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25th December 2021

Main Building, Durban High School, Natal, South Africa

Old memories were re-awakened when I saw this week a picture of the main building of DHS - Durban High School - where I spent the last 4 years of my school education. Looking at the building it's not hard to believe that the education we received was strongly based on English school tradition. For example, we learned Latin, there were prefects and the pupils were divided into competitive ‘houses’. If you don't understand that, read "Harry Potter"!
DHS is an all boys public school and was established 155 years ago. The building above has been replaced by a modern structure.
The school was situated a 3 minute walk from our home along an alley. Some minutes before school started a ship's bell was struck and sometimes it woke me up in time and I ran to school (dressing on the way) and usually arriving it time for the Assembley before the lessons started.

DHS was known not only for its academic excellence but also for its sporting achievements.

Sport played a very important part of our school lives. The grounds of the school were enormous: There were full 110 yard and 480 yard Olympic running tracks, full size rugby and cricket fields and an Olympic size swimming pool. Participation in sports after school hours was obligatory (at least once a week) and the various sports were professionally organised by school staff. For example, those participating in athletics during the appropriate season were trained by athletes, and their results measured based on the Olympic Decathlon points system. The school rugby coach was Izak van Heerden who was also the provincial coach and later a world famous international coach. Another of our coaches - and also one of my teachers - was the legendary war hero and sportsman Bill Payn who had represented the Natal Provincial teams in cricket, boxing, baseball, athletics and rugby where he also played for the Springboks (the SA International side). Regular inter-house matches were arranged, and the annual Athletic Championships participants were representatives of their houses. We were also organised in age groups, for example Under 15, and regularly played against teams from other schools on Saturdays.
It was compulsory to attend as spectators the important rugby matches against rival schools. Pupils who did not attend such a match were punished.
It is worth noting that one year the international South African cricket team of 11 players had 5 players who had attended DHS - an amazing feat.

It was also compulsory to wear school uniform in public - for instance going to a movie - and again transgressors were punished. Punishment was also by detention and extra work but usually by "cuts" - caning with a bamboo cane, by the Head prefect or a school teacher, 2, 4 or 6 depending on the misdemeanor.  I had more than my fair share of cuts, including a couple of 'sixes'.

It all sounds rather draconian, but I really enjoyed my high school days and even enjoyed learning Latin - something I have never regretted.

  • We wish all our friends who celebrate Christmas a very happy and, especially, healthy Christmas and holiday season.
  • We were due to travel to the USA this coming Monday but had to cancel after the USA was declared a Covid red destination. Disappointing but now we have a future trip to look forward to.
  • When we were in Vienna a few weeks ago we of course tasted the traditional apfelstrudel and Doreen decided yesterday to try her hand at making it. The result was delicious - see her strudel recipe on the Recipe page.
  • Daughter Vered and Aviv Ron joined us to eat the apple strudel and Aviv brought the Glühwein - hot spiced red wine - he had meticuously made. I had tasted glühwein in Romania and didn't particularly like it, but Aviv's was really very good. The amount of different ingredients that he used is amazing - see the picture here.
  • The Segolis are enjoying a few days in Eilat with the Eilat Levys - see picture.
  • We spent a delightful lunch and afternoon at the home of friends and former neighbours Jeff and Pam Boner to celebrate Pam's 80th birthday. We were happy to meet there again Selma and Lennie Cartoon, old friends and relatives of cousin Jonty Levy.

18th December 2021

Professor Mikhal Segoli
  • The Segolis (Moran, Mikhal and Maayan) invited us to the Timna Restaurant in Tel Aviv to celebrate our Anniversary. We enjoyed the 8 course tasting menu there. See picture.
  • On Friday night we celebrated Maayan's 18th birthday at our house and were happy to see Mikhal's father Avraham and to meet his companion Shlomit. As always we all enjoyed Doreen's delicious cooking. Picture here.
  • The next day daughter Vered and Aviv and Zoe Segoli joined us as we celebrated again Maayan's birthday. See picture of Maayan with the cake Doreen baked. Of course granddaughter Zoe also helped prepare the lunch. (See picture).
  • I was delighted to receive an current picture of the lovely Kaira, Hayley and Amber, daughters of  Joshua and Natasha Leibowitz (who today celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary) and granddaughters of Sharon (whose birthday is also later this week) and Joe in Australia. Thank you cousin Sharon for keeping us updated. See Levy and Matz  family trees.
  • After a break of more than 15 years, Doreen is considering playing tennis again, and then later challenging grandson Maayan to a game. In the meantime, she's taking lessons.
  • To all our friends all over the world who celebrate it, we wish you a Merry Christmas.and a happy holiday in the coming weeks.

11th December 2021
marriage signing
57 Years Ago!
(and still going strong)
Happy Anniversary to my darling wife and best friend on the 16th.

