Monday, April 21, 2008

Bruce Barak Koffler Remembers

To all who wished me and my family your condolences, on the passing of my father, David--

Thank you for your kind words of support.

I received many e-mails through the U.S. Betar e-mail network.

There were also a number of e-mails with kind and much appreciated words, sent and posted to the Steeles Memorial Chapel Condolence Book here in Toronto. We will print out and save your thoughts.

My father encouraged me to join Betar when I was in my late teens. As he had been in Canadian Army Cadets, in high school, and was a marksman, he taught me the importance of self defense and of learning to shoot.

I passed that along to many Chanichim here in Toronto, and during my summers at Camp Betar in Neversink, NY. So in a small way, my father was actually a hidden influence on the lives of many, probably unknown to him or to you.

In the 1960's, my father encouraged me to join Betar, when we were approached by Ted (Tuvia) Schwartz, and Danny Rosing, the Betar Shaliach to Toronto. I had already known Tuvia for about 10 years as my teacher in Hebrew School at our synagogue, and as my Cub Scout leader and later my Boy Scout leader. As he was a close family friend, my father had no qualms when Tuvia introduced me to Danny Rosing, at my house, and described to us what Betar was all about and how I could benefit from joining.

I joined Betar, and that same summer I was at camp, helping run the Tzofiut program, and "agitating" Shlomo Ariav for reconstruction of the long-neglected and overgrown rifle range. Eventually, that happened, and as a result many Chanichim and Madrichim became skilled with .22 rifles and M1 rifles.

So any of you who acquired those skills at camp, can indirectly thank my father David, who passed along his training through me, to you! I still have some photos of Chanichim and Madrichim learning those skills, with me standing by. Everybody had smiles on their faces.

My father also encouraged me through cubs and scouts. I passed along what I what scouting skills I had, through the Tzofiut program at camp, and on tiyulim here in the Toronto area.

My father did visit Camp Betar once or twice, and assisted in building one of the watch towers. I have a photo of him somewhere, climbing on one or standing on one.

Thanks again to all of you!

Best Regards,

Bruce Barak Koffler

No comments: