Monday, January 14, 2019

First Revisionist Convention 1931

 From Doar HaYom, January 28, 1931:


Brit HaBiryonim and American Betar

Published in the Chazit HaAm newspaper on May 18, 1931, Joseph Beder, contact for subscriptions:

Beder was a central figure in the Revisionist Movement in the US and served as the first Netziv.

He is mentioned here:

As previously noted

Betar's beginnings were bound up with the efforts of Joseph Beder, a Betari from Eretz-Yisrael, who relocated to New York in 1927.  In November 1927, at a meeting of friends, which included Haim Messer and Willy Katz, it was decided to reach out to the Betar centers in Riga, Paris and Tel Aviv. These attempts were unsuccessful although there were some members recruited from within the ranks of the Revisionists which led to the age range from 18-60.

The next real attempt was in February 1929 but only in October that year, after Beder's return from a trip to Eretz-Yisrael, was the first Ken established and the impetus was the August riots in Mandate Palestine. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Moshe (Misha) Arens 1925-2019

Former Netziv of Betar America, Misha Arens, was buried today in Savyon Cemetery:

He was eulogized by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Among the American Betarim present were Izzy Herman, Steve Adler, Dov Hertz, Reuven and Rena Genn, Baruch Kraus, Chaim Fischgrund, Nissan Teman, Danny Krakow, Wilma Friedman and Yisrael Medad.

I few excerpts from Misha's autobiography published last year:

His "Flags Over the Ghetto" was a major contribution to, literally, righting the history of Betar.

We usually met at the annual memorial ceremony for Jabotinsky, which this year Misha missed, if not listening to his lectures:

From former Netziv Yitzchak Heimovitz:

Misha Arens was a man "sans peur et sans reproach"  Without fear and without reproach.  If you wanted to know what a perfect Betari was, you only had to look at Misha.
 He was Netziv in the U.S. and gave that up in order to rush to Israel to fight in the War of Independence. In the early 1950's he and Muriel returned to the US with their firstborn son, for Misha to complete his graduate studies in aeronautical engineering, 
 Then they went back to Israel where Misha became a professor at the Technion, and I think he founded the aeronautical engineering department there.  After some years Misha became head of the Engineering Department of Israel Aircraft Industries. (IAI) for many years. 
 In August 1970 Misha told me he was ready to return to activity in the movement.  I wrote Menachem Begin, who said Misha should talk with Haim Landau.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Sheldon Lerman sends this:

Toldot Yisrael had the opportunity to interview Moshe Arens several years ago about his early remembrances of Jabotinsky and his leadership within Betar in the United States. The full one hour interview in English is viewable here​


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Ray Kaplan z"l

From Misha Arens:

Ray (Reuven) Kaplan, a former member of  the Netzivut Betar USA, passed away.
He led the  first group of American Betarim to make aliya in May 1948 on the Marine Carp. Was imprisoned in Lebanon together with all the male Jews on the boat.  One of the founders of Mvoot Betar. An electrical engineer graduate of MIT.  One of our best.
I recruited him to Betar while we were at MIT.

From the Obituary:

Raymond Kaplan December 18, 1926 – November 30, 2018 
Raymond Kaplan, age 91, of River Vale, New Jersey passed away on Friday November 30, 2018. Ray was a retired Aerospace Engineering Executive. A US Navy veteran of WWII, he received his undergraduate engineering degree from MIT and did his graduate work at Columbia University. 

While studying at MIT, he met Moshe Arens (future Defense and Foreign Minister is various Israeli governments) and under his influence, became a lifelong ardent Zionist. As a member of the National Executive of the Brit Trumpeldor / Betar Zionist Youth Group, he led a group of Betar volunteers to Israel during the War of Independence in 1948. In 1950, he was a founding member of Mevuot, a border settlement in the Judean Hills of Israel. He lived in Israel for several years with his wife Rebecca, who he met in Israel, and returned to the US in 1952 with his wife and baby daughter, Ruth, to pursue his engineering career. 
As an Aerospace Engineer, he was involved in a number of critical defense programs, supplying Guidance and Navigation Systems to the US armed forces. In the early 1970’s as a Program Manager for his company, Siger/Kearfott, he worked with the Israel Ministry of Defense on a number of critical programs, supplying Guidance and Navigation Systems for Israel Air Force and the Israel Navy. 
After his retirement in 1993, he became an active volunteer in a number of organizations and endeavors. He became Vice-President of Kulanu, a national organization devoted to finding and helping lost Jewish communities return to their Heritage. As a volunteer in the Senior Net Program at the JCC in Tenafly, he was a long time instructor and coach teaching Senior Citizens the modern wonders of the computer world. He was an active member of Temple Israel Community Center in Cliffside Park, where he served as Vice-President and Treasurer for many years. He was also an active leader of the Winston Towers Jewish Holiday Association, which organized and provided High Holiday services for hundreds of residents at the Palisadium in Cliffside Park. 
For a number of years, he interviewed holocaust survivors at Ramapo College. Their harrowing stories were videotaped and supplied to the Holocaust Research Center at Yale University. A life-long Zionist, he was a member of the Zionist Organization of America and Americans for a Safe Israel. In addition, as a violinist since age five, he played in community Symphony Orchestras all his adult life. He played with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestras for many years and played chamber music regularly with a local String Quartet. 
Ray’s wife of 66 years Rebecca had predeceased him. He is survived by two children Ruth and Charles as well as two granddaughter’s Emily and Lindsey Darwish, and sister Thea Saltus and brother Asa Kaplan.