  • Many thanks to Jonathan Stern in Australia for sending me updates for the family tree.(see Hershovitz/Levy tree)
  • We had a delightful lunch with longtime friends dating back to our South Africa days -  Steve and Binny Blass and Pam and Jeff Bethlehem. See picture
  • Granddaughter Danielle Ron has completed her study term in the Galapogos and the Amazon and met up with sister Lior who is touring in central America in Mexico.. With the grandkids away the Rons and we enjoyed a quiet Friday night dinner. Picture.
  • Happy Birthday this week to: Mark Nathan (11th), Louise Eliezer (11th), Yael Amit  (12th), Jennifer Brod  (13th), Hillel Geffen (13th), Adam Emanuel (15th),  Dan Kansky (16th), Guy Lossin (16), Daniel Leibowitz (17th), Joel Beckman (17th), Gidon Lazarus (17th), Talya Levy (17th), Gabriel Glogauer (18th),
Happy Anniversary this week to:  Lynn and Kevin Weisz (12th), Vanessa and Giorgio Tarazza (12th), Lee and Nadav Levy (12th),  Pat and Stewart Shub (15th), Wendy and Neill Glasser (15th), Doreen and Eitan Levy (16th), Natasha and Joshua Leibowitz (18th)

4th December 2021
Aviv underwater
Aviv 'lights' the Channukiah

Son Aviv has a tradition of celebrating festivals and events underwater at Coral World in Eilat. This Channukah was no exception.
For an example of  a celebration of an event, see the 2018 Italy Giro Cycle Race,

  • Doreen and I returned this week from Budapest where I organized a 4 day workshop for bridge tournament directors. Athough the Covid situation led to many cancellations the workshop was successful. All our three Covid tests (pre-flight, at Tel Aviv airport and after 3 days isolation) were negative and we are back to (Covid) normal life.
  • We celebrated Channukah at the home of daughter Vered and Aviv together with Anat and Eli Tzur and Edna Yechieli (two of Aviv's sisters) and family. See picture.
  • The Segolis have had to cancel their Tanzania trip due to Covid 0micron restrictions, but as a small compensation spent 4 wonderful days hiking in the Mt. Karkom area. See pictures.

27th November 2021
zoe vac
Zoe receives her first vaccination
Vaccinations are now available and recommended for children aged 7-11 and granddaughter Zoe received hers this week.


20th November 2021
Itamar and family
The Eilat Levys with soldier Itamar

Grandson Itamar has just completed his basic training and was inducted into the Israel Army at a swearing in ceremony (see short video). After a weekend at home he swill return for intensive and specialised training and will serve for the the compulsory 3 years.


13th November 2021
Cecile Cotton
Cecile Ethel Cotton 1960-2021

We were saddened this week to hear that my youngest cousin, Cecile, passed away last Saturday in Johannesburg South Africa  after a two year fight against cancer. Cecile was the daughter of my father's brother Eric Levy. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her husband Raymond,  and to her three wonderful children Eric, Raphael and Jenna and their spouses; to her grandchildren Levi, Meira, Kaela, Naomi and Livi; and to her siblings Sharon Leibowitz and Joe, and Charles Levy and Sheenagh.
Throughout her illness Cecile kept us up to date with a whatsapp blog . This was part of her last entry, 10 days before she passed away:
So today I was a bit disappointed as the weather is nice and I thought that I would have the energy to shower. So far have not been able to, but TG my appetite is back. So far, so good.

This is what she wrote when she realised that the end was near:

Cancer is very real and not always easy to accept. There are two things that you could do. Either become so depressed and just give up, or you accept this huge challenge and take every opportunity to try and fight it. I could have gone either way. Instead I decided to be positive and make the most of it. Ok I have to add that I have had the most amazing support from my family and friends. Don't know how I could have managed without them. For all of you I will always treasure your love, compassion, meals you made and phone calls to just keep me happy.

In Nov 2019 I was diagnosed with Herr 2 negative breast cancer, after a year having gone thru 6 months of chemo, lumpectomy and 6 weeks (31 days) of radiation. It was quite a journey to say the least. Then in November 2020, I found out my cancer had metastasized to my liver. Was I upset? Of course I was, as I am now known as Stage 4 . Have I given up? No ways. I am loving life. Hashem has helped me so much. Made me become such a stronger person. I do not sweat the small stuff. If you know me, you know how I loved having my hair done. A grey hair would appear and it had to be coloured. My nails always had to be manicured, facials the works. You name it and that was the old me. Comes cancer and all that is taken away from one. So I just want to say there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not every day is sunshine and roses, but just know the following day it will be. Take one day at a time and just be happy.

I have now been on chemo pills and hormone blockers for the past 3 months. The chemo pills are not great but I am looking past the nausea etc. I love my new found love of drawing.  I have not been in the shops for a year. Does it upset me? I am so used to it, but there are times I get frustrated when I ask for something and they bring the wrong product. So I just always send photos of the product so now there is no excuse that they didn't know what I wanted.

Love you guys

Read a tribute from her cousin Lynette Edelstein at prayers held at the Leibowitz house in Melbourne Australia.

See Hershovitz/Levy and Matz family trees.

6th November 2021
Isaac Shapiro
Haim Isaac Shapiro, My Maternal Grandfather, 1876 - 1933

My maternal grandfather, Isaac Shapiro, married to Roddeh Goldberg, died before I was born, and I was named (Hebrew name) Haim Yitchak after him. I know very little about him or his ancestors or siblings and whether he had any. He had 4 daughters (3 born in Lithuania including my mother) and another daughter and son born in Kimberley South Africa where he lived. I have a photo of his gravestone and know that his father was named Dov. There are postcards written to him by Roddeh's father from Lithuania and the Ukraine. (see pictures and translations of these postcards.)
Unfortunately that's about all I know about him. I have searched various sources and there is a possible, but doubtful, link to someone in USA that needs more investigating.

