags. Others have developed relationships with their volunteers. One volunteer even orchestrated a reunion of siblings living in different cities! A few months ago a connection was made with Leket, the food rescue organization, with which we happen to volunteer as well. Now donations can be made to Shabbat Metukah through Leket as well as directly through their website www.shabbatmetuka.org.il . They are always looking for volunteers. The appreciation of the people on our route is heartwarming. Our Friday morning commitment to deliver the packages is an essential and meaningful part of our Shabbat preparation. Tizku L’Mitzvot!
Meet Malka & Shimmy Pine By Malka Pine
himmy and Malka Pine love Israel so much, they live in two different cities – add in their home in Manchester, UK – three homes! (“Honey, where did I leave my…”) Shimmy’s parents fled Germany during the 1930s, settling in the expanding refugee community in Manchester UK. They left behind his mother’s parents and two young brothers who subsequently perished in the Shoah. Shimmy, born in 1947, was the second of three sons. In Manchester, his father established a small but successful business selling army surplus goods that were in abundance after the war. After two years in Gateshead Yeshiva (1964-1966), Shimmy applied to study economics and management science at university. He planned to enter the world of accountancy – but due to his father’s deteriorating health, he changed his life course and entered the family business. With his father at the helm and his mother handling the accounts, the small family business grew, eventually importing industrial textiles from the Far East and selling them to manufacturers in the UK and beyond. Our son Eli now runs the business together with his uncle, and they have recently been joined by our grandson Joey – making it a fourthgeneration business! I was also born in Manchester, in 1950, to refugee parents fleeing Europe. My
Shimmy became involved in communal work. He was Chairman of the Board of Governors of our local Jewish Primary School and several other educational establishments. Before making aliyah he was honored with the title of “Chaver” for services to the Manchester Jewish Community.
A Cloak and Dagger Affair In 1985 we were approached by the Jewish Agency to go to the Soviet Union to visit “refuseniks.” We left our five children with our parents telling everyone we were going on vacation to Eilat. This was a very cloak and dagger affair because the Soviet authorities were hostile to support for Jews who had sought permission to emigrate to Israel. We attended secret meetings, gave shiurim, distributed kosher food and items of a religious nature. I even smuggled out an important mother came to the UK from Frankfurtdocument (under my sheitel ) that was am-Mein in 1938 and my father from urgently required by English lawyers on Lithuania in 1931. My father was the behalf of certain refuseniks. Thankfully we youngest of 13 siblings born into a returned safely home to the UK, though rabbinical family in Kelm, Lithuania. in hindsight maybe we were somewhat Almost all the children followed in foolhardy to leave five small children. my grandfather’s footsteps or married Although busy with the kids at home, I into other rabbinical families. Only my father and one uncle followed a different found time to do voluntary work at a local advice center and applied to Manchester course: my father going on to study University for a degree in social work. I accountancy in the evenings after a full was a middle aged, middle class, Orthodox day of yeshiva studies. My father set up Jewish woman, attending university in my an accountancy practice that eventually included two of my brothers. As the only early 40s, the oldest student in the class. girl, with five brothers, I was delightfully After qualifying, I worked on a child protection team dealing with drug- and spoiled by my father. alcohol-dependent adults and often A Best Friend Named Shimmy putting their children into foster/ residential care – work that was often At 16 I was sent to school in France for painful and challenging. Subsequently a year, and though miserable for the I joined the Manchester Jewish Social first few weeks (no cellphones, only Services, working mainly with the Charedi weekly tearful long distance phone calls community. Although abuse was less with my mother) I made new friends, prevalent, it was still difficult working spent much time in the beautiful French within one’s own community. One angry countryside and learned to speak fluent husband even tried to run me off the road French. Meanwhile, my older brother Dovzi (David Zvi) had a best friend named and also yelled obscenities at me in a local Shimmy who began spending a lot of time Jewish supermarket. It must be in the genes as both our daughters have become in our house – especially after I returned social workers in Israel. from France. We married in 1969. Aliyah was always our dream and after We settled into a routine with our four of our children were married and parents nearby, and within the first 15 living in Israel, Shimmy and I made years of marriage had five children.
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post-corona - or so we thought aliyah in 2007, together with Shimmy’s 84-year-old mother. We have had 14 wonderful years in Israel, spending time in Jerusalem and Netanya with the children and grandchildren and making new friends. We have an open house in Jerusalem inviting neighbors, friends and interesting people whom we meet including two waitresses and one disillusioned girl whom Shimmy met at the gym. We have always been interested in helping Jews to meet and marry – with the age range recently expanding to 60s and 70s. I recently joined a dating website, called Chiburim, as a mentor to assist young singles to navigate the complex world of dating.
