Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our Scattered Jews Who Needed Israel ASAP

Nadene Goldfoot    
The MS St. Louis was a German ocean liner most notable for a single voyage in 1939, in which its captain, Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for 908 Jewish refugees from Germany and took them to Cuba.  
The ship sailed from the port of Site, near Marseilles, on July 11, 1947, with 4,515 immigrants, including 655 children, on board.
 Of course the very first Jews that had been scattered like leaves in the wind in the world were those caught in the Holocaust and couldn't get into a country that would receive them.  The ship, St. Louis is a good example.  "On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba. On the voyage were 937 passengers. Almost all were Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. Most were German citizens, some were from eastern Europe, and a few were officially "stateless."" They were denied entry into Cuba and returned to Germany to face death.

  The ship, "Exodus," is another such example. "The ship Exodus 1947 became a symbol of Aliya Bet — illegal immigration. After World War II, illegal immigration increased and the British authorities decided to stop it by sending the ships back to the ports of embarkation in Europe. The first ship to which this policy was applied was the Exodus 1947."  This was the opposite of what the British were to do to the Jews according to the mandate.  This situation was a matter of life or death and the Brits chose death for the Jews.  

Israel's population May 1948 was 650,000.  Amazingly, Moses went into their Promised Land with Joshua in the lead position with 601,730 at their 2nd census during their 40 year march from Egypt to Canaan.  They had lost 1,820 along the way from the 1st census.  The 2nd Israel of 1948's population were made up of families who had never left the land and families that had returned from exile by the Romans.  They had been in the Diaspora.
From May 1948 to the end of 1951, 754,800 olim returned to Israel.  The population more than doubled in 3 years.  

1.  Europe's Jewish Holocaust refugees, remnants of Jewish communities in:
      a. Poland
     b. Bulgaria
     c. Czechoslovakia

2. Arab country's Jewish communities:
    a. 121,000 of 130,000 of Jews in Iraq
    b.  44,000 of 45,000 of Jews in Yemen
    c.  30,500 of 35,000 of Jews in Libya

From 1955 to 1957
   d.  165,000 Jews from       
.         I.  Morocco
        II. Tunisia
       III. Poland
       IV. Other countries 
         V. Romania under a family reunification plan: Many Romanians had come in first Aliyot
Jews were no longer able to stay in Middle East countries once Israel declared their statehood.  They were then refugees.  

From 1961 to 1964
 e. 215,056 Jews from mainly:
        I. Eastern Europe
       II. North Africa

                                                        Since Six Day War of June 1967

f. New Wave of Immigration from:
      I. North America
    II.  South America
  III.  Western Europe
  IV.  Soviet Union

By End of 1972, about 200,000 Jewish immigrants had arrived.
The total population of Israel was now 2 1/2 million.  By May 1972 it was 3,164,000.  (1,400,000 were immigrants (olim).  

700,000 Jews came as destitute  refugees from Moslem countries.  
The number is the same as that of the Palestinian Arabs who became refugees in 1948 when their leaders told them to leave their homes in Jerusalem and other Israeli towns to get out of the way and leave a clear road for the Arab armies attacking the Jews.  

Integration Problems

While Israel was an infant state, their population had doubled.  They were fighting their War of Independence at the time and had an austere economy.  Immigrants had to be housed in Tent-Camps "Ma'baot."  They were temporary spaces of primitive huts in a hot climate-something worse that even the Middle Eastern Jews didn't come from. 

Jobs were scarce.  Refugees had to live on welfare grants on the subsistence wages for work on public welfare projects.  

