Friday, July 10, 2020

Betar at Yeshiva University, 1940-1941

From the 1941 Yearbook:


Camp Grounds at Grahamsville Purchased

As published in the Middletown Times Herald Newspaper Archives, May 23, 1949, Page 9

Seidman of New York City have leased from Carl Meltzer of Middletown the one-hundred-acre children's camp at Grahamsville formerly known as Camp Betar, the Morris Rattner Agency announced today.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Moshe Brodetsky - 96

We received this response to the birthday greetings we sent out to Moshe Brodetsky, here in a 2017 photo with a grandson:

Dear Moshe:    

Happy 96 Birthday!  Wow?! I remember when our paths crossed over and over again.  We first met at Hillel CCNY in 1952. You had come there to study engineering, having returned from fighting in WW II and Israel's War of Independenc. At Jasper Oval.  We were both Betarim, religious and new freshmen, so we hit it off right away.

At Hillel they were considering how to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut and thought to rent a small room, since they were afraid not many would attend.  You did something else.  You got Shoshana Damari and Hillel & Aviva, who were the most  famous Israeli acts in the U.S. to perform for free and filled the Great Hall with 1,000 students.  For Yom HaShoah you printed Yellow Magein Davids with JUDE and distributed them all over campus.  Many students wore them, and in many classes the discussion  topic was the Shoah, not the course matter.

When I was on shlichut in U.S, I passed thru NY.  You worked for HUD and organzed a luncheon meeting at the Wall Street Synagogue for Mel Stein, Esq. their N.E. Regoinal Counsel and several veteran Betarim.  As a result, The Center for Russian Jews was formed and used by the Israeli shelichim to encourage the major Jewish organizations to get active for Russian Jewry, or the Center would do it.

When I came through Washington DC in 1970 on a shlichut, you made me an appointment to meet the man who writes the Washington Post editorials about the Middle East.  This man told me he was convinced that the U.S. government had informed the Israeli government that it had to banish the Likud ministers from the government before it could get Phantoms and other aid. I reported this to Menachem Begin, who did not seem to be surprsed.  He said if Likud was forced to leave the government for a serious reason,  then it would continue to serve Israel in the opposition. 

In 1973, I was sent  by Menachem Begin, along with Yehezkel Polerevich, to deliver a Petition signed by 17,000 Russian olim to Congress to pass the Jackson Amendment.  You took me to a meeting of the Washington Executive of the National Conference which was planning the mass meeting on the following Sunday on the steps of Congress.  I was amazed to hear that there was no plan to invite Sen. Jackson, only a couple of congressmen who were not known for their support of Russian Jews.  I took the floor and said that no one would understand why he was not there.  They should get on the phone with their National Office immediately and make this point clear.  On the next Sunday, Yehezkel gave the Petitions to Jackson and they both the crowd of 10,000....

Lots of good health!  We can talk about other meetings when we are together.  Ad Meah Vesrim.  

Yitzhak Heimowitz


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Our Inaugural Zoom Conference

On Israel’s Yom Zikaron this year, over 30 participants joind a Zoom conference, Betar North Americas very first, to recollect about Eli Solomon and Haim Chuck Haran. We were located in Israel, the United States and Canada.

The proof:


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Elaine Troy z"l

Elaine Troy, wife of Dov Troy (Troyanksy)*, has died.

From her son's recollection:

...My mother’s tastes were eclectic. She read about Jews and about women, about psychology and society. She read Elie Wiesel and Betty Friedan, Yitz Greenberg and Blu Greenberg, and yes, she loved junk novels as much as she loved junk food. But she wasn’t a distracted mother escaping the family via literature, she squeezed her reading time into her crazy-busy days by indulging late into the night.

Elaine Troy was a natural-born feminist, living the equal rights revolution before it began. A star volleyballer at the Workman’s Circle Camp Kinder Ring, she had the moxie to defy her Bundist camp director by spending a year in Israel with the left-wing Habonim youth movement in 1951. He never spoke to her again for allying with “those Zionists.”

She had the grit to endure jaundice and that legendary night when a kind Israeli policeman threw her and a friend in jail “so they would have a safe place to sleep.” She had the intellectual ambition to fight her father when he blocked her from reading Hitler’s Mein Kampf, the only book he banned. She had the drive to become a Hebrew School teacher, during which she met her life-partner for 65 years in a wonderful “mixed marriage” with a right-wing Betari: Bernard Dov Troy.

Her philosophy boiled down to three words “Be a mensch!” – a good person, always translated in gender-neutral terms, instinctively, not ostentatiously. She wanted us to be good, to do good, to feel good and to have good relationships. She took pride in our accomplishments and drove us hard with her subtle touch, looking for that missing point when we came home with 99s.
*The American Jewish Year Book Vol. 54 (1953)

Nachman Eckstein adds:

Dov Troy and his late wife Elaine were the directors at Camp Betar in the summer of 1961, the year prior to the movement's running of the camp. An unforgettable summer of 1961 Camp Betar summer experience. I was a counselor and the late Chuck Hornstein was an eleven year old camper there. I recall Chuck Waxman and Ellen Zwick there too.


