Issue: 1.10 8/1/2000
by: Leon Belin
My Mother's Story

In 1921 my mother left Kiev with her father, mother and sister to join her two brothers in New York.

On the way they spent a year in Warsaw with cousins. During that time her mother and sister died during a typhus epidemic.

About 25 years ago, my parents went to Israel for two weeks. My mother knew that the Warsaw cousins had emigrated to Israel many years before.

Wherever they went, my mother looked for their name in the phone books, but never found them.

Sunday morning in Tel Aviv, on the day that they were leaving, their guide came around to all of the group having breakfast to ask if they had enjoyed the visit. My parents couldn't express how much the enjoyed it, but there was one thing that she was unhappy about.

She explained how she had looked for her cousins, to no avail. He asked the name, and to all of their surprise, he said that one of them was his next door neighbor and lived in a small town south of Tel Aviv. He was in his late 70s and worked as a volunteer at the clinic. He called him and made arrangements for him to come to Tel Aviv immediately. They spent a few hours together, before my parents had to leave.

About 5 years later, my wife and I were in Israel, I had his telephone number and called. We decided to meet the next day at the hotel.. We were able to meet with him, his wife, his son and grandson. Also we were with his brother, sister-in-law and their daughter. Although we did not speak Hebrew and only the son spoke English, we had a wonderful afternoon.

Every time I have told this story, or thought about it, I get tears in my eyes. I have always said that no matter how wide spread we are, the Jewish community is still small.

Leon Berlin is a Gantseh Megillah subcriber.
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