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Archives (This Week's Picture and News) - 2020

January 2020      February 2020           March 2020         April 2020          May 2020                    June 2020
July 2020            August 2020             September 2020   October 2020     November 2020         December 2020
(Last year -2019)

26th December 2020
 Covid vaccination
Covid Vaccination

Some good news on the Corona front. Doreen and I had our first vaccinations this week.  In three weeks time we will have our second vaccination and we hope that this will give us protection against the virus and its variations.


19th December 2020
26 Levy Family Reunion 
26th Family Reunion

Last week I wrote: "Our wedding anniversary (56th!) is on Wednesday and we're not sure how we're going to celebrate. Getting the family together isn't likely, and the restaurants will probably still be closed. So no plans as yet."
Well, on Monday we discovered that everyone would be free on Wednesday evenng, so we decided to make our anniversary celebration a family reunion. Food was organized, t-shirts ordered (ready in  24 hours) and on Wednesday evening we met at the home of the Segolis for a triple celebration: Hanukkah, Reunion and Anniversary.

All 16 family members came - and also two dogs, Joanie and Alma. Only Oreo was missing and spent a few days with a dog-sitter.
The Rons, Vered, Aviv, Danielle and Lior had to leave late Wednesday night, but the Eilatis and we stayed on for another day or two.

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and Moran took us to Wadi Havarim (a tributary of Nahal Zin). There had been heavy rains in the previous days and the usually dry and sandy wadi was  now a stream with fast flowing water.The Eilatis and then the Rons arrived and we lit Hanukka candles, and enjoyed a dinner with plenty to eat both for the meat-eaters and vegetarians/vegans. For desert we has a delicious vegan chocolate cake (see recipe) with more candles for Doreen and me to blow out celebrating our 56th anniversary.  Thursday we visited a great hillock site Hamoki Nitzana and enjoyed the mild climbs and walks. We then went to an area near Beer Milchan where is a large and high sand dune ideal for "sand surfing" which was most enjoyable and great exercise for Joannie running up and down the "mountain."
We left after supper on Thursday night, and Eilatis left the next day after visiting Moran's Research and Development Centre (see pictures)

It was a truly great event and we all thoroughly enjoyed the few days.

For pictures of all 26 reunions (actually only 25, number 8 is missing!) click here.


12th December 2020
Hannuka 2020 
The Family Celebrates Hannukah
The Covid virus situation had its effect on this year's Hannukah celebrations. We avoided meeting with all the family and celebrated separately for the most part. We also missed the traditional Hannukah event at the home of Eitan and Shuli Haberman (see here for an example from 2017).

There are some more pictures - the Segolis celebrated in the open with friends as well as at home with the traditional fritters (latkes) prepared by Zoe; and we sang some of the many Hannukah songs with the Rons.


5th December 2020
Itamar clean-up 
Itamar picking up trash
Our son Aviv and grandson Itamar take part in the activities of the Gulf Rangers - an organization with the motto "Acting Today for Tomorrow's Environment". Today the Rangers organized divers to pick up trash from the ocean floor at a popular swimming spot in Eilat.
See two more pictures of Itamar and Aviv on Itamar's page.


28th November 2020
Drue family 
The Drue Family - late 1930's in Estonia
Back row: Mussi (Karlsblad), Benjamin Drue, Chana Drue
Front row: Mary (nee Shank), Riva (Bortenstein), Moshe Drue

We enjoyed a superb lunch today with Yaakov and Ziva Bortenstein, Doreen's relatives, and Yaakov showed us this picture of his grandparents Mary and Moshe and family. After WWII the three sisters Riva, Mussi and Chana went to Israel, while Benjamin stayed in Estonia. Later Mary and Moshe joined the family in Israel.
We have close contact with the family in Israel - Riva's children Yaakov, Yaffa (Loew) and Rochelle (Kirshner); and Mussie's children Rachel and Zvika. In the last few years we have had contact with Benjamin's son Heini and visited him and his wife Tiina in Estonia.
Heini has visited Israel a few times and the last time Yaakov organised a family dinner for nearly all the relatives. See picture here.

See Schank family tree.

picture added to my Old Pictures collection

21st November 2020
Dining out - Covid style

We took a day trip to the Agamon Hula Nature Reserve in the Galil on Wednesday. We had so enjoyed the olive oil we bought at Saba Haviv a few weeks ago that we stopped on the way to buy some more. All the local restaurants were closed (Covid restrictions) so we ordered 'take-away' from a Druze village restaurant and enjoyed the food sitting on the steps of another closed restaurant at a nearby petrol station.
Then we drove to the visitor centre at the Agamon Nature Reserve in time for a Sunset Tour of this impressive site. See pictures here.


14th November 2020
Hurwitz wedding 
My sister Fern - flowergirl at Louis and Avie Hurwitz wedding  in 1948

My late sister, Fern, was born  on 18th November  1942, so I thought it appropriate to have a picture of her this week.  The picture above is of the wedding of my father's cousin, Louis Hurwitz, to Avigail (Avie) Woolfson in Durban in 1948.  My father and mother are 2nd/3rd from the left in the picture. Behind Fern is the bride's mother Riva Woolfson and father Gedalia; and next to her Louis' mother Rebecca (Matz) Hurwitz, my father's aunt. I have not yet identified others in the picture but have contacted Avie's daughter who has promised to help.

I apologise for the quality of the picture. It is a photo from pre-digital days of the original I took while visiting Avie some years ago on a visit to South Africa. Better pictures of flower girl Fern with the bridesmaids here., and with our parents here.