See Goldberg Family Tree
30th October 2021
Bobbe Mary-louise-julius
Bobbe Mary with Louise and Julius

Mera Aleshnik Nickel and Leiba Nickel were the maternal grandparents of Doreen. They had 5 children - Rose, Gertie, Jack, Aaron and Yudel (Julius). Julius was born in South Africa, the others in Slonim (today in Belarus.)
In the picture above with "Bobbe Mary" are her granddaughter Louise (Doreen's sister) and her youngest son, Julius wielding a cricket bat. As it turned out the Nickel family excelled at cricket, with  2 provincial players and 2  international players, including Ali Bacher who was the SA cricket captain. Ali's first cricket bat was a present from his uncle Julius - probably not the same bat as in the picture.

See the Nickel family tree, and some pictures here. Apart from these there are many pictures of the various Nickel family offspring  in this site.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photo, it's the only one I have of Bobbe Mary.

  • This week was "relatives week". We had  pleasant lunch with sister Louise and friend Caroline to celebrate cousin Yaffa Loew's birthday. Then on Friday we brucnched with  relatives Sydney and Ari Lossin in  Asseret and then visited Yaakov and Ziva Bortenstein, (joined by Yaffa)  in nearby Meishar. Both visits were thoroughly enjoyed.

  • 24th October 2021
    Itamar Giyus
    Itamar is off to the army!
    Today (Sunday) our eldest grandson, Itamar Levy, reported at an army base ready to be conscripted into the Israel Defence Force. Military duty is compulsory in Israel and Itamar will serve three years.
    Doreen and I travelled over two hours to wish Itamar good luck only to find out that we were a few minutes late and that he was about to board the bus which would take him to the enlistment centre. We could see Itamar about to board the bus, but son Aviv phoned him to tell him we had arrived and Itamar ran back to give us all a hug, and then ran back.
    On behalf of all  the family we wish Itamar good luck for his army service and hope it will not be all that difficult!

    Click for two more pictures

    16th October 2021
    papaya man
    Papaya Man
    This year we've had a bumper crop of papayas (pawpaws) growing in our yard, even though some of them are strangely or irregularly shaped. In the picture above Aviv Ron our son-in-law (he's the one on the left!) poses with one of these papayas. Apparently Papaya Man is religious - it seems like he's wearing a yellow kippa. Doreen and I both love pawpaws and we've had pawpaw for nearly every breakfast the last month or so.
    We've had mixed success in our garden this year - no mangoes and no clementines but the abundant lychees more than made up for it. Add to that reasonable quanities of Afghanistan (Pakistan) mulberries, avocados, lemons, okra, chili peppers (3 kinds) and arugala so we're not complaining.

    There are some pictures of our current crop  (papayas, avocadoes, lemons and okra.).


    9th October 2021
    Reunion 27 group
    Levy Family 27th Reunion
    The Castle October 7th-9th 2021

    We celebrated our 27th Family Reunion at The Castle, a Crusader building dating from the 11th Century, situated in Kerem Maharal. It's really a special place with a rural atmosphere, and we had the whole building to ourselves. It proved ideal for our 15 family members. Granddaughter Daniele, studying in the Galapagos was missed.
    itamar enlists

    The Reunion was also a good luck message to grandson Itamar, who will begin his compulsory army service in two weeks time, 
    and as usual, we prepared special T-shirts for the occasion this time with wishes to Itamar  "Itamar enlisting".

    Click here for some pictures of our hugely successful reunion.

    For group pictures of our previous 26 reunions, click here.


    2nd October 2021

    My father Hayman and his siblings
    Hayman, Eric, Ethel (William), Joe, Abe

    My father was one of seven children of Jussel Levy and Olga Matz. Two sisters died before I was born,Annie (after whom I am named) and Fannie (after whom Fern was named). The four brothers were lawyers.
    Click here for more pictures of the Levy family.

    See Levy family tree.

    from my Old Pictures collection

    25th September 2021
    Bnot Zion
    Port Elizabeth S.A  Bnot Tzion c.1930

    Before they married my parents lived in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. They left Port Elizabeth for Durban in 1944. I found this picture of  the "Daughters of Zion" in the synagogue in Port Elizabeth. The group was evidently composed of women (unmarried) who belonged to the Jewish community. My mother (then Queenie Shapiro) is the 4th from right in the back row and in the photo caption it is written that she was Honorary Secretary. The gentleman is Bernard Weinronk (Hon. Life. Pres) . Today there wouldn't be a male in charge of a women's group. My late Aunt Malia (who married my father's youngest brother Abe) was a Weinronk . From the family tree her son, my cousin Jonathan sent me, Bernard Weinronk is his great uncle.  The woman on the right top row is Lena Weinronk -a cousin of my Aunt Malia.

