Sunday, June 15, 2014

Abe Foxman - A Betari

For someone born in Poland during the war, who survived the Shoah in Vilna – the ‘Jerusalem of Lithuania‘ – someone whose father z”l was the editor of “Bloy Weiss,” the Zionist revisionist paper in Warsaw, whose father headed “Brith Hatzohar” in a DP camp in Austria from ’46 –’48 and whose “Betar” commander in NYC was Misha Arens. 

Someone who was also suspended from the yeshiva of Flatbush for three days and called a “Jewish fascist” by his principal, because he cut school to welcome Menachem Begin at La Guardia Airport in NYC.

A person who staged a protest in 1958 during a “machon hakaitz” [Summer camp] visit to Acre when the Jewish Agency forbade the group to visit the gallows room, for  someone who was blackballed from becoming the CEO of the KKL-JNF in the USA because he once was a “Betari” – this evening is very, very special...


Friday, April 4, 2014


Salute To Israel Parade 2001

Here are pictures from the Salute to Israel Parade from 2001 showing the Betarim                                      

from  Cleveland - their first parade.  Also in attendance were Aaron and Linda Kinsberg and myself

Tel Hai
Shachna Waxman

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Israel Day Parade

Also from Shachna:


Maccabiah in Canada & At Camp Shomriah 1964/65

Pictures from Chuck Shachna Waxman

Only the 5th picture is from Canada
All the others are from the first US Maccabiah at Camp Shomria 1964 or 1965
On misdar picture: Manny Spring is near soccer goal, and Eli Soloman z'l is holding flag.
Bottom: Mella Pollachek in center
Top: Benny Rosen in military cap, Phyllis Newman behind guy in Hashomer Chultza,  
At backstop - Mel Laytner, behind him Manny Sprung, Wally Chayes, Chaim Hornstein z'l, Yitz Aptowitzer, me at far right
Jerry Gissinger?, Linda (Fuld) Kaufthal, Uriel Messa, Mel Laytner
: ?, Mike Chayes, Jeff Pickel, Tom Kovary, Wally Chayes
Canadian Picture, next to last: Barry Liben kneeling, Moshe Kicsales seated, Josh Scharf standing, George Feldman kneeling, ?


Monday, February 10, 2014

Who Was The Photographer?

I have in my possession several photographs snapped at the Maccabiah held in Canada in the summer of 1968.

Here is one:

Does anyone know who took the picture?


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Photos From the 5774 Azkara for Eli and Chuck, HaYa"D

Just a few of the photos I took at the cemetery.

Forty years.  That means that our friendships are approaching, if not already passed in some cases, a half a century. How could that be?  We're not that old...

יהי זכרם ברוך

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Camp Pictures Required


Back in June 2012 Winkie sent a post to the Betar list about the National Museum of Jewish History. The attached link is a compendium of Jewish Camps all across the US with thousands of pictures- I even found Shomria, Tel Yehudah, Habonim/Dror and Moshava; but not one picture for Camp Betar. Its time we got ourselves included. I have some pictures from camp and will create the account and post what I have but everyone needs to get on the train and add their pictures too - our memories were great and they need to be archived for future generations

Tel Hai


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Yitzchak Kerstein z"l

American Betarim, among them, Chaim and Harriet Fischgrund, Nissan and Rhisa Teman, Reuven Genn, David Sprung, Emily Udler and Yisrael Medad, attended the funeral of Yitzchak Kerstein.

Yitzchak was a former two-term Shaliach with his wife Rivkah and their children Yair, Doron (who passed away many years ago) and Vered in the second half of the 1960s and again in the early 1970s who died at the age of 92 and was buried in Netanya.

Rivkah and Vered.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

No American Betar and Atrocious English

After the Jabotinsky Memorial, the 90th Anniversary Year events were inaugurated with the opening of a photographic exhibit of some 60 photographs of Betar over the years over the world.

Austrian and South Africa were over-represented, Poland was under-represented and among the branches not at all represented were America, Canada and most South American sniffim.

But what was quite unfortunate were many of the captions that seem to have been translated from the Hebrew via Google Translate without any editorial review.  A catalogue was also published and the exhibit will be up for a month.

Some examples:

That should be:

"Betar boxers exchanging blows."  No one was on strike - an ideological no-no.

That should be:

"A group of Eagles, the youngest age division of Betar, at Innsbruck"

That should be:

"Kindergarten children of the League of Herut Women in Betar uniform"


That should be:

"Members of the Plugat HaKotel Unit by their bunk beds".

That should be:

"The 'Federation of Eyeglasses Wearers' of Betar Herzliya at the entrance to their tent"

That should be:

"Bathers watch as the clandestine immigrant ship Parita unloads its passengers."

That should be:

"A boy and a girl holding a doll amongst illegal immigrants"

That should be:

"A Betari from the Plugat Giyus of Shuni in the field, carrying a hoe on his shoulder".