Ray appears in this photo, second from left first row:

From Sheldon Lerman, a pic from 2008, with Misha Arens in NY.

His autobiography.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

At Camp (but when?)

From Bella Bryks-Klein:

In front of the office of Camp Betar (located in a section of the Dining Hall & Kitchen, Neversink, NY.)
Chaim Fischgrund, Moshe Kiczales, Myron Buchman, Sol Taubenfeld, Reuven Genn, Baruch Kraus, Yisrael Medad
[When? 1966 or 1967 or 1968]


Sunday, October 21, 2018

At the Likud Olami Olim Event

On Thursday evening, October 18, 2018, the Likud Olami invited Betarim from all Sniffim who had made Aliyah to attend a celebratory event in Netanya.

Present from the United States were:

Bobby Brown
Steve Adler
Izzy Herman and wife
Chaim Fischgrund
Jonathan Friedman
Yisrael and Batya Medad 

and 94 year-old Edith Lieberman (here with head of World Betar Nerya Meir):

at the table (from left to right): Jonathan Friedman, Chaim Fischgrund, Bobby Brown and Batya Medad

Winkie with Joe and Beatte Gellert, founders of Herut UK:


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Betarim Reunion with Barry & Sindy Liben

Took place on October 4, 2018 at Inbal Hotel on the occasion of Barry's Family Visit

Barry and Sindy Liben
Bobby Brown
Steve Leibowitz
Yisrael and Batya Medad
Charles and Carol Warady
Jane Vogel
Yehiel Spira
Peter/Udi Weinstein/Carmeli
Kenny and  Seit
Gershon and Tzippi Hess Green
Jonathan Friedman
Tracey Shipley

(To be updated)


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Betarim Recall Amatzia


From Butch Brody:-

The six months that I lived at AMATZIA (January -June 1959)  were some of the memorable times of my life. STEVE ADLER and I were on the 23rd Machzor of the Machon l'Madrechim. After studying for five months in Jerusalem, we were sent to AMATZIA. I "believe" there only 30 people there then.   STEVE's Hebrew was perfect the start, but mine was not. The fact that we spoke to everyone in Hebrew enabled me to become comfortably conversant   for the rest of my life/. We lived in a sreef and outhouse was 10 or 20 meters away. When I worked in the refet or went out with the cows, I felt that I was participating in the building of the meshek and of the country.  I met Betarim from South Africa (one of whom, I am friendly with to this day); I met Betarim from Uruguay, Argentina, Turkey, Israel. There were some border problems. The border (if I remember) was delineated by large painted white rocks.

It was at AMATZIA that I formed an enduring commitment to Israel.   While the result was a failed Aliya effort (1974), the end result is a son, his wife, 5 grandchildren, a greatgrandchild living in Israel. Three have served in IDF. I am close to age 80 yet, I still go to Israel twice a year with my lovely wife who helps the local economy by buying everything she can in a one month period. I made genuine friendships and permanent memories of a "great moment" in my life. Although my body stays in galut most of the year, my spirit never left Israel. 


Aharon Goldberg z"l

Chaya Goldberg has just informed us that Betari Aharon (Arthur) Goldberg has passed away. He died on Yom Kippur.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sit-in October 1977

According to this item in Maariv on October 7, 1977, from UP,

twenty Betarim entered or "invaded" the offices of the American delegation to the United Nations.

And they had a meeting with Ambassador Andrew Young.

They were protesting the threat of petro-dollars dictating US Middle East policy.

(Those who participated are invited to leave comments so the whole story can be told)


Monday, May 28, 2018

Harold Zvi Kraushar z"l

1930 - 2018

Harold Kraushar passed away from natural causes on May 23, 2018.  

Born in East New York, Brooklyn, in January 1930, Harold was one of three sons of Yehuda and Lillian Kraushar.  He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and attended Brooklyn College.  

Harold was a proud and passionate Zionist.  In June 1948, he sailed on the ship Altalena, which carried soldiers and weapons for the Zionist cause to what was then Palestine.  He served as a machine gunner with the Irgun Zvi Leumi, the military organization that fought for the creation of the Jewish state of Israel. After the War of Independence, he joined the American Veterans of Israel and later served as its President. In April of this year, he was one of five surviving veterans of the war to attend memorial services at West Point for Colonel David "Mickey" Marcus, the American officer who lost his life during the siege of Jerusalem.   