    18th September 2021
    diving into sea
    Jumping into cool water on a hot day in Eilat

     We were away most of the week, first in Midreshet Ben Gurion and then in Eilat.
    Moran was starting new work and Mikhal had medical treatment so we helped look after Maayan, Lotem and Zoe.
    Then on Yom Kippur eve we all went southwards to Eilat, as we have been doing for many years, to join the Eilati Levys.
    We all had a restful time, I did some Bridge computer work and some bingeing on Netflix. The children did what children do and also played a very long board game.  The adults always found something to talk about. Snorkeling and seeing fish and corals was also popular. And of course, being in hot hot Eilat with a cooling swim is the thing to do, even if you do jump from a bridge into the water.
    There are two pictures of Doreen and Zoe jumping .
    Granddaughter Zoe decided that her pets need some VIA (Very Impotant Animals) special attention. So her rabbits, hampsters, guinea pig and chinchillas received a "spa" treatment: a tasty dish of their favourite fruit and vegetables, brushing, massages and haircuts. Click for the plate of fruit and vegetables.

    11th September 2021

    WTC falling
    The Second World Trade Centre Tower falling 11 September 2001

    Today is the 20th Anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre Towers. There are many graphic and professional pictures of the towers burning and falling, but this one, taken by me during the disaster, causes me to relive that day.

    We were in New Jersey staying with daughter Vered and family at the beginning of our Round the World adventure. We decided to go to Manhattan for some shopping and went to the local train station. The train pulled up, stopped and  let out all the passengers. The conductor announced in his stentorial voice "Sorry, this train ain't going nowhere today!". We asked why, then heard shouting from the waiting room. There was a TV there and we watched  the first tower burning. At this stage we thought there must have been an accident. We rushed back to Vered's house where she told us the second tower had been hit by another plane. She took us to a nearby hill from where we could see Manhattan and witnessed the burning and falling (see picture) of the second tower.

    This could also have been a personal tragedy for us, as Vered's husband Aviv was flying in a plane to Atlanta at the time of the attack on the WTC. On the news details of the identity of the planes were scarce and contradictory. Then it was confirmed that Aviv was flying on one of the airlines whose plane had crashed into one of the towers, but we didn't know which plane. We waited anxiously for Aviv to phone but as the hours went by we heard nothing. Then after a few hours the phone rang and a voice told us "I'm phoning for Aviv Ron, he's safe in Charlotte." You can imagine the relief. Aviv's plane had been diverted and landed at Charlotte, North Carolina when news of the attacks began.

    Aviv and the other passengers had no way getting back home as there was no public transport. He considered buying a car but was able to rent a car that was licensed to drive only up to Virginia and from there hired a stretch limo. The limo had TV so there he saw for the first time what had happened.  It took him 12 hours to get home!
    All flights were cancelled, so we stayed on in New Jersey and took the first plane out of New York to fly to the Virgin Islands to visit our friends there. We were one of the only two couples on that plane!

    We were also lucky to get tickets for the first baseball game after "9-11". In an overwhelmingly emotional scene Liza Minelli sang "New York, New York" to thunderous applause.

    Click  for our visit to the 9/11 Memorial  in 2016 and  to read Doreen's feelings on visiting the Memorial.


    4th September 2021
    Granny's cookbook
    The Levys prepare Vegetarian Chopped Liver

    Last week Amit and Itamar in Eilat used Doreen's recipes for preparing curry and vegetarian chopped liver, which I understand was very successful.
    See another picture and a link to the page in the cookbook by clicking here.

    Our grandchildren take great interest in cooking and preparing food. This is not surprising in view of the delicious meals Doreen prepares for them, and also because she always enlists their help in cooking when they are with us. In addition Limor (son Aviv's wife) in Eilat is an excellent cook as is Aviv (daughter Vered's husband). The grandchildren sometimes refer to Doreen's cookbook "A Potpouri of Memories" written in 1995 and they either improvise or refer to other cookbooks.

    For some of the many efforts of our grandchildren, see:  MaayanZoeLior

    shana tove

    28th August 2021
    Breakfast at HaBashan

    We had a mini family gathering this weekend with  Aviv and his children, joined by Moran and Mikhal with their children, as well as Lior, the representative of the Rons.  Our grandchildren had not been together for a long time and it was really heartwarming for Doreen and I to see how well the cousins got on together. They enjoyed each others company at dinner on Thursday evening, at our house in HaBashan Netanya and had a marvelous time at the pool of our good friends Ruti and Dani. Here are some pictures of the morning at the pool.


    21st August 2021
    Klotnick familt
    The Klotnicks at the barmitzvah of  Zac Sklar 2021

    Jaiden; Shelly; Danya; Jonathan; Raphael; Dvorah;  Aharon; Ian; Tali; Ephrahim; Zac Sklar;
    Jonathan Sklar; Beryl; Joel; Melanie Sklar; Sarina Or, Jemma Sklar; Mark Or; Yoav Or, Yalli Or; Alma Or

    Joel and I are 2nd cousins - my father and his mother were cousins. I first met the Klotnicks during my university days in Johannesburg when I sometimes went to them for Friday night dinner. Many years ago their son Mark came to Israel and I was able to "repay" Milly and Barney Klotnick for the meals and company I had enjoyed. Some years later Joel and Beryl made aliyah to Israel and we are not only related but good friends too and meet regularly.
    All in the picture above live in Israel. Jayden, Shelly, Danya and Jonathan are Joel's nephews who have recently moved to Israel. Joel's children were born in South Africa and his grandchildren were born in Israel, London, Paris, and Johannesburg!
     See Matz family trees.