This is an opportunity to appreciate the many facets of Fern's life ranging from political activism to mountain climbing. Her memorial page can be accessed here.

from my Old Pictures collection

7th November 2020
 Aviv catch
Aviv catches a mahi-mahi fish

I went back to looking at old photos in our albums (I still have a few more) after a break. I found some pictures of a sailing trip we took in the 1980's on friend Morris' yacht Mystique. The captain, Ted, had to take the yacht from St Thomas where we were living at the time, to St Lucia . to pick up Morris and some friends and he needed a crew, so we volunteered. Doreen, Aviv and Vered sailed and helped all the way to St Lucia. I couldn't take the time off so Moran and I got off on the way in St Martin and flew back to St Thomas.
One of the highlights of the sail was Aviv catching this beautiful Mahi-Mahi while trawling. The fish is a good sporting fish and is also delicious to eat prepared in many ways but especially grilled. .
There are some more pictures of our sail here.

 from my Old Pictures collection

31st October 2020
 Saba Haviv
The Eilatis at Saba Haviv, at an old olive-crusher
Doreen, me, Aviv Levy, Ilai Levy, Limor Levy, Margalit Sadeh, Itamar Levy

This weekend we went with son Aviv and family (joined by Limor's mother Margalit) to get away from it all at a tzimmer (B and B) in the Galil, delighting in the cool and refreshing weather.  Aviv and family went a day earlier and visited Tzfat (Safed). We came on Friday afternoon and enjoyed quality time with them, and visited Saba Haviv, a shop selling various local products where we bought olive oil and a few other things. A delightful weekend.
More pictures here. 

24th October 2020
savta zkena
One of Doreen's yellow notes

Doreen is on a crusade against people who don't pick up their dog's poop. When she sees a pile, she picks it up and leaves a little sign on yellow paper. Above is an example of one of the signs she put up on Yom Kippur eve.  It reads:
"Why is this year different that you don't pick up your dogs' crap? The old grandmother has picked it up for you on this Yom Kippur eve. Think!"

See Doreen's column for results.
  • Happy Birthday this week to: Jacob Freundlich. (Oct. 31st)
  • Happy Anniversary this week to: Katelyn and Alex Hock, Carmen and Marlon Kay (27th), Rachel and Alan Smith (29th)

  • 17th October 2020
      Yael Segoli
    Yael Segoli ז"ל
    4 May 1948 - 14 October 2020

    We are saddened by the passing of Yael Segoli, mother and mother-in-law of Mikhal and Moran Segoli. We had a close relationship with Yael and bonded over our grandchildren  Maayan, Lotem and Zoe.  She will be greatly missed.
    Our heartfelt condolences to her husband Avraham; her daughters Naama Yaniv,  Mikhal Segoli, Dikla Crutchi, Ophra Ohanna and their husbands; and her 12 grandchildren Nitzan, Rotem, Amit, Ido, Maayan, Lotem, Zoe, Mili, Tal, Ilil, Ori and Alex.

    Link to Yael's Memorial Page (in Hebrew)

    10th October 2020
    Maayan and "Levy" Fireworks in the Negev Desert

    In this era of lockdowns and restricted movement, living in Midreshet Sde Boqer in the Negev Desert has its perks. While us city dwellers are confined to our built up areas, the Segolis and some friends can go to the nearby wide-open spaces without any fear of contracting or spreading the Corona virus. Moran sent us some pictures of their extended desert picnics and outings and we were particularly delighted to see this picture of grandson Maayan with "Levy" fireworks photographed by Lotem..
    In our younger days when we lived in Eilat and there was easy access, the family would often  spend a night or more in the Sinai Desert.  At night, I would tie a rope to a large wad of steel wool,  light the wool and twirl it around my head. You can see the spectacular effect of this in the above picture. After supper  "Levy" fireworks  was always a highlight of these outings. In later years son Aviv became an expert in this and it seems that grandson Maayan is following the family tradition.
    There are some pictures of the Segoli picnics on the Miscellaneous page and on the pages of Maayan, Lotem and Zoe.


    3rd October 2020
      Jonty Barmaitzvah
    Jonathan Levy's Barmitzvah 1967
    Tony Edelstein, Joe Levy, Malia Levy, Abe Levy, Doreen with Vered Levy, Eitan Levy
    Ethel (Solomon) Levy, Eric Levy, Sheila Edelstein, Hayman Levy with Dunne Edelstein
    Michael Thal, Jonathan Levy, David Edelstein, Susan Edelstein.

    I clearly remember when this photo was taken in their house in Neveh Magen, but had no picture of the event. Thanks to cousin Jonty Levy for sending me this picture last week, a great addition to my Old Pictures collection.
    As an aside: Jonty's uncle on his mother's side (Tony Edelstein- Sheila's husband) was the brother of his aunt on his father's side ( Winnie Levy - Eric's wife.)


    26th September 2020
      Katherine and Charles
    Charles Levy and daughter Katherine
    In these times of Covid lockdowns, quarantines and isolation, it's great to hear of some travelling safely. We have heard of  South African friends visiting  Game Parks - certainly the wide open spaces are less susceptible to virus infection. Among these lucky ones are cousins Charles and Sheenagh and their daughter Katherine who spent some days in Sabie and the Kruger Park. As Sheenagh wrote "soooo lucky, overcast day and cool, all the animals out to play".  They sent us some outstanding pictures of the animals they saw - some of which can be seen here.

  • Happy Birthday this week to:  Hagar Yehezkel (26),   Leah Forman (26), Belinda Levy (27),  Michal O'Dwyer (27), Yoav Pashas (27),  Gali Nickel (28), Daniel Hakim (28),  Mark Glasser (28), Steven Taylor (28), Meital Stern (28), Margo Gordon (28), Dotan Shavit (29),  Danielle Ron (30),  Caryn Sangupta (30)  Robyn Matz (Oct 1st), Leroy Kahn (Oct 1st), Haley Bacher (Oct 1st)
  • Happy Anniversary this week to: Tessa and Jason Capra (28)

  • 19th September 2020
      Rosh Hashanah
    Rosh Hashanah 5781
    לשנה טובה תיכתבו ותחתמו

    Today is Rosh Hashanah - the start of the Jewish New Year. As every New Year we reflect on the past year and express our hopes for the coming year. Last year's achievements and pleasures have been overshadowed by the dread of the Covid pandemic during the last 7 months. In spite of the difficulties, cuts in income, restricted movement and other precautions our family's spirits remain high and we meet physically as often as we safely can and electronically almost every day.
    On the larger scale, our country is in a mess. Our prime minister's priority is evading his looming corruption trials and everything else takes second place to this.  Our Covid infection rate is soaring and from yesterday we are in partial lockdown with of course political concessions especially to the ultra-orthodox. Normalization and "peace" with UAE and Bahrein is certainly an achievement (despite its obvious political timimg both for Israel and USA)  but the real problem of peace with the Palestinians is nowhere near solution.
    We can only hope that the coming year will reverse the frustrations and disappointments of the last few months.

