Thursday, January 31, 2008

More From Benny

1967, Eve of the Six Days War

I don't quite recall who and how many of us attended the meeting at Reuven Genn's apartment. (As the years pass, the memory dims. So, somebody will have to help me with the names). The disussion, tho' , centered around what we felt was a coming war and what role we - in Betar - should play.

The decision to send volunteers was unanimous. An initial group was to be sent almost immediately and was to be led by Reuven Genn. ( Again, I don't remember all the names and numbers in that first group), and a later group to be sent as soon as funding could be found.
We, of course, had to make provisions for the staffing of the upcoming Camp Betar season and the day to day operations of the Betar office, as well as the continuing activities of the various Betar maozim.

The group led by Reuven left for Israel shortly afterwards, but I will leave it to the members of that group to recount their own experiences. However, the group had the distinction, among other things, to be the very first group of volunteers to arrive in Israel from anywhere! (It was sometime in early May, I believe...)

As for the rest of us, we immediately set forth to make arrangements for a second group of volunteers - mainly, the raising of funds.

One amusing incident that I do recall happened with Aviva Stone and Leah Cohen. Levy Silverman (our Guizbar at the time), took the Israeli flag in our office, gave it to the two Betariot and told them to go to the street, in front of the office, and raise some funds. An impromptu sign was quickly painted ~

And the two girls were sent on their way. They stood on the corner, holding the flag by its four corners, and to our amazement, passersby began to throw money into the flag. Within the space of a couple of hours they collected close to $200. Not much by today's standards, perhaps, but at that time anything over &20 was considered a respectable amount in Betar.
(To be continued...)



Anonymous said...

My friend Aviva Stone went to Israel in 1964 through a youth organisation from NY. I would like to know if this is the same person your are mentioning in your blog. Hoping you will have this message. Thank you for your attention.

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