  • Last Wednesday we went to the Segolis at Midreshet Ben Gurion to help look after the children while mom Mikhal was having medical treatment. We returned the next day with the children who spent the weekend with us. See pictures.
  • I'll be busy this week as I'm the tournament manager for the online bridge qualification tournament to choose European representatives to the next World Bridge Championships. I won't be online myself but will be on call the whole week to assist if problems arise.

  • 14th August 2021
    Cotton family fishing
    The Cottons enjoy a family outing

    Eric; Raymond with Levi and Miemie Carno and in front Livi and Kayla Carno; Cecille with Naomi Carno; Tamar and Raphael; Jonathan and Jenna Carno

    Thank you cousin Cecile (Levy) Cotton for sending us this picture from South Africa. Cecile is responding well to her treatment after her operation over a year ago, in spite of getting and recovering from the the Covid virus.
    She took a break from her medical treatment to finally enjoy a family outing with fishing and braai (barbecue) at a site near Johannesburg.
    Get better quickly, Cecile.
    See Matz and Hershovitz/Levy family trees

    7th August 2021
    Max, Steve, Candy
    Old friends from Durban.
    Doreen, Maxie Stange, John "Candy" Cohen, Cicili Stange, me, Steven Berman, Joyce Berman, Hermione Cohen

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a lunch with schoolmate Steven Berman and his wife Joyce. They told us that Maxie Stange - another schoolmate - and his wife Cicili were  visiting Israel. So this week we were joined by John "Candy" Cohen and Hermione and we all met for lunch. It really was a great experience, talking and laughing about old times and getting up to date on current doings.
    Steven Berman and I were together in the same class throughout primary and high school and we were close friends. I hadn't seen Steven for over 50 years when a chance stop for a coffee updated that. Another schoolmate was Maxie Stange, who lived close to me in Durban. We were also close friends and like with Steven we spent time at each other homes. We were in 1st year Jewish primary school together  - see this picture of our class taken in 1947 and were mostly in the same class throughout our school years at DPHS and DHS. Maxie now lives with his swife Cicilli in Shanghai, China.
    "Candy" Cohen learnt at the same schools as us and had the same teachers we could reminisce about but was a year ahead. Although not close friends, we had a good relationship and knew each other well, and met nearly every Friday evening at the synagogue where we were both in the choir run by his uncles.

    Renewing friendships after more than 60 years is a great experience and I hope we keep it up and see each other again soon.


    31st July 2021
    Verede CEOvered

    Congratulations to daughter Vered on her appointment as CEO of  Syte. We're all very proud of you, and wish you every success in your new undertaking.
    Click here for the full Press Announcement.


    24th July 2021
    CW old boys
    Arik Zilberman, Morris Kahn, Doreen, Mickey Gur, me
    Coral World "Old Boys"

    We had a lovely surprise this week when Morris invited us over and we  found Arik and Mickey there. Morris was  the entrepaneur who built Coral World, Arik was in charge of the Coral World International head office and Mickey was the CEO of Coral World International., and I was the manager of 3 Coral World properties, Eilat, St Thomas and Bahamas. We had not seen Arik and Mickey for many years and were delighted to see them again and talk about old times. I enjoyed a good relationship with Arik (who came shortly before I left) , and worked closely, successfully and happily with Mickey.  Doreen's and my very friendly relationship with Morris continues to this day.

    17th July 2021
    St  Martin FRA0St Martin NED
    Siblings in St Martin - early 1980's
    Our children Vered, Aviv and Moran

    In 1980 I was transferred from Eilat to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands to run Coral World there. The work was time consuming and hard but we made time to see some of the other Caribbean Islands. We particularly enjoyed St Martin, the small island divided between France and The Netherlands. These pictures were taken at the "border crossing".

    from my old pictures collection - colour enhanced by My Heritage.

    10th July 2021
    Doreen and Louise on the boardwalk in Netanya this week


    3rd July 2021
    Segolis in Switzerland
    The Segolis in Switzerland
    Lotem, Zoe, Mikhal and Moran

    The Segolis returned this week from a short vacation in Switzerland. Mikhal, Zoe and especially Lotem love to draw and show much talent. So apart from relaxation, hiking, enjoyment and "getting away from it all" the purpose of the trip was to give them the opportunity to experience and depict new sights.
    More pictures of their vacation are on the Miscellaneous page, and the pages of Lotem and Zoe


    26th June 2021

    Some family birthdays in June
    Ruth Kansky - Katherine Levy - Aviv Levy
    Vanessa Tarazza - Donna Leibowitz - Vered Ron
    Doreen Levy - Efrat Shabtai - Susan Glasser


    19th June 2021
     Hayman-queenie wedding
     Wedding of Hayman Levy and Queenie Shapiro - June 21, 1930

    June is an important month for our family birthdays: 11th -  Doreen, 21st - son Aviv, 28th - daughter Vered. And on June 21st 1930 my parents,  Hayman and Queenie were married. In the southern hemisphere 21st June is the longest night of the year and my mother used to joke that getting married during the longest night was carefully chosen for the extra few minutes (wink, wink).