    We wish all our family and friends happiness, success and above all good health in the year ahead of us. Le'shana tova!


    12th September 2020
      fish in salt
    A Successful Culinary Experiment - Sea Bass Baked in Salt
    preparation - removing the salt crust - serving the fish
    Doreen writes:

    Last year in June, I went with Eitan to the European Open Bridge Championships which was held in Istanbul. Istanbul is a huge city and we were about 1 ½ hours from the center. So we and the other bridge officials explored the closer restaurants. We were fascinated by a fish restaurant on the water’s edge facing a small yacht marina where the specialty was fish baked in salt. The floor was covered with salt that crackled as you walked to your table.

    Because now in this Covid period we no longer go to restaurants, we try to make restaurant quality food at home. Salt baked fish seemed a great idea! After watching you-tube demonstrations and reading recipes we felt we were ready to try it, forgoing the golden rule of never to make an untried dish for guests.

    Eyal Shani is the Israeli food guru and philosopher, who waxes eloquently about fish and the advantages of baking the fish intact.  Heeding his advice we went to a fish shop newly opened in our area and chose a large labrak/sea bass, instructing the fishmonger to leave the scales on. Disregarding Eyal’s advice I also instructed the fishmonger to clean the insides.

    For something so special we invited Eitan’s cousins Joel and Beryl Klotnick and my sister Louise to join us. While our intrigued guests watched, we placed the fish on a bed of Atlantic sea salt on a baking tray and then covered it with lots more salt. Finally we sprinkled a little water over the salt and packed it down.

    While it baked, 10 minutes for every inch (2.5 centimeters) in the gills area plus another 10 minutes for the pan, we sat down to eat our appetizers.

    After 35 minutes we removed the fish from the oven. Eitan cracked the salt crust open, and peeled off the skin with the scales to reveal a beautifully white moist fish ready for eating. It was delicious.

    Just like in the restaurant, but without throwing the salt on the floor.

    • Happy 21st birthday, granddaughter Lior. Unfortunately due to Corona worries we missed Lior's 21st birthday celebrations. However we did drive to the Ron's house to deliver a home-baked vegan chocolate cake. Picture here.

    5th September 2020
      Blue Dawn 1994
    On board the Blue Dawn - December 1994
    Aviv Ron, Moran Segoli, Aviv Levy, Vered Ron, me, Doreen, Fern Levy

    Sailing  on the Antares III  10 days ago brought back many memories of sailing not only on the Antares III but also on previous trips on Morris's yachts like the Antares I, the Jacquelina and the Blue Dawn. The picture above  was taken on the Blue Dawn in 1994 when we lived in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. On our 30th wedding anniversary our children surprised us with a visit together with my sister Fern. We then surprised them with a visit to Virgin Gorda on the British Virgin Islands. This was our third Family Reunion. 

    29th August 2020
     Levy president
    The Front Page of Dome, Natal University Review, April 1983

    A few weeks ago I was delighted to receive an email from Ian Robertson, a colleague from my University days whom I last saw some 56 years ago. He had also been friendly with Fern my sister and searching for her on Google was directed to this family site.  I always knew he was talented and an excellent speaker but apparently writing is his forte, for he is the author of the the world's top selling textbook on Sociology*. Reconnecting with him brought back many memories of my university years. The Corona pandemic with its lockdowns and quarantines  has led many of us to open the boxes of old photos and papers last visited decades ago. Ian found the copy of the University monthly review shown above, and sent me the article written by him and published when I was elected President of the Students' Representative Council (S.R.C) of Natal University.
    A transcription of the relevant text can be seen here.
    Ian now lives in England and I hope to see him when I visit England some timeafter the Covid19 era.

    *Reviews of Ian Robertson's book:
    Amazon, Good Reads:
    This comprehensive introduction to contemporary sociology, known for its captivating writing, cross-cultural examples, and careful applications of theory to elucidate ideas, has long been a classroom favorite for both students and professors.

    Abe Books:
    This is quite simply the best intro sociology text ever. The author is a fabulous writer and is well versed in the discipline of sociology. He no longer writes textbooks, and no one since has come close to being this informative and illustrative. Unlike most academic works, this one is not a chore to read, but a pleasure.


    22nd August 2020
     Kornati preserve
    Croatia: The Kornati Nature Reserve from the mast of the Antares III
    (bottom left: Jacquelina)
    photo: Michael Scouse

    After months of lockdown or virtual lockdown and having had  to cancel six overseas trips we were delighted to receive an invitation from friend Morris Kahn to join him on his yacht Antares III sailing among the beautiful islands of the Croatian coast.  For 7 days we've been sailing, swimmimg, eating and just lazing on deck. Two more days and then we're back to Israel.
    We've been sailing in tandem with the Jacquelina, the yacht of Morris's son, Benjamin and one of the highlights was a three hour race with them.
    This is being written on the yacht. We'll write more next week - in the meantime see some pictures here.


    15th August 2020
    Mikhal Segoli

    Congratulations to our daughter-in-law Mikhal on being granted a fellowship in the Israel Istitute for Advanced Studies (IIAS). The IIAS is Israel's primary institute for facilitating outstanding collaborative academic reseach. Mikhal will work in Jerusalem for 5 months with teams of scientists from all over the world researching biological control interaction to support agriculture and conservation.
    More details can be found in the Ben Gurion University bulletin, reproduced here.
    This is a fantastic achievement, Mikhal, and the whole family is proud of you!