The Sound of Music Shimmy always enjoyed music and his parents’ house was filled with the sound of singing. He became a member of the Manchester Jewish Male Voice Choir and sang with the world’s leading cantors. Soon after aliyah he attended a course for chazanut at the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem (2008) where he met a voice teacher whose wife is a concert trained pianist. The teacher has accompanied him on many occasions. One of Shimmy’s aims was to record various classical pieces for future generations of our family. To date he has made CD recordings of pieces by Handel, Schubert, Halevi and several others. Shimmy loves all kinds of music (except jazz), singing baroque music, opera, chazanut and even some pop. At the start of the Covid pandemic, during lockdown, when Shimmy could not go to shul, one Shabbat, he stepped out onto the balcony and sang, “Ani Maamin.” The neighbors joined in and soon everyone in the courtyard was singing together. Our Shabbat “zemirot sing-along” has since become a regular weekly feature. We have commemorated Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut together and he makes Havdalah every motzei Shabbat. People from outside come to listen and participate. We keep busy with book club, Pilates, Hebrew classes, shiurim, tiyulim - and of course we love coming to SNAC and Netanya.
Triple Siyum on the Roof By Issy Zuckerbrod
ruth be told, I did not find the corona year too difficult. In fact, there were some distinct benefits. I suppose the most difficult aspect was the lack of physical contact with our families, but even that was mitigated by the increased use of Skype, Zoom and other social media. The mushrooming of outside minyanim was a major phenomenon. Of course when there was a strict lockdown, my wife enjoyed my full choral service in the salon, suggesting that this become the new norm. I certainly enjoyed myself with no risk of being mocked for my cantorial efforts! Staying at home I discovered intimate Shabbat meals with my wife, who suddenly developed an interest in experimental cooking. The weight problem became an issue, but the extensive variety of new recipes made it all worthwhile. Since retiring, my major daily activities have been learning with my friends, my chevrutot. Again, with the aid of Skype all learning carried on as usual. I could zoom in to my shiurim without leaving my comfortable armchair and could mute myself and turn off the video, eliminating the need to get dressed. I could even have a snack while the shiur was taking place and no one would be the wiser. During the course of the year we finished two masechtot of Gemara and Sefer Melachim Aleph and Bet.
This presented a problem. We could not make a siyum with a minyan for any of our achievements. So with the easing of restrictions, how to make three siyumim became my major deliberation. The idea came to me in a flash. A triple siyum! I consulted with the rabbi of the shul my wife had attended in London in Golders Green, who was now in Israel, asking him if a triple siyum was even possible. After all, one is not supposed to mix one simcha with another. Not only could it be done, he said, but it was a “meritorious” thing to do, greatly increasing the joy of the occasion. But it was important to give each siyum its own due importance. The rabbi recommended full catering and a very careful program with specific timing to give equal importance to each siyum. After the dips and salads, we began the first siyum with the hadran and full kaddish. Then came the first course of the meal, followed by the second siyum, hadran, and kaddish, in turn followed by the next course. And so on until after the third siyum when the guest of honor gave a Dvar Torah. The large roof of our apartment is a great place to make smachot. The year of corona had deprived us of opportunities to take advantage of this wonderful facility. Now for this triple siyum we had 51 guests on the roof. It was a great occasion, and for many of our guests it was a first opportunity to socialize after the year-plus of corona.
e ThA C ' SNiters Wr ircle C
Everyone has a story... E
veryone is a writer. Everyone has a story to tell. It may be about an actual event or experience. Or it could be a story from your own imagination. It might be a poem, a letter to a publication or an opinion piece. If “there is a song [story] in [your] heart,” we welcome you to the Writers’ Circle. We meet every week to review pieces that each writer presents. We encourage one another, giving positive and thoughtful feedback, the aim being to develop your unique voice. Do not think this is beyond you. This is a wonderful opportunity to start writing those memoirs you want to hand down to your children, or to put the fruits of your imagination on paper. Our motto: “Everyone has a story to tell. Our job: to help you tell it in the best possible style.” Come and join us! For more information, please contact Molly Zwanziger at email@example.com, or 054-916-5858.
Shabbat Afternoon Walk By Charlotte Wiener Slowly I stroll through the somnolent streets Suburban sounds resonate around me The afternoon buzz of families on garden patios Children’s voices calling to each other in play Filter through the porous garden boundaries Everyone is at peace in a Shabbat afternoon harmony Curiously, I peer into well-maintained yards Admiring the carefully arranged sculptures and pots Petunias and begonias spill out in a riot of color Jacaranda trees form a purple canopy Other yards are a jumble of weeds, bikes and balls And stray cats glare warily out of their lofty perches The sun starts to sink and the air gets cooler Green squawking parrots streak across the sky Flocks of chattering birds roost in the trees Groups of white shirted men with kippas and tsitsit Lethargic from their satiated meals and afternoon naps Amble towards their mincha minyans. All is right with the world.
Issue #12 / SEPTEMBER 2021
Photo courtesy of the Netanya Association for Tourism
By Barbara Sopkin
By Judy Isenberg
They flew in wars. They carried messages. They were eaten. We repaid them without meaning to. Our town built them a home with food, privacy and a sea view. The smog that arrives by day when car-clad humans travel in herds on designated paths The fog that comes on humid evenings Obscures the reason why we built their palace next to the sea Our numbers grew, and so did theirs. Suddenly, one summer, the handful that frequented the balcony multiplied exponentially. The city is cleaning up their haunt by the sea, my neighbor said. It’s prime land for development. They made themselves at home in human habitations. They took over the balcony, the clothes line, the window sills, the roof. Their droppings sully my refuge. They carry diseases. When their excretions dry, their germs blow in the wind. They have taken revenge, and I have surrendered and become their maid.