    12th June 2021
    The Ramat Hanegev High School Team wins the Inspire Award at the FIRST Robotics Competition
    (Lotem is on the extreme right)

    Granddaughter Lotem Segoli was part of the team that won their district Robotics Competition and qualified for the FIRST Israel Robotics Competition, part of the international robotics competitions organised by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The team performed excellently and were top of their group in the first stage of the competition qualifying for the final stage consisting of 4 teams. Unfortunately they didn't succeed in the final stage but their ability and excellence were recognised when they were awarded the top Award of the Competition, the Inspire Award.

    This judged award is given to the team that best embodies the ‘challenge’ of the FIRST Tech Challenge program. The team that receives this award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and a role model FIRST team. This team is a top contender for many other judged awards and is a gracious competitor. The Inspire Award winner is an inspiration to other teams, acting with Gracious Professionalism both on and off the playing field. This team shares their experiences, enthusiasm and knowledge with other team, sponsors, their community, and the judges. Working as a unit, this team will have showed success in performing the task of designing and building a robot.  (quote from the FIRST  internet site)
    Congratulations to Lotem and her school mates on this excellent performance. We're proud of you all.
    Lotem is following in the footsteps of her cousin (and our grandson) Itamar Levy who also qualified for the Israel Robotics Competition two years ago.

    More pictures on Lotem's page


    5th June 2021
    Karlsblad fam
    Barmitzvah of Zvike Karlsblad in May 1967
    Rachel, Felix, Zvike, Mussi Karlsblad, Avraham Bortenstein
    Apologies for the poor quality of the picture - copied from an old movie
    This week we were invited to celebrate the barmitzvah of Jonathan Kasorla (sse This Week's News below). We were happy to again see so many family members of the Drui clan (see Schank family tree) including Doreen's second cousin Zvi (known as Zvike) Karlsblad. Zvike had recently discovered a home movie of his barmitzvah 54 years ago in 1967. He gave us a copy of part of the movie and the picture above is a still from this movie. There are some more stills from the barmitzvah here. Seeing the movie brought back many old memories from those times. We often visited the Karlsblads in Ramat Gan and I clearly remember losing at chess to Felix who was a good player.
    Over the years we have maintained contact with the Karlsblad family, especially with Rachel; and with the Bortenstein family, especially with Yaffa (Loew) and Yaakov.


    29th May 2021
      dinner fri
    Friday night dinner at the Rons
    clockwise from the left: Danielle Ron, Aviv R, Eitan Levy, Jonathan L,Doreen L,Yarden L, Lior R, Dina L, Vered R with Alma

    On Friday evening we had dinner at the Rons, and we were very pleased that cousin Jonathan Levy with Dina and Yarden joined us.
    ( See Levy and Matz family trees)

    22th May 2021
    Shavit family
    Dotan, Eyal, Maayan and Vered S, Yaara and Vered R

    This is being written after the cease fire between Hamas and Israel and the rockets and bombing have stopped - at least for the time being. Problems still remain - read last week's 'Doreen's Column'  for her take on the situation.
    During the hostilities there was especially heavy firing on Ashkelon and Ashdod, where relatives  Yaffa (Bortenstein) Loew and the Shavit family live.   Fortunately they did not have a direct hit but spent a lot of time in shelters, so we invited them to come and stay with us for a few days as our area was only a mildly threatened area. Yaffa spent a few days with us, and her daughter Vered Shavit with her four children stayed with our daughter Vered Ron and Aviv Ron.
    (See Schank family tree)

    15th May 2021
      Zoe on water slide
    Zoe enjoying the water slide

    At the beginning of the week the Segolis drove to Moshav Kadesh Barnea (Nitzanei Sinai) in the Negev Heights. The local population, about 300 people, sometimes lay out  plastic coverings from the hothouses over a sand dune. Add a water source at the top of the dune and you have a water slide for locals and friends to enjoy.
    (Click on the picure, or here, to see a short video os Zoe's slide.

    8th May 2021
    Danielle Dean's List 
    Danielle receiving the Dean's List Certificate

    Congratulations to granddaughter Danielle Ron on being an outstanding student and being on the Dean's List at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya. Dani is in her second year of studies in Sustainability and Government, and we wish her success in her future studies.
    See the certificate here.

    1st May 2021
     Moran's talk10
    Moran on Zoom at the launching of the Ocean Tech Community

    This week saw the launching of the Ocean Tech Community, which deals with water and sea issues.  Both of our sons Aviv and Moran were invited to give short summaries of the work they do.
    Moran decribed some aspects of his work at the Negev Research and Development Centre - link to a 10 second video of part of his talk.
    Click here to see a picture of Aviv giving his talk.


    24th April 2021
    Earth Day - Doreen and Mary O'Shea

    Earth Day was this week, and Doreen, together with volunteers from ESRA (English Speaking Residents Association) did their part in cleaning up the trash on the Poleg beach in Netanya. Miary is the supervisor for the ESRA Netanya Befriending group to which Doreen belongs.