    8th August 2020
    protest anti-netanyahu
     Doreen and I at Anti-Netanyahu Demonstration at Neurim Bridge

    Politics are heating up in Israel - even more than usual. Another election may be in the offing, while there is growing dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Netanyahu, for his failure in dealing with the Covid 19 crisis, the economic distress, for his efforts to avoid standing trial on corruption charges and for his attacks on democracy. There are daily protests outside his official residence and on Saturday evenings the protests are augmented by thousand of people standing on bridges and at intersections  throughout the country calling for his resignation.
    Click for another picture showing the bridge.


    1st August 2020
     not the usual
    For a change - not quite the usual family photos of children
    Vered and mom - Aviv - Moran


    25th July 2020
      Sol-Ethel wedding
    Solomon William - Ethel Levy: Married on 18th August 1942

    As most of you know, I am a keen amateur genealogist and try to keep my family trees as updated as possible. For the "modern" additions I need help from family members to send me updates. For the "historic" records I look for information found in various archives (many of which are available on the internet), search among old photos and listen and record family recollections. But above all, I need LUCK! Take my late Aunt Ethel as an example.

    Ethel Levy was the eldest sibling of my father. She was the second wife of Sol William, who owned a hotel in Pretoria. She married late in life and died when I was 19 so I well remember her and Sol (who died before her). From her gravestone I knew her date of death, and had some other information without documentation. I also had some details about her parents who were of course my grandparents. That's about all I knew about her. I had no real information about her husband Sol.
    Now luck enters the picture.

    I had contact with R.O. in USA about a genealogical question unrelated to Ethel. By sheer chance it turned out that he was the grandson of Sol through Sol’s first marriage, and had grown up regarding Ethel as a grandmother.R.O. and I exchanged information about our respective families and could add details to our family trees. We were both interested in finding out more about Sol and Ethel's marriage, but had no information about where or when.

    Now more luck:  I found an old picture of a silver tray presented to Ethel on the occasion of her marriage in 1942 so we knew she lived and worked in Cape Town and had married in 1942. Try as we might, we could not find any extra information and it became almost an obsession to find out! But we were unsuccessful and abandoned our search.

    About 5 years passed. Cut to June 2020:  Luck again. My cousin Joel found a letter from my uncle Eric to his sister Ethel sent from Egypt during his service in WWII. The letter was addressed to Federal Hotel in Pretoria, and mentioned names I did not recognize. I forwarded the letter to R.O. who identified the people as his relatives, one of them his mother. This rekindled our interest in Sol and Ethel's marriage.
    Again we both looked in archives and found nothing.

    I asked Joel if he had any further material on Ethel. With nothing much else to do during the Corona crisis he found the above picture of Sol and Ethel smartly dressed. The original sender of the picture had written on the back 12/8/1942. We tentatively assumed this was the marriage date and with this vital additional data R.O. was able yesterday to locate their marriage certificate on the internet.

    So, as a result of various lucky discoveries along the way, I now can add date of birth, place of birth, occupation, date of marriage and place of marriage (all with appropriate documentation) to my aunt Ethel's entry in my family tree.

    We still don't know how they met, but that is another potential story....

    See pictures of the gravestone, the tray,  the letter address and the marriage certificate.


    18th July 2020
    This Week 10 Years Ago - On the City Walls in Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Covid-19 ensured that 2020 would be a stay-at-home summer for Doreen and me.  We look back on previous years when "social distancing", "face masks" and "lockdown" were words we knew were in dictionaries but had no inkling of their importance.

    10 years ago in summer we travelled to Aups in France with Hans and Lottie Reijzer in June, to Croatia  and surroundings in July
    for bridge and touring, and to South Africa with the family in August. This year in summer we travelled to the supermarket and occasionally to family and friends.

    On this day 10 years ago  we were in Dubrovnik Croatia having spent some time in Zagreb, Opatija, Istria, Slovenia, Trieste, Split  and on our way to Plitivice Reserve. In Dubrovnik we went to an open air performance of Carmina Burana where social distancing meant trying not to sit one on top of another.

    A picture in Dubrovnik was This Week's Picture 10 years ago, and Doreen wrote a lovely account of our time in Croatia with pictures.

    So, while "home sweet home" is fine, travelling is fun. Of course, sometimes it's even better fun remembering afterwards. I was reminded of this when I read of our frustrating 5 minute tram trip in Zagreb which took over an hour.

  • Happy Birthday this week to: Dion Levin (19), Keren Stern (19), Yoav Shavit (19),  Daniel Klotnick (20), Rossie Geffen (20), Suzanne Lazarus (20), Arie Bortz (21), Adam Tal (22), Rachelle Smith (22), Joel Feinstein (23), Shari Levy (24)
  • No Happy Anniversary this week

  • 11th July 2020

    2/3                                                                                                                                         1/3

    25th  Family Reunion - "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry"

    We carefully planned our 25th Family Reunion taking into account all the restrictiobns and problems due to the corona virus. We planned to celebrate at our home, at daughter Vered's home and a grand finale barbecue and swim at the lovely pool at our friends Ruti and Danny.
    We started off well with great spirits, distributing the custom-made 25th Reunion masks and enjoying pizzas for lunch.
    But then suddenly Covid-19 had the last word, and Moran and family had to return home towards the end of the first day.
    So our group picture above - planned originally for all 16 of us at Vered's house - only shows 11 (us, the Rons, the Eilat Levys). The picture on the right is of the Segolis, with Moran behind a window in isolation

    Doreen has written about the 2/3 Reunion ( including an unintended midnight adventure) in her Column .

    See a picture of our celebratory dinner at the Nammos Restaurant.

    See the above picture without masks

    4th July 2020


    Some of our family reunions over the years

    We try and have a family reunion - children and spouses and grandchildren - about every year.  Sometimes we have added other family members. The five of us (Doreen, I,  and our 3 children) often visited different places together but the holiday at Club Med in Chamonix France in 1996 when Aviv Ron joined the family vacation is defined as our first family reunion. With the addition of the spouses and granchildren over the years the reunions have got bigger. We have had 24 reunions and the 25th, with 16 family members,  is due next week. We usually have a special t-shirt for each reunion, but this year we'll have something else.
    The pictures of the past reunions (with links to descriptions)  can be seen here, and the pictures of next week's reunion will wait for next week's homepage update.