At Tel Chai One Hundred Years Later

Chaim Fischgrund, Reuven Genn and Baruch Kraus (l-r) at the "Roaring Lion" statue at Tel Chai, attending the Centenary ceremony


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Bet Awwa - An Amatzia Memory

Bet Awwa is an Arab village which was located just off the former Green Line and locate south-eat of Amatzia.

In the mid-1960s, Amatzia served as the site of the hachshara period for Betarim on the Machon L'Madrichuim and is the home of Ben and Aliza Rappaport and was the home for Eli הי"ד and Rena Solomon-Genn.

Bet Awwa was a source for fedayeen activity in the 1950s and after the establishment of the Fatah, a base for their terror incursions.

During the Six Days War, the IDF located armed units and armored vehicles in the area, as well as Bet Iksa, and so bombed it:

Credit: Y. Medad


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Nissan Teman z"l

Betari Nissan Teman has died.

The funeral will be at Pardes Chana cemetery on Friday, February 21.

Nissan of Queens, NY, joined Betar in 1963 and became a senior madrich and a member of the Hanhaga Artzit. He accompanied Rosh Betar's remains to Israel in 1964. He participated in many actions and contributed a high-level input to the educational and cultural activities due to his command of Hebrew, the connections he forged with figures in Israel, his erudition and insight.

In the very early 70s, he served as Rosh Hanhaga Artzit for a period. David Stahl adds "Nissan was the Mefaked of Beit Sefer leMadrichim held at Camp Betar in Neversink, N.Y. in 1969, along with Chuck Waxman".

After his Aliyah with his wife Rhisa and two children, he served as a probation officer and then in Israel's Police.

This post will be updated in the next few days.

Straus Square*, Soviet Jewry demonstration, 1965 (l-r): 
Front row: Nachman Eckstein,
?; Back row: Reuven Genn, Yisrael Winkelman/Medad, 
Ben-Ami, Aaron Goldberg, Nissan Teman, Reuven Miller, ?, ?
*(Or Seward Park; Or 1965 Israel Day Parade)

In the Manhattan Moadon 1966 (l-r): Gerry/Yosef Kandel, Reuven Genn, 
Frank/Efraim Dimant, Risa Rich/Tzohar, Nissan Teman, Chaim Fischgrund
Manhattan Moadon (l-r): Frank/Efriam Dimant, Eli Solomon, 
Michael/Menachem Goldberg,
Yisrael Medad, Nissan Teman, Reuven Miller
Battir Village June 1967 (l-r): Chaim Fischgrund, Nissan Teman,
Eli Solomon, Yisrael Medad
Mt. Herzl Cemetery (l-r): Tami Kaminsky, Harriet Fischgrund,
Risa Rich/Tzohar, Nissan Teman
At 90th Commemoration of Betar's Founding, Jlm (l-r): Nissan Teman, 
Reuven Miller, Yonah Ferman, Yehudit Miller, Yisrael Medad. Baya Medad, 
Reuven Genn, Rena Genn, Itta Horel, Emily Udler, David Sprung, Baruch Krauss
At the annual Fischgrund Yom Atzmaut Barbecue: Galia Sprung, 
Reuven Genn, Emily Udler, Yitzhak, Nissan Teman, Baruch Krauss 
(She'era Medad in back)
Mt. Herzl (l-r): Nissan Teman, Rena Gen, Reuven Genn, 
Misha Arens, Yisrael Medad, Steve Adler, David Sprung
(L-R): Emily Udler, Yisrael Medad, Galia Sprung, 
Ilana Kraus, Nissan Teman
With David Sprung (L) and Baruch Krauss


At the funeral:

Family pics.


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Barry Liben z"l

Barry Liben, Betari, former Rosh Hanhaga Artzit and head of Camp Betar in the 1970s has passed on. He was 67. He attended the Machon L'Madrichei Chutz La'Aretz, Machzor 47, 1970-1971.

He was CEO of Tzell Travel and other affiliated travel business enterprises, having taken over the former Revisionist-sponsored travel agency in 1977.  In addition, he was the prime mover of the Israel Footbal League. He was a philanthropist, contributing to and raising funds for a variety of causes, Zionist, as the Begin Center and the Israel Community Development Foundation and others.  A biography is here.

Last year, November 2018, the Betarim who came on Aliyah got together with him:


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Yahrtzeit Ceremony 2019 for Eli Solomon and Chuck Hornstein-Haran הי"ד

As already posted, 46 years after their deaths while serving in the IDF during the Yom Kippur War, we gathered at Har Herzl Cemetery to commemorate, recall and honor our fellow Betarim, Eliu Solomon and Chuck Hornstein-Haran.

This year we had Betarim join us from abroad including Myron (Bucky) and Tanya Buchman, Jenny Greenblatt-Levy, Bella Potack-Cohen and David Kandel & Family.

Afterwards, the Buchmans hosted the social lgathering and catch-up opportunity.

Additional pictures courtesy of David Kandel and Ben Rappaport.