The attendees at the opening:


At the Jabotisnky Memorial 2013

American Betarim present:

(l-r) Nussan Teman, Rina & Reuven Genn, Moshe Arens, Yisrael Medad,
Steve Adler, David Sprung

(l-r) Steve Adler, Rina Genn, Galia & David Sprung, Yisrael Medad

(l-r) Steve Adler, Rina Genn, Baruch Kraus, Galia & David Sprung,
Reuven Genn (in hat)

(l-r) Rina Genn, Bazruch Kraus, Galia Sprung

(l-r)  Steve Adler, Baruch Kraus, Galia Sprung

David Sprung and Reuven Genn

The crowd

The ensign of the Neder

Others included Chaim Fischgrund, Michael Eglash and Aaron Bashani.

And see next post.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tel Hai

Last year I mentioned that I had become acquainted with a relative of some of the chalutzim that lived and died at Tel Hai, and I promised that I would follow up with more information.  So, sorry for the delay...
Here is the information I was able to secure........

Tel Hai

Below is the text of the email that my cousin Surrell Silverman sent to me in 2007 after a visit she had made to Israel and Tel Hai.    Surrell and my mother, Minnie Rissman (now deceased, sadly) are first cousins.   Surrell's father was named Charles Weintrub.  His sister was Libby Weintrub, my maternal grandmother.  Both were from Lipchan, a small village in Bessarabia (Russia or Rumania, depending on time, borders changed over time).  
Devora Drachler was Charles' and Libby's first cousin.   As we discussed and you can see below, Devora Drachler fought with Trumpeldor at Tel Hai and was one of the 8 who was killed defending it.  I don't know offhand when Devora Drachler was born, but I can tell you that my grandmother Libby Weintrub was born sometime around 1899.   She immigrated with my grandfather, Max Rissman, to Montreal in the 1920's where she lived the rest of her life. They had 3 children.  She lived to be 101 years old!

Best regards,
Sherri Federico

When I was a child my father, Charles would talk about this paternal cousin Devora Drachler who died with Trumpeldor, the one armed Russian Jewish independence fighter, at Tel Hai. These stories stayed with me through the years. Although I had traveled to Israel 3 times I had never been to Tel Hai.  You may ask what Tel Hai is and why is it important in Israel’s history. Today Tel Hai is a historic site in the northern Galil that commemorates the heroism of the Hula Valley pioneers who stubbornly defended their homes to the death.   
At a very similar time that Devora was in Tel Hai, my father was a chalutz (pioneer) in Haifa, building the Technion. The only written records that I have of my father’s stay in Israel are my mother’s notes on the back of photographs of him which show that he was in Haifa and other parts of Israel from 1919-1928.
A visit to Tel Hai was top on my agenda on this 4th trip to Israel. My husband Gene shared my enthusiasm as we looked for and found the Tel Hai settlement.
As one travels north in the Upper Galilee, passing Kiryat Shemona (Town of the Eight, named after the eight who died at Tel Hai) on Route 90 towards Metulla near the Lebanese border, the former Tel Hai kibbutz is located on the left of the road. It is on the south side of the new Tel Hai University. It was a joy to see the multitude of young Israeli college students carrying their books and walking in the campus. On the right side of the road opposite the settlement and the university is a beautiful modern structure housing the Tel Hai Photography Museum.  Seeing all of these new buildings made us feel very proud that they existed and that young people were pursuing their education in that strategic location not far south of Lebanon.    
Formerly Kibbutz Tel Hai, settled by “Russian” pioneers and intermittently inhabited since 1905, was permanently settled in 1918 following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. It remains just as it was in 1920 when the “eight” defended the settlement against the surrounding Arab population and died. The buildings are made of basalt stone, with red tiled roofs. The courtyard houses a museum that reconstructs the life of Tel Hai’s founders, showing their agricultural equipment, beds of straw, wheat grinder, and oven.
If the brave pioneers at the beginning of the last century had not had the fortitude to withstand the hardships of the day, the Galilee as we know it would never had become part of modern day Israel. Not that the Jewish people did not have a history in the area. I have read that the tribes of Asher, Naftali and Dan all in habited this region. During the Second Temple era as well as during the Talmud and Mishna periods there was a thriving Jewish community in the Galilee. Now, each year on the 11th day of Adar, an official memorial ceremony is held for Trumpeldor and his comrades the cemetery in nearby kibbutz Kfar Giladi. Here the young fighters were buried in a common grave. A statue of a roaring lion stands as an expression of their strength.
Generations of Israelis have been brought up on the words that were said to have been uttered by Joseph Trumpeldor as he lay dying, after the battle of Tel Hai, “Never mind, it is good to die for one’s country.” 
 The sister of my grandfather Weintrub married a Drachler.  Other interesting Drachler cousin’s who came here to the United States were brothers, Sam Drachler and Lou Drachler Davis; these 2 brothers were chicken farmers in Lakewood, New Jersey. Lou later became a businessman in New York State, owning a country club in Westchester County. In the late 1960s and early 70s, another cousin, Norman Drachler was Superintendent of Public Schools in Detroit Michigan. He outraged state law makers and many residents by envisioning a radical integration of Detroit Public Schools.  Still another cousin, Aaron Yadlin was Israel’s minister of Education in the 1960s. 

Surrell Silverman