Monday, May 19, 2008

The young people want to know.

From Yom Hashoa to Yom Haazmut 2008

Spring time for the last 20 years, always brings a great number of speaking engagements for me with it, but this year topped it all.
Within the short span of two weeks I spoke to 12 different groups and in addition to participating at four memorial services.
It started on Sunday April 27. 2008, a week before Yom Hashoa. An educational officer had heard me speak in Yad Vashem to a group of "Birthright", was very impressed and invited me to her unit, to speak to officers and soldiers in Tel Aviv in the “Kirya”, our military headquarters. To flesh out the story I use my power point projection, which helps my listeners to follow in my footsteps as I talk about “A Jewish Family” my family.
Monday I was invited to the grant opening of the new exhibition “This is my Home” in Yad Vashem. It shows the contribution of Shoa Survivors to the building up of the State of Israel.
It certainly is an exhibition well worse while to visit.
Tuesday lunchtime I spoke to students of the Jeshiva in the Fuchsberg center for Conservative Judaism and in the evening to some 30 youngsters of their youth movement “Noam” in East Talpiot.
Wednesday morning the Evelyn de Rothshild school for religious girls in Rechavia near my home, invited me, as they had done a couple of years ago, to speak to some 200 pupils aged 14-15.
In the afternoon the “Lindenbaum Michlala”, a study center for religious girls from America invited me to talk the present group. They have been in contact with me ever since the group in 2002 joined the crowd at the funeral of my grandson who fell in the fighting in Je’nin on Yom Hashoa.
On the eve of Yom Hashoa I joined the annual ceremony in Yad Vashem. Thousands of people braved the bitter cold, but would not miss to listen to the torch lighters telling their tale.
Early next morning on Yom Hashoa I was taken together with half a dozen other speakers to the Jerusalem Forest, where Bne-Brith and the Jewish National Fund (KKL) had invited several hundred pupils and soldiers for their annual Yom Hashoa ceremony. This year the theme was JRJ Jews Rescue Jews during the Shoa, something which is always part of my story.
As soon as I got there even before the ceremony started I spoke to a group of recruits from the border police. I asked for the loan of one of the soldiers to accompany me up and down on the hilly territory.
There was a class of deaf pupils, with a sign language interpreter, who lost patience during the long speeches. I took them aside and with the help of print outs of my regular projection and the sign language, they were delighted to understand the story and thereby feel part of it all.
After the speeches were over I talked to a group of girls aged 14-15 from a religious school in Ashdod who did not want to miss the opportunity.
After a short break at home I was of to Yad Vashem, where a group of over a hundred Military Police soldiers were waiting to listen to me.
In the evening I participated at a short creative writing workshop in “Amcha”, the result of which you have just read.
Sunday of the following week it was a large group of “Birthright “ I spoke to in Yad Vashem.
Monday a school for religious girls aged 11-13 invited me to kick of the week of celebration "60 Years the State of Israel".
I prepared a special power point presentation “60 Years ago”, that tells the tale from the Balfour declaration, Zionist Youth Movement, Hachshara, Aliya, Athlit Detention Camp, Kibbutz, setting up a new Kibbutz “Choma Umigdal” (Watchtower and Fence), UN Partition Plan, War of Independence, Declaration of the State of Israel, mass immigration,
Maaberot (Tent Cities), “Zena”(Austerity) and building up of the country.
Although the girls were very young they listened carefully and asked relevant questions.
In the evening a group of German pilgrims waited for me in a Hotel in the old city. They had previously visited Palestinian cities in the West Bank and were pretty amazed to hear my story. It all was new to them.

Tuesday evening my son took me to Ramat Rachel to participate at the memorial service on the eve of Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers from the War of Independence, as well as my grandson who fell in 2002 fighting in Je’nin.

Wednesday was the highlight of my recent activities.

For a couple of month Or and Shachar, two pupils from the school of “Science and Art” had visited me once a week collecting information of what it was like 60 years ago. They listened to my stories, searched in the inter-net and scanned photos. With that and the addition of a petrol stove, petrol lamp and Wonder Pot that I lend them, they put up a very impressive exhibition.
Wednesday early in the morning I arrived at the school, was received and made welcome by Or and Shachar. For the celebration of the Day of Independence their school had invited me to talk to some 200 of their pupils from the upper classes with my special prepared power point presentation. I had a very captive audience.
Thurday was Independence Day.
Two weeks packed full with advantures.
I have now returned to my normal schedule.

1 comment:

Ojalanpoika said...

Jeru-salaam, -shalom & -salem,

Could you kindly comment, whether my details are correct in a dissident essay concerning the recent scaling up of production in the Israeli high Tech companies in: ?

E.g. "...Before the Second Intifada, there were nearly 200 Israeli companies listed in the Nasdaq, at the Intifada the count dropped to 70. (The number is still greater than from all the European countries combined). It is said that the dollars are green since the Americans pull them down from the tree raw and fresh. The start-ups are imported straight from the garage, and scaling up of production in the "conflict hotspot" has been considered impossible. But the new Millennium has brought a change in tide.

As an example, the supranational Intel transferred the mass production of Centricon-processors to Israel, where ~20% of citizens possess university decrees (ranking 3rd in the world) but where the environment respects patents and are not plagiating every item they produce to others like the rocketting China. Intel was also offered an overall tax rate of 10%, which is about three times lower than that of US.

Also, the biggest generic drug factory in the world was recently established in Israel. Generating US$7 billion in annual revenues, Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) is the world's largest generic pharmaceutical company. That is: to cure people with less money. TEVA makes generic versions of brand-name antibiotics, heart drugs, heartburn medications, and more - in all close to 200 global generic products, 700 compounds, and more than 2800 dosage forms and formulations. TEVA's pharmaceuticals are used in some 20% of U.S. generic drug prescriptions. Examples of TEVA's generics include lower-cost equivalents of such blockbusters as anti-depressant Prozac and cholesterol drug Mevacor. Nevertheless, in biotechnology and original drug development, about 400 experimental Israeli drugs have been approved or accepted in clinical phases.

The population of Arabs under the Israeli government increased ten-fold in only 57 years. Palestinian life expectancy increased from 48 to 72 years in 1967-95. The death rate decreased by over 2/3 in 1970-90 and the Israeli medical campaigns decreased the child death rate from a level of 60 per 1000 in 1968 to 15 per 1000 in 2000 at the Westbank. (An analogous figure was 64 in Iraq, 40 in Egypt, 23 in Jordan, and 22 in Syria in 2000). During 1967-88 the amount of comprehensive schoold and second level polytechnic institutes for the Arabs was increased by 35%. During 1970-86 the proportion of Palestinian women at the West Bank and Gaza not having gone to school decreased from 67 % to 32 %. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in West Bank and Gaza increased in 1968-1991 from 165 US dollars to 1715 dollars (compare with 1630$ in Turkey, 1440$ in Tunis, 1050$ in Jordan, 800$ in Syria, 600$ in Egypt. and 400$ in Yemen)..."

Recovering from hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of the brain,
Pauli Ojala, evolutionary critic
Biochemist, drop-out (MSci-Master of Sciing)
Helsinki, Finland