    17th April 2021
    oreo and kitten 
    Oreo adopts a kitten

    Oreo is granddaughter Amit's dog. Unlike the other "Levy" dogs Oreo is BIG. He is very playful and when excited can knock you over he is so big. Last week the Eilati Levys found 3 kittens that had been abandoned and brought them into the house to feed them. Oreo's reaction to one of the kittens was remarkable. Oreo's head alone is about 4 times the size of the kitten and instead of the expected one gulp swallowing of the kitten, Oreo starting licking the kitten. When Oreo took a break the kitten got closer to him and wanted more which Oreo was happy to do.
    Click here or on the picture above for a short video.


    10th April 2021
    Itamar 18
    Itamar's first beer

    Grandson Itamar Levy celebrated his 18th birthday by drinking his first beer and we understand he didn't like it very much!
    Click to see the 2.45 Kg baby 18 years ago.


    3rd April 2021
    April birthdays
    April Birthdays

    All the above are some of my or Doreen's relatives (up to 2nd cousins) who celebrate a birthday in April. They currently live in 4 continents: Asia, Africa, N. America and Australia.
    We also have relatives in Europe with birthdays this month,
    sadbut no pictures of them.
    All six of my family trees are represented in the pictures.


    27th March 2021
      pesach 2021
    Pesach Seder 2021 - All 16 of us

    We had a fabulous seder tonight at the home of  Vered and Aviv. All 16 of our immediate family took part - so it was like a family reunion. We had a reasonably traditional seder with only a few passages left out followed by a feast fit for kings including vegan options: chopped liver both real and vegan, gefilte fish with chrain, chicken soup with kneidlach, roast lamb, baked salmon, gnocci in tomato sauce,all accompanied by matza of course and plenty of wine. Some delicious deserts, including Pear Helene and ice-cream, finished off the meal - and us.
    Singing Echad-mi-yodea was highly successful and then we sang a lot of Hebrew songs. A great and successful evening that helped us forget last year's Zoom seder.

    For pictures of the seder, click here.

    Click here for a better picture, but without Vered who was taking the picture.

    20th March 2021
      DEmo in Eilat-
    Grandchildren Itamar, Amit and Ilai Levy demonstrate against the proposed Eilat-Mediterrean Oil Pipe line

    There are plans by a joint Israel-United Arab Emirates company to transfer crude oil through a pipe line from Eilat to the Mediterrean. Many experts fear that an oil leak could severely damage Red Sea Coral reefs, or cripple other marine life in the Medirerranean and halt desalination off the Mediterranean coast that supplies much of Israel's drinking water.
    (See, for example, a detailed article in the Times of Israel).
    Son Aviv whose children  are pictured above joined a demonstration against this plan. See another picture here. We are happy that our grandchildren are active in the causes they believe in - especially, but not only,  when we identify with their actions.


    13th March 2021
    Finally - a meal in a restaurant!
    Doreen, Morris Kahn, me, Vered Ron, Aviv Ron

    This week many of the Covid restrictions were relaxed and a "green passport" is now a "passport" to many activities not allowed for about a year. We were especially happy that we could now enjoy a restautant but evidently thousands of others were equally happy. We naively tried booking a table at a very popular top  restaurant near us - the first available date was in 2 months time -May 4. We settled for a less renowned local restaurant where the food is excellent and where we have eaten a few times in the past.  Friend Morris Kahn and daughter Vered and Aviv joined us. We were not disappointed. In addition to the joy of finally eating out, the food was delicious. We've already booked at another restaurant in Tel Aviv for next week!


    6th March 2021
    BBQ Eilat
    Family BBQ in Eilat

    This weekend we and the Segolis joined the Eilati Levys in Eilat. The highlight was meeting at Coral World for a barbecue with countless delicious salads prepared by Limor. While the adults rested and talked the younger children enjoyed the freedom of finally enjoying open spaces. It's always a pleasure to see how our grandchildren get along so well with each other.
    More pictures here.


    27th February 2021
    Cottons in OFSRay-Cecile
    A visit to the Cottons about 22 years ago                                                  Raymond and Cecile Cotton
    l-r back: Aviv, me, Cecile Cotton, Doreen
    l-r front: Eric, Jenna and Raphael cotton

    Good news from family in Johannesburg South Africa. Cousin Cecile (Levy) Cotton is responding well to her chemo and radiation treatments, and husband Ray has recovered from the Corona virus and is back at work although feeling a litle weaker than usual. We wish the Cotton family continuing improvement and good health - and Happy Birthday to Cecile this week on Friday.

    The picture above on the left was taken about 22 years ago when Doreen, son Aviv, Limor and I visited South Africa. We visited my cousin Cecille on their farm just outside Zastron, a town in the centre of South Africa in the Orange Free State. The Cottons later moved to Johannesburg where they and their children and grandchildren now live.


    20th February 2021
    desert snow
    Snow in the Desert - Zoe builds a Snowman

    The Golan Heights usually have snow in winter but otherwise snow is rare in our part of the world. Every few years there is some snow in Israel - 7 years ago there was a huge snowfall in Jerusalem which caused chaos. This year there was a smaller snowfall there. But also this year the higher areas of the Negev desert also had snow and the Segolis were happy to take advantage of the snow in their "backyard"  and enjoy the desert snow on the Amasa Hill (הר עמשא) part of the Hebron Hills in the northern Negev.
    Click for pictures of the family and of a camel in the snow, and for another picture on Zoe's page.