During his career, Harold was an agent for a number of artists and literary figures, including Alan Ginsberg, and later headed the paperback division of Bookazine, a book wholesaler. Throughout his life, he was an avid reader of poetry and non-fiction. 

Over the years, he rooted for the Detroit Tigers, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Milwaukee Brewers, because of their star Jewish players:  Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, and Ryan Braun, respectively.   An observant Jew, he faithfully walked from his home in Woodside, Queens, [6010 47th Ave] to his synagogue, the Greenpoint Shul, in Brooklyn, for which he served as gabbai.
Harold was married to his childhood sweetheart, Rita (nee Gordon), from 1951 until her passing in 1976. He was married to Mary Minzer Kraushar from 1979 until his passing.

Harold is survived by twin brother Sam, and his beloved sons Joshua and Kenneth, and their wives, Terri-Chan Kraushar and Ellen (Varnay) Kraushar, respectively.  He will be missed by his beloved grandchildren Jeremy, Zack, Raquel, and Ilana, and his many nieces and nephews.

-     -     -     -     -

From David Krakow:

In Memoriam. Zvi Kraushar

            Zvi Kraushar, a survivor of the Altalena and the failed attempt by Etzel and Lechi to retake the Old City of Jersualem in 1948, died last week at the age of 87.

In the last two weeks of his life, Zvi discovered a long-sought photograph of Pavel Frankel and the data concerning the 200,000 Jews who served in the Polish Army in 1939.

            His funeral was attended by many of his friends, including former Betarim, among them, his brother Shmuel, Ray Kaplan, Bernie Ellman, Mosie Stambler, Harry Bieber, Miriam and Dave Krakow.

           Paul Kaye (Machal), MG Michael Edelstein (IDF), Marcie Wolman (Machal), 
           Harold Kraushar (Machal), Si Spiegelman (Machal), Fred Rawicz (Machal), 
                                                Ben Sklar (IDF- Lone Soldier).
                                                            April 29, 2018

Lynn Sharon adds:

Rita Gordon Kraushar was one of my best friends. We met when we were about 9 years old, and when I made aliyah, Rita and Tzvi (Harold) visited us and we spent a wonderful day together. Shortly after that visit my dear Rita died suddenly. She was in her early 40's. After he remarried I do recall visiting him with his new wife. 

Aside from our friendship, we were all Betarim. So sad to hear that Tzvi has passed away. I have fond memories of Tzvi. May his memory forever be a blessing. 

From Joshua Joe Adler  (Yerushalayim)

I wish to share the following with you:
        During our younger days Harold (or Zvi) and I were very close friends not only because we were both members of Betar but also because  I used him as my book buyer during the years I was a student at JTS (1952-58).  One of my proudest possession during those years at rabbinical school was a large framed picture of Jabotinsky which Zvi acquired for me and which I kept on the wall of my dorm room during my six years of study.  Unfortunately, the picture  disappeared after my ordination and I never found out what happened to it since I had to report to Army Chaplain School  soon after graduation. Over the years, Zvi and I kept in contact even when I was no longer in New York and had a congregation in Harrisburg. In 1972, I came on aliyah and we got together in one or two of his visits to Israel. To me Zvi was one of the rare people who was the embodiment of the Zionist-Jewish ideal - who lived his faith with acts and not with words. I believe that Zvi's life-story  should be taught to our youth and even adults as a prime example of a genuine Betari who in his lifetime fully embodied  and carried out  the ideals and teachings of  the Betar Movement founded by Zev Jabotinsky.  



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Photographs in a Video

Betar in late 1940s and until mid-1950s:

Pictures from Seymour Rosenberg's autobiography.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Visit to Israel

My wife Debbie and I just came back from a week in Israel.  We spent our time in Jerusalem staying at Windows of Jerusalem - a stone's throw from Machaneh Yehudah - and had some of the chevra over one night for old times sake.

Fist pic Chaim Fishgrund, my wife Debbie, Winky, me , Risa (Rich) Tzohar, and David Sprung.  In second pic Dan Krakow replaces Winky.

Around the corner from the hotel is the Achdut Yisrael Synagogue - if I'm not mistaken it was the apartment where Avraham Stern was cornered before he was killed - wasn't open when I went to visit.

Also did a bit of touring in the old city and took a few shots of the Betar Bayit that is now the Plugat HaKotel Museum.

Was a great trip and it was nice to see old friends.

Tel Hai


Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Bet Sefer Certificate

From the archives of Shachna-Chuck Waxman:

With signatures of Netziv Benny Rosen and Shaliach Shlomo "Bubby" Ariav.

The Bet Sefer took place in 1964 and the certificate was awarded early 1965.


A Postcard

From the archives of Ellen Zwick-LLinas via Chuck Waxman:

Rena Genn adds:

The address is in Eli's handwriting but the message is not.

Risa Tzohar informs that the postcard address is in her handwriting.


If you are wondering, 

$1.50 in the year 1966 is equivalent in purchasing power to $11.11 in 2016