And so we wait to hear the phone’s hello Relieved that all have reached their journey’s aim And so we fear to hear the phone’s despair That some or one are stuck in limbo still Awaiting impetus to progress on.
Suspended here we fear to breathe too hard In case we dash the spinning plates to earth With clumsy weight of hope’s untrue embrace. We tread the water with our churning feet We fill the time with useless tasks like this. We cheat ourselves by covering the clock Re-calculating normal journey times Composing stranger reasons for delay. Secure the parcel, make the heart-strings tight That bind my overflowing, throbbing chest. Strange fancies break the bonds with fresh despair When the balloon of hope is fully flat. The silent screen taunts with its surface blank And then a spray of sound inflates my heart. With news that’s good or bad I dare not ask.
Say it in Hebrew!
The Last Word By Mike Garmise
Name that Month! W
ith the new year approaching, we all wait with varying degrees of eagerness for the new calendars to come in the mail from our insurance agents and donation-seeking organizations, so that we have where to write in all of our activities, and not double-book (too often). But where does the word calendar come from, and why doesn’t it have a regular “er” suffix? A short search reveals that in Roman times calendar originally referred to an account book, where monthly income and expenses were registered. A new page was opened on each calends, the first day of the month. This was, of course, the day on which debts were due and accounts were reckoned. And here’s where the plot thickens (or sickens). Calends, it turns out, comes from the root meaning “to call out.” To which I can hear you all asking, “What’s the connection?” The answer is both surprising and familiar. The first day of the month was not determined astronomically but rather by a physical sighting of the new moon which was then announced (called out) by – the Priests, at the Capitol! Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Oh, those Romans... Well, from this we can easily rearrange the letters so that calends becomes “claim” and its whole family – acclaim, declaim, exclaim, reclaim, etc. And “clamor” – all sorts of noise – just to mention a few. In Hebrew we just use the word luach, which means a board on which things can be written, be they accounts or events. The word ends with ar rather than er because calender already existed as a word, and it meant a cloth presser. Its root traces back to cylinder because of the similar shape of the apparatus (and from here we can also move
to the word column, the same shape but in buildings such as the Acropolis or the Roman Senate). Since we’re in the calendar, let’s examine the sources of the names of the days of the week. Obviously, Sunday and Monday tip their proverbial hats to the sun and moon, and Saturday to Saturn. The remaining days are named after Germanic gods – Tiw’s day, an equivalent of Mars, Woden’s day, an equivalent (somehow) of Mercury, and Thor’s day of Jupiter (with his lightning). Freya, of Friday, is the Germanic version of Venus. And penultimately, in our tour of the calendar, something about the last months of the year, September through December. We all know that Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec are the prefixes for seven, eight, nine and ten, respectively. However, these months are actually numbers nine, ten, eleven and twelve. Is it possible the Romans erred? Actually, they were quite right, at the time, for September through December were their months seven through ten. Then Christianity became the official religion and a new calendar was adopted, based on the “rebirth” of the sun at the end of December, instead of the rebirth of the earth, in March. Because in Roman times, March, named for Mars, was in fact the first month of the year, the time at which it was propitious to begin to think about going out to war. This, incidentally, clears up another seeming anomaly. February. It has fewer days than any other month in the year and the additional day of leap year is added to it. Thinking back to our Hebrew calendar, we know that the leap year correction is appended to the last month of the year, Adar. Logical. Doesn’t it seem silly to add an extra day to the second month of the year, even if only once every four years? But when we understand that February was actually the twelfth month, the Romans don’t seem so befuddled. On the other hand, “what have they ever done for us?”
Time, Frequency & Quantity תדירות וכמות,זמן ]zman, tadiroot v'kamut[
Completely ]Le-gamrei[ לְ ג ְַמ ֵרי Certainly ]ba-roor[ ָּברּור Definitely ]be-hech-let[ ְּב ֵה ְחלֵ ט
Suddenly ]pit-om[ ִּפ ְתאֹום Immediately ]mi-yad[ ִמי ַד Exactly ]bi-di-yook[ ְּב ִדיּוק Enough ]maspik[ ֵמ ְסּפיִ ק
Too much ]yoter midai[ יֹותר ִמדי ֵ
Always ]tamid[ ָת ִמיד
Usually, generally ]be-derech clal[ ְּב ֶד ֶרך ּכְ לָ ל In the meantime ]ben-tayim[ ֵּבינְ תַיִ ים Still ]adayan[ ֲעדַיִ ין
Not yet ]adayin lo[ ֲעדַיִ ין ל ֹא Already ]cvar[ ּכְ ָבר
Once ]pa-am achat[ ֵּפעַם אַחַת
Twice ]pa-amayim[ ֵּפ ֵעמַיִ ים Never ]af pa-am[ אַף ּפַעַם
~ Barbara Westbrook ~
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