    27th June 2020
    Aviv's birthday

    Celebrating Aviv Levy's birthday
    Eitan, Limor, Itamar, Doreen, Amit, Margalit Sadeh, Aviv, Ilai

    Doreen and I went to Eilat for a few days to celebrate our son Aviv's birtthday. We enjoyed a meal at a local fish restaurant (alternatives for the vegans!) and the next day Aviv celebrated his birthday by cooking on a barbecue in the Eilat 43 degree  heat preparing hamburgers for us.


    20th June 2020

    Glezer Itze Ber
    Itze-Ber Glezer 1844-1939 and his wife Feige Blume 1845-1943

    Itze-Ber and Faige-Blume are Doreen's great grandparents. They lived in Moletai and Vilna in Lithuania. There is a picture of the whole Glezer/Glazer/Glesser family taken in Vilna in  1929. Doreen's father Maurice had by then emigrated to South Africa and is not in the picture.  Doreen's  grandparents and many others in the family were murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War.
    Our children Moran, Aviv and Vered are Itze-Ber's great great grandchildren, and I was reminded of  this when Moran and the Segoli family this week visited  another of Itze-Ber's great-great grandchildren, Yori Leshem. Moran and Mikhal were colleagues and friends of third cousin Yori before they knew they knew there was a family connection. They knew each other in Israel, both studied at UC Davis in Sacramento and stayed in the same complex there. On one of our visits to the Segolis in Davis, we met Yori and by chance discovered the relationship.
    A few years ago, through this family site, I was contacted by Glenda Cleaver, also a descendant of Itze-Ber, who wanted to pass on a family heirloom that had belonged to her grandmother, Hinde Glasser wife of one of Itze Ber's sons, Hershel. She gave the heirloom, a Magen David necklace, to Yori and it now belongs to Yori and Michal's daughter, Galya who Hinde's great great granddaughter and Itze-Ber's great great great granddaughter! (See story and picture here).

    See pictures of the Segolis visit this week.
    See Glezer family tree.

    from my Old Pictures collection - thanks to Florence Levin

    13th June 2020

    chicken coop
    Avram and Riva Bortenstein at work in their chicken coop

    Riva Drue (a cousin of Doreen's father - see Schank family tree)  lived in Estonia and after the war met Avram Bortenstein who had been released there after serving in the Russian army in the fight against the Nazis. They moved to a town in Poland near the Czechoslovakian border where Avram had a grocery store and became active in the Zionist political party Ichud. One of his roles was to identify Jewish children who had been placed in Catholic institutions for protection from the Nazis and help in their release and transportation to Palestine. Read Doreen's Column  for a more detailed description.
     In 1950 Avram and Riva relocated to Palestine and lived in Kfar Mishar. There they farmed and in particular had a large chicken coop mainly for producing eggs. We still remember visiting them and their children Yaffa, Yaakov and Rochele with our young children Vered and Aviv who loved to help collect the eggs. Collecting the eggs was also a favorite with Rael and Denise (our nephew and niece). On one occasion when the kids slept over Rael went to bed  fully clothed so he could wake up in the morning ready to immediately begin collecting eggs.
    Avram died in 1991 and Riva in 2007. Yaakov again lives in the the same house - but without the chicken coop.
    from my Old Pictures collection - thanks to Yaffa Loew

    6th June 2020
    Doreen bungy
    Doreen Bungy Jump December 2001

    <>Thursday this week is my lovely wife's birthday. Going through our old pictures reminded me time and time again of the wonderful life we and our children have enjoyed, and of the so many ways Doreen has exploited the joy of living. The picture above was taken in New Zealand on our Round the World trip in 2001-2002. The first bungy jumping operation in the world was from the bridge over the Kawarau River just outside Queenstown, and when we were in Queenstown it was obvious that this was something that Doreen wouldn't miss.
    Click here to see 'before' and 'after' pictures of the jump; and here to read Doreen's account, written soon after the jump, of how she felt before, during and after the jump.

    (For those with lots of time to spare, here is the link to our Round the World Trip.)


    Click her for a photo collage of some of  Doreen's activities during the past 50 years.


    30th May 2020
    Gertie Glazer
    Gertie Nickel Glazer ז"ל
    died 31st May 1983 aged 69 years

    Tomorrow is the yahrzeit - anniversary of her death - of  Gertie, Doreen's mother  This photo reflects her beauty, delightful smile and grace. Although initially opposed to our marriage, Gertie soon accepted me as a son.She died while we were working in St Thomas Virgin Islands. A few days prior, Doreen hiking on St. John had rubbed lemon juice on her arms to prevent the swarms of mosquitos from biting. It may have helped the locals but exposed to the direct sun rays Doreen got third degree burns on her arms and flew to the funeral swathed in bandages. A very difficult time for all of us.


    23rd May 2020
    4 grandkids
    Our first 4 grandchildren
    Maayan, Lior, Itamar, Danielle 
    from my OLD PICTURES collection.

    Many old photos can be seen on the Old Photos page, which also contains a list of old photos appearing on other pages throughout my site.


    16th May 2020
    Cindy Berman 1945 - 2019   

    I received the sad news that Cindy (Thelma) Berman passed away at the end of last year.  Cindy  was the principal factor that got me started on my work on the family tree when I came across a hand-drawn outline of the Levy tree. I had no idea who the author was, But I was impressed and used it as a basis for starting my own tree. When I contacted Joyce Bernstein for extra details for my  tree, she told me that Cindy was also interested in the family tree and it turned out that the hand-drawn tree was Cindy's. I contacted Cindy and that was the start of a long and fruitful exchange of information, including a visit to her in California in 1998 where the above picture was taken. Thank you, Cindy, you were an inspiration to me in keeping up the family tree.
    I send my deepest condolences on their sad loss to her husband Kenneth and to her daughters Jennifer and Michelle.

