I visited the Palestine Pavilion at the World's Fair of 1939 on Flushing Meadows in Queens, N.Y. At the of the Pavilion's opening, the Jews of New York packed the Fair to hear Chaim Weizmann speak from London to dedicate the structure. I recall the BBC announcer mispronounced the Weizmann's first name as " Tshayim ", at which the crowd groaned then cheered his vocal presence.
At age 87, I can't remember any time that Israel was not important to me. My 1st husband left Germany in 1937, and when his nephew, a Holocaust survivor came to live with us in 1949, my concern deepened. I've been a member of AIPAC for about 35 years & am happy that 3 of my sons have joined me in our support.
After the war, we learned that my mother was the lone survivor of her entire family, parents, siblings, aunt and uncles, cousins, etc. It was also heightened when we left Germany in early 1935 for Israel (Palestine). Since our arrival in America in late 1937 we were Zionists supporting first the Yishuv and then the State of Israel. Now I have been a long-time supporter of AIPAC. We need AIPAC more than ever.
My grandfather invested in construction in Israel during the 1940s, and his brother pioneered Israeli theater, contributing to the country's culture. My father's research at the Weizmann Institute led to innovations in computer science, and now I am doing my part to contribute to the country that my family and I love so much.
As a child, I prayed in the synagogue facing East toward the temple remains in Jerusalem. Finally, on my first trip to Israel in 1970 I was able to tour the Old City and pray at the Wall. Nothing had a greater impact on my sense of Jewish identity and commitment to Israel's safety and security.
We came to the United States in 1963 as political refugees from Romania and feel very privileged to be Americans. Paul lived in a ghetto during the war, and we both lived under Communism after the war until we came to this country. We know the price of freedom, and we feel that Israel's survival and freedom have to be in the forefront of our thoughts, actions, and dedication.
In 1998, Ruth and I went on the March of the Living with 250 Jewish teens and very dear friends who were survivors, followed by a week celebrating the miracle of Israel on its 50th birthday. We pledged that we would work to ensure the existence of Israel and the Jewish People would never be threatened again.
Growing up, I remember my grandparents washing new clothes and sending them to the kibbutzim. With the breakdown of the Camp David talks the second Intifada, I had an epiphany. We're not one peace treaty away. This is going to be a long-term battle. We must have a plan and assure that America will always be by Israel's side.
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