By 1973, immigrants were taken directly to new homes or to absorption centers where they study Hebrew.  Most found work quickly.
Haifa, Israel
The city had Jews since the beginning, but Arabs had populated it and Haganah took it back on April 22, 1948 after Arabs attacked in 1947 after League of Nations accepted a Jewish state.  The Arabs fled.  Now it's a main port of Israel and a center of industrial development.  Here is the Cave of Elijah, the tomb of Baha Effendi and is the religious center of the Bahai.  The University of Haifa opened in 1970.  
My husband, myself and our female German shepherd made aliyah in 1980.  Arrangements were made with our handsome Shaliach at the Jewish Community Center.  We were going over as experienced teachers from the USA.  We arrived at the absorption center in Haifa and studied Hebrew 6 days a week for 10 months and then took a 3 hour test.  Passing gave us a teaching certificate.  I taught in the junior high and my husband taught in a high school.  We witnessed the arrival of Ethiopians who were placed in Safed, which was on high ground and cold in the winter, which was  where we lived in an apartment across the street.  This was in about 1984.  Russian immigrants arriving earlier were placed in desert locations or if lucky, in Tel Aviv.  It all depended on available empty apartments.  In our apartment building, we had Jews from the Middle East and another American family as well as Jews of eastern Europe.  They all spoke Hebrew much better than we did!  
Israelis my Syrian Jewish friend might have met while he was diving in
Taba and Dahab, Egypt  and met Israelis doing the same thing in September 2013.
This port was in Israel's hands; given back in peace deal to the Egyptians.    
Israelis now had the problem of cultural integration though we all came from Jacob's family most likely and shared the same Israel-Judea history, half of the new immigrant came from Moslem countries in North Africa and Asia where they had lived in conditions of poverty.  Basic Values were of a traditional and authoritarian society and prided themselves in having large families.  Jews had been held down, treated as DHIMMIS.  Though Jews were also known as "people of the book,' they were also regarded as infidels and had to acknowledge openly the superiority of the true believer--the Muslim.  The title of dhimma-meaning a writ of protection, can be asked," Protected against whom?"  So many laws kept them down and apart and unable to gain any education, depending on the country, of course.  
All go into the IDF(Israel Defense Force)  and serve their country.  It's a great way to mix
the cultures and remind them they are all of one country.  
Jews had been living in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt and Libya for over 2,000 years and their ancient Jewish communities have almost disappeared now.  Only a few Jews remain in Poland, Hungary and Romania where the Holocaust had wiped them out this substantial minority group.

Resource: Facts About Israel by the division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem
Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Michell G. Bard and Joel Himelfarb
https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005267  St Louis
LETTERS FROM ISRAEL by Nadene Goldfoot-autobiography of my 5 years in Israel
MESSAGES FROM A SYRIAN JEW TRAPPED IN EGYPT-biographical novel , by Nadene Goldfoot:  Story teller-  Jack Huffman; his life.  


  1. the land is calling the jewish people Home. israel will always have a home in this world because the LORD has promised that to her...like no other nation...

    God, that land, those people........the world will soon know there will be no more questioning...no more fighting....no more separation...ever again. though it tarry.....wait for it. habakkuk 2:3

  2. The land has been calling us back all through the past 2,000 years. It hasn't produced for anyone else, waiting for us. We are not losing it again.

  3. nadene, do you ever think about going back to israel to live there again? i know it is a personal question and you certainly don't have to give me an answer, but i just wondered. if i was jewish i would probably be torn about that, so i wondered if you were.

  4. Yes, Andre, I think about it all the time. I left because my son was ill back in the USA and needed me. Now, I'm alone and would have to go back that way. My neighbor in Israel has also passed away. One of her daughters is living in my apartment. It was difficult to make the move and would be difficult for me again and especially to go alone. I wrote a book about my 5+ years there called "Letters From Israel." It's on Amazon.com. Hope you can read it one of these days. There was a copy in the Ontario, Oregon library. Maybe it's still available through inter-state loan. It's all true, written every week as a letter back to my mother. Now, through dna testing, I've found a 3rd cousin living in Israel and write to her all the time, and that helps a lot. Living in Israel was the most important thing that ever happened to me. I can relive those days by reading my book.

  5. that sounds like a wonderful read nadene. i can see the difficulty with a decision like that from what you are conveying and yet i know from what i read here at your blog your heart has never really left israel. i have never been....but if ever given the chance i would go to israel in a heartbeat! my first choice is israel and when i read my Bible i know in my mind and heart it is a place that i would be entirely captivated by.
    will have to put your book on my need to read list :)

    at least you can be an advocate for israel where you are. i appreciate your blog. people who judge israel so badly don't really know what it means to the jewish people........and to the world.
    the Lord's name is there. don't know how it is spelled or pronounced but something like Jehovah-Shammah. in my little understanding i still have great feeling..great love for the God of israel, her people and that place.

    nadene, to you, i say shalom.