    Cindy wrote a brief history of the family in 2001 - see here for the introduction.

    See Levy/Hirshovitz family tree.

    9th May 2020
    covid lunchcovid lunch
    Family Meals

    Following the easing of travel and meeting restrictions Doreen and I decided to visit Midreshet Sde Boqer and Eilat to meet the children and grandchildren we had not seen for so long. We decided it was best not to sleep over so that meant a return journey of 760 Kms. We drove to Eilat early in the morning, had a delicious barbecue lunch with Aviv and family, drove to Sde Boqer, had another delicious dinner, and then drove back to Netanya.
    Although the long trip was tiring it was well worth it. We have seen daughter Vered and family a few times as they live about 20 kms from us, but we have not seen our other children for about 2 months, so it was wonderful making contact (visual only!) again.
    We hope soon we'll be able to hug them again.


    2nd May 2020
    bday80 on zoom
    My 80th Zoom Party

    This week I turned 80. My planned large family birthday party was a victim of Covid19 and was cancelled and replaced by a Zoom meeting with my children and grandchildren, which was a surprise and much appreciated, as was a book of pictures and greetings (delivered to our door by daughter Vered.)
    Doreen went out of her way and even managed to outdo her usual excellent cooking by preparing a gourmet birthday dinner.
    Click here for some pictures.


    25th April 2020
    little Anthony
    Yes, I once was young too

    I turn 80 the day after tomorrow. My celebration has been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions but I don't really mind as I feel much younger.
    The above pictures are to show my grandchildren that once I was very young too. The middle picture is of me with my grandfather, known to all his grandchildren as "oupa" - the Afrikaans word for grandfather. Below that is a picture of my mother with Fern and me.


    18th April 2020
    Our children - Aviv, Moran, Vered
    Old Photo collection:
    Our three children, taken at Aviv's barmitzvah in 1981. Apart from the hair styles they haven't changed too much!


    11th April 2020

    Some pre-Covid19 Pesach (Passover) Seders

    Normally for the Pesach seder we have large family get-togethers. We read the Haggadah (or at least some of it) and enjoy the delicious food prepared by the various families. This year the strict Covid-19 isolation restricions prevented us from gathering, so like thousands of others we celebrated "together" with the help of  Zoom. As the only option it was OK, but a Pesach table set for two (see picture) is not a very satisfying substitute for a real physical celebration. 


    4th April 2020

    po lice gym

    At the Bahamas Police Gym 
    (from Old Photo Collection)
    Doreen is a gym and exercise addict. Even though confined by the Covid-19 lockdown she does exercises every morning and in the evening exercises on "Zoom" with grandchildren Danielle and Lior (see video from last week).
    She has a subscription to the College Gym near our apartment and a few days ago tried Zumba dancing.
    When we were living in the Bahamas she used to go regularly to the Police gym in Nassau and exercise with the cops (including weight exercises!). When daughter Vered visited us, Doreen took her along too.
  • We're still confined to our apartment so not much to report. Many of our activities are digital - plays, movies, bridge meeting - and going through long-neglected boxes of  material which in many cases bring back almost-forgotten memories.
  • Our usual family seder to celebrate Pesach - Passover - will this year be conducted on-line via Zoom and we will share the reading of the Haggadah between the us and the Rons, Segolis and Levys. Unfortunately we cannot share the se-uda, the meal. Our grandchildren will no doubt miss Doreen's delicious and tender kneidlach.
  • We were delighted to hear today that Donni Dvir, partner of our niece Yahel Braverman (see Nochimovitz/Nickel tree) is healthy and fully recovered from the Covid-19 virus. 
  • We wish all our family and friends  good health  during this  coronavirus crisis and hope that it will not be too long before we can all return to something approaching "normal."

  • 28th March 2020

    Friday night dinner

    Friday night dinner  - a screen shot courtesy of Zoom
    Friday night - Erev Shabbat - is important. Families gather to welcome the Shabbat and enjoy a delicious dinner. We are not religious; although we do light candles and say the kiddush. We do not regard it primarily as a religious ceremony. For us iit is a moment in the week that brings family together to share an ancient tradition while stressing family ties. We all are busy and have activities that tend to separate families and family members. At least for the Friday night meal we are all together, whether within our own homes or in our larger family groups.
    Covid-19 made meeting for dinner impossible, so we utilized "Zoom" and together celebrated Erev Shabbat and kiddush. It was very emotional to see how happy everyone was to see each other and 'be together.'

  • The Coronavirus Covid-19 lockdown continues. As shown above, we are finding other ways to keep together while observing social distance. Our two oldest granddaughters Danielle and Lior Ron decided that exercising together with Granny Doreen was an appropriate activity. Click here for short videos.
  • Congratulations to Raphael Cotton on his marriage to Tamar Gralnick in Johannesburg South Africa. (see pictures). Mazel Tov too to parents Cecile and Raymond Cotton. (See Matz and Hershovitz/Levy family trees.).  Covid-19 restricted the number of participants but Cecile reports that there was a wonderful relaxed atmosphere at the wedding. Cecile is continuing her new set of treatments and we wish her a speedy and full recovery.
  • Granddaughter Zoe is utilizing the break from School to scan some of her dad's old photo slides. She has sent some to us.  Here is an example. I'll be using some of her other pics in future issues of this site.
  • We've still going through the contents of the boxes in our storeroom, and have discarded much once considered essential and now considered junk. We have been meaning to do this for the last 9 years since we moved to Kiryat Hasharon in Netanya.

  • 21st March 2020
    Aviv Ron 60th
    Happy 60th Birthday to Aviv Ron
    Doreen and I prepared a short birthday video for Aviv - click here or on the picture above to see it.

    Many happy returns to son-in-law Aviv Ron on his 60th birthday. The planned family celebration was cancelled due to the coronavirus emergency but Doreen baked a cake and we drove to the Ron's house, waved to them through the window, and left the cake on an outside table to pick up after we left.