    13th February 2021

    Our new car - Toyota Yaris Hybrid Style
    We decided to trade-in our Yaris for a newer version, with advanced safety and other snappy features. The car arrived a few days after the end of the Covid lockdown in time for us to drive our the new car for a 2-hour trip to the Segolis in Midreshet Sde Boqer. We - and especally Doreen - are very  happy with the way the car performs.

    (WRITTEN LATER: In March 2021 the Yaris was chosen as Europe's Car of the Year )


    6th February 2021
    School year finished - vacation time!

    This week I received this great picture, taken in the early 1950's, of what is apparently the start of the primary school summer vacation. I'm the one in front (enlarged on the right). Immediately behind me, waving his hand, is longtime friend, Errol Hackner (now a doctor in America) who sent me this picture. According to Errol this picture, taken at DPHS the primary school we attended, was in the local newspaper, the Natal Mercury, so I presume it was staged but I don't have any recollection of it.
    I'm sure my children and especially my grandchildren will be interested in our school uniform. Formal black blazers, with school badge, and shorts, laced shoes and calf-lenth socks and - believe it or not - ties! Note also the school bags for books etc we had in those pre-backpack days. Of interest is the fact that I appear to be the only one without a bag! 


    30th January 2021
     Isaac Shapiro
    My Maternal Grandfather - Isaac Shapiro 1876-1933

    Isaac Shapiro (Hebrew name Haim Yitchak ben Dov) my maternal grandfather died before I was born. My cousin Vivian Klaff and I  were named (Hebrew names) after him. When I was growing up I had little or no interest in my ancestors and, as was common  then,  parents usually did not discuss their ancestors and I asked no questions. By the time I got interrested in my ancestors and family tree there was no one left to answer my questions.
    I know very little about Isaac Shapiro who married my grandmother Roddeh Goldberg from Siauliai in Lithuania. I have a picture of his gravestone and a copy of his death certificate.  I know that he was born in Lithuania, emigrated to South Africa about 1906 and  lived and died (on 14 Feb. 1933 from cerebral haemorrhage) in Kimberley in South Africa. At least part of the time he was a clerk in a "merchant store". I have various addresses for him in Kimberley. 
    In Kimberley he corresponed with his father in-law Zelig Goldberg (my great-grandfather) who lived in Europe and on a few occasions sent him money. I have postcards written in 1915-1917 from Zelig in Europe to Isaac in Kimberley and they and the translations can be accessed here.
    Apart from the name of his father Dov I know nothing about his family. Did he have brothers or sisters?
    I am in contact with someone in USA who has a 5% DNA match with me indicative of a possible familial relationship of 1st to 2nd cousins and we share some names in our respective trees. For example his greatgrandfather's name was Bernard Shapiro (Bernard means "brave bear") and this ties in with my greatgrandfather Dov (Hebrew for bear.).  Unfortunately he has even less information than I have and the possibility of a family relationship is possible but doubtful.

    The picture above (now colorized by My Heritage) was among papers kept by my aunt Dora (Isaac's daughter) and collected by my sister Fern after Dora's death. It was taken by a photographer in Kimberley and is the only portrait among the papers, and it is highly probably that this is a picture Dora kept of her father.

    See Goldberg Family Tree

    23rd January 2021
    Levys on scooters 
    The Eilat Levys go for a ride
    Itamar, Ilai and Amit Levy

    Restrictions on movement can be very frustrating during the covid lockdowns. We'd rather they could drive up north to visit us, but in the meantime at least short drives are allowed.


    16th January 2021
    Joe, Maisie, Ethel, Hayman, Sam Levy

    Thanks to cousin Jonty Levy for sending me this picture of my father and his brother Joe (and wife Ethel) with their cousin Sam (and wife  Maisie). Maisie and Sam lived in London where Sam was a doctor practising in renowned Harley Street. My father Hayman and his brothers - especially Joe - were very close to their cousin Sam and saw each other fairly regularly either in England or in South Africa.
    I only met Sam and Maisie a few times - once Doreen and I visited them in London. Fern, my Dad, Doreen and I (see picture) also went to London to the wedding of  Sam and Maisie's daughter Susan (who now lives in Nazareth Israel and with whom we keep up contact.)

    (See Hershovitz/Levy Tree)

    9th January 2021
    Mikhal Receives Tenure at Ben Gurion University

    Congratulations to daughter-in-law Dr Mikhal Segoli on receiving tenure at Ben Gurion University. Mikhal is a Senior Lecturer at the University and at the Jacob Blaustein Insitute for Desert Research and the Mitrani Institute of Desert Ecology. Mikhal also heads the Segoli Lab for Insect Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology at the University. A few months ago she was awarded a Fellowship at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (see  This Weeks Picture archives.)
    Conratulations Mikhal. The family is very proud of you.

    2nd January 2021
    Goodbye and Good Riddance to 2020 - Welcome to Hopeful 2021

    We wish all our relatives and friends a happy holiday season and a healthy New Year. 2020 will be remembered for its virus problems and the negative health and social effects. We hope 2021 will be remembered as the year the world returned to 'normal'.

    Adapted from a video from Prayan Animation
    Thanks to Sheenagh for sharing