  • The coronavirus lockdown has kept us at home this week except for some short walks with Joanie our dog and 'outings' to buy food. Entrance to public spaces like parks is forbidden, even to the small park opposite our building.
  • We've taken advantage of the lockdown to go through, sort and discard much of the contents of the boxes in our storeroom. We have been meaning to do this for the last 9 years since we moved to Kiryat Hasharon in Netanya.
  • Schools are closed, children get bored, so the Segolis went to Eilat to spend the time with the Eilat Levys. (see picture) For granddaughter Zoe this was an opportunity to get to know another family dog, Oreo. (see picture).The  kids have on-line contact with their teachers and 7 year old Zoe informed me that she was helping 15 year old Amit with her homework!
  • Zoe in 2nd grade also had homework - read about it here.

  • 14th March 2020
    Bacher visit
    The Israel relatives welcome Ali and Shira Bacher on their visit to Israel.

    We were delighted that Ali and Shira Bacher (see Nochimovitz/Nickel Family trees) could join us for dinner this week. It was a great opportunity for the some of the Nickel descendants of siblings Rose, Gertie and Julius to get together, and for many of the children to meet with Ali for the first time. We enjoyed the lovely atmosphere, the delicious food and the remembrances of Louise, Doreen and Ali from their young days when they lived in Cyrildene in Johannesburg. I said a few words and Ali movingly recounted how "Uncle Yudel" (Julius) had influenced his youth, bought him his first cricket bat and played an important role in his path to great success as an international sportsman..
    Julius's wife Laura Nickel, with sons Richard and Louis and daughter-in-law Eti and grandchildren Gali, Amit and Assaf.
    Gertie Glazer's daughters Louise Braverman and Doreen and son-in-law Eitan Levy and children Vered with her husband Aviv Ron and their children Danielle and Lior, and Moran Segoli  with Maayan, Lotem and Zoe.
    Rose Bacher's son Ali and daughter-in-law Shira.
  • We're in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and have no idea how long it will last. We have cancelled our planned trips to Cyprus and Lausanne  and are scrupulously following the medical guidelines. Hand sanitizers are sold out, but while having lunch with granddaughter Danielle Ron, I remembered that I had a degree in Chemistry and bought the raw materials and made up our own.
  • Grandson Itamar Levy has just had his first army call-up for medical and various other tests. Our grandchildren seem to be growing up at a much quicker rate than we expected!
  • Due to the coronavirus situation Purim celebrations and costumes were more subdued this year, but granddaughter Ilai Levy was happy to dress up in an Anime costume. See also last week's Adloyada and Purim at Midreshet Sde Boqer.
  • The Segolis stayed on after the dinner with Ali and Shira and the next morning I took Maayan (see picture) and Zoe (see pictures) to the local wall-climbing site.
  • Lotem has much artistic talent and Doreen took her to visit friend and well-known artist Maureen Fain in Jerusalem (see picture).
  • Doreen's cousin (and Ali's older sister) Mushe Kirsh (see Nochimovitz/Nickel Family trees) has just published a book detailing the story of the Bacher and Kirsh families. We have just received a copy and have found it extremely intersting as it not only details the two families but also includes much background on our common heritage as Jews from the Baltic and Byelorussia who emigrated to South Africa.
  • The last few days have seen stormy weather in Israel, particularly in the normally dry southern areas. Eilat experienced high winds and seas, and son Aviv Levy reports much damage there, including underwater to the corals. In the Negev desert the normally dry riverbeds (wadis) became rivers. Many went to see the rare sights of the flooded  areas, among them son Moran Segoli and family who by chance met relative Uri Haberman and family (see Goldberg family tree) who were also there. (see picture).

  • 7th March 2020


    Grandson Maayan Segoli in the Sdeh Boqer Adloyada
    The Festival of Purim1 will be celebrated next week, but in Sde Boqer it was celebrated a few days early, yesterday, Friday, with the traditional Adloyada1.
    The Adloyada is a traditional carnival-like parade taking place in various cities in Israel during the Purim festival. This year almost all the parades were cancelled due to the coronavirus precautions. The tradtional Adloyada at Midreshet Ben Gurion in the Negev, completely organized, prepared, constructed and staged by the high school students at the School for Environmental studies there, was "partly cancelled" as the onlookers were restricted to residents and parents of residents. Doreen and I joined in the festivities and we were extremely impressed with the standard of the floats and the enthusiasm of the high school participants.
    In addition to the traditional parade, people dress in costume - "fancy dress" - and in normal times the streets are full of villains and princesses and various other representations of current personalities and events.

    Click here to see some pictures of our celebration and the parade at Sde Boqer, and here for a couple of pictures of Maayan in the parade.

    from Wlkipedia:

    (1) "Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, ...... who was planning to kill all the Jews as recounted in the Book of Esther, whose plans were foiled by Mordecai and Esther his niece and adopted daughter, who had risen to become Queen of Persia".  

    (2) Adloyada literally means "until one no longer knows" (ad de-lo yada, Aramaic: עַד דְּלָא יָדַע. "The expression comes from the Aramaic expression stated by Rabbah in the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Megilla: 'It is the duty of a man to mellow himself ... on Purim until he cannot tell the difference between cursed be Haman and blessed be Mordecai'. This means that people should drink on Purim until he reaches a state of not being able to distinguish between the evil Haman and the blessed Mordecai."

  • Next week we celebrate Purim. As noted above, it was celebrated early this week in Sde Boqer (see pictures).
  • A special "happy birthday" wish to cousin Cecile Cotton who celebrated her 60th this week. We are happy to see that Cecile is responding favourably to treatment. She will start another round of chemotherapy next week. Click for happy picture. (See Matz and Hershovitz/Levy family trees.)
  • The results of the latest - 3rd round - of the Israel parliamentary elections indicate we may be in for a fourth round! I voluntered to to work on election day and was the chairman of a polling station representing the Meretz-Labour party, whose results were for us very disappointing - 7 seats instead of the 10 expected.  See picture.
  • Our dog Joanie is still at Midreshet Sde Boqer "on holiday" with grandchildren Zoe, Lotem and Maayan. Next week he'll be back with us again, and missing all the attention the children give him..

  • 29th February 2020


    A Society Lady

    Granddaughter Zoe's class put on a short show for the school, and Zoe stole the show as a fancy Society Lady.

  • We spent the weekend in Eilat with son Aviv and family. We paid a visit to Coral world which is looking very attractive indeed, and were happy to see the grandchildren. See a picture here.
  • On the way to Eilat we dropped off our dog Joanie at Midreshet Sde Boqer where he will have a few days holiday with his girl-friend Zoe. While there we saw a show by Zoe's class - see picture above.
  • This week we've all been busy with coronavirus talk, facts and rumours. Next week we'll be busy with Israel elections (again!).
  • And a "first" for this site. Since it first appeared in January 2004 this is the first time it is dated 29th February. And it also appears that no family member was born on 29th February.

  • 22nd February 2020

    snow near Tiberius

    Snow falling in Majdal Shams

    While we were dealing with the interruptions on our trip to the UK (see last weeks Archives) Israel was also experiencing unusual conditions of very cold weather and even snow in some places where snow doesn't usually fall. The Eilat Levys took the opportunity to take a short break and travel north to see the snow. They stayed in a B&B at Yavne'el Village and drove to Mt Hermon. Because of heavy snow the roads and paths up the mountain  were closed, but they experienced falling snow in the village of Majdal Shams by the foothills of Mt Hermon. 


    15th February 2020

    at Fern's grave

    Doreen sprinkles tomato seeds on Fern's burial site

    My sister Fern died in 2008, 12 years ago, aged 65, in Wrexham, Wales. She was buried in a Woodland Burial Site in St Asaph, Wales. Doreen and I caught a train to Chester this week on our way to visit her burial site. When I spoke to Fern a few days before her death she told me that she hoped to be able to eat tomatoes from the plants she had so carefully tended. Unfortunately this was not to be. Instead of flowers, we placed her tomato plants on her grave. On our visit this week we sprinkled tomato seeds over her burial site. Perhaps they will grow.(more pictures)

    Click here for the Memorial Site dedicated to Fern.

  • The Tournament Directors Workshop I organized in Belfast was very successful. Click for a picture of the staff .
  • Last week in Belfast, at the end of the Workshop I wrote "tomorrow we fly to London where we will spend a few days". Alas storm Ciara made us change our plans as our flight was cancelled shortly before we were due to take off and we had to join the thousands of stranded passengers trying to find alternate arrangements. After two days (!) we finally flew from Belfast to London to spend a "very" few days there.
  • Two of  our "London days" were spent in Chester, from where we  went to visit my sister Fern's burial site. (see also This Week's Picture above.) Chester was delightful - see some pictures here.
  • The cancelled flights meant we missed the Opera we had booked for Tuesday, but fortunately there were seats available on Thursday and we were able to exchange our tickets and see a truly fantastic performance of Puccini's La Boheme.
  • On one of the extra days in Belfast we decided on the spur of the moment to actually eat at a KFC and not only photograph the entrance. We'll be returning to photographing in the future!
  • I shouldn't really write it, but we are due to fly to Israel tomorrow. There are already warnings about storm Dennis approaching. Am I tempting fate?

  • 8th February 2020

    new puppy

    Puppy has a tummy tickle (click here or on the picture)

    The Rons have given their new dog a name - Alma, but we prefer Puppy. Although tiny in size she's highy active, and knows how to growl and bark. She loves a "tummy tickle" as the picture above shows. Click on the picture for a short video.

    1st February 2020

    prague 2020

    Doreen and Eitan in Prague

    We are spending a few days in Prague - me at a bridge seminar. It's my 8th visit to Prague but I couldn't resist the temptation to visit the old city. In spite of the many times I have been there I still enjoy the walk through this marvelous and beautiful city (see here, for example of a previous visit.).
    Of course while in Prague we took our mandatory family picture of KFC (another one, for example!). Although its my favourite fast food restaurant we hardly ever eat there and did not eat there this time either. We did have a meal at our usual "Blue Duckling" Restaurant - a truly fabulous restaurant with atmoshere and great food.
    Doreen took some of the wives to see the more conventional views of the old city.
    Pictures here.


    25th January 2020
    itamar certificate

    Itamar receives Certificate of Excellence

    Congratulations to grandson Itamar Levy who received a Certificate of Excellence at his school. This Certificate is awarded to one pupil per class based on teachers' recommendations. Way to go, Itamar. We're all proud of you.


    18th January 2020

    Aviv on TV
    Aviv releases an Electric Ray after treatment

    Son Aviv Levy, the Marine Director of the Underwater Observatory, has often appeared on TV giving news or explanations of various matters concerning the marine life in Eilat. A few days ago he was interviewed on Channel 11 (Kann TV) describing how he and his staff at the Eilat Underwater Observatory treated an injured electric ray (Torpedo) while avoiding the dangers of electric shock.
    Aviv's performance was excellent as you can see by viewing the interview (in Hebrew, but you can still enjoy the video even if you don't understand.)

    Granddaughter Lior Ron is recuperating from her back operation. There is a big improvement in her walking and moving but she is still experiencing a lot of pain. Doreen bought her a knitting loom to help her pass the time (see picture) and I'm waiting for my present of a scarf.
    11th January 2020
    (Due to circumstances beyond our control this site was not updated between 21st December 2019 and 10th January 2020)

    Lior in hospital
    Lior Ron after her operation
    Granddaughter Lior, who has been suffering severe backache for some time due to scoliosis was physically unable to continue as a combat soldier. She was released from the army (see picture here) to speedily enable a back operation.. She needed a major operation for a rachete-like metal support to be attached  to her vertebral column.  Grandaughter Ilai Levy, Lior's younger cousin, had a similar back problem requiring a different operation about two and a half years ago.
    The operation last week was successful but recovery, mobility and freedom from pain will take some time. She is improving slowly every day and as expected by those knowing Lior she is in good spirits.
    We all wish you a speedy and full recovery!

    Due to circumstances beyond our control this site was not updated between 21st December 2019 and 11th January 2020