A journey home
My family’s history has roots in many countries, Poland, Russia, Israel and the United States. My father, David Weinstein, was born in 1916 in Dubienka, Poland. My mother, Bronia Kohn, was born in Pultusk, Poland in 1924.
My parents met in 1944 in Kazakhstan. My father, who was separated from his family, found himself in Kazakhastan after being released from a Siberian work camp where he was a prisoner. After losing touch with her family, my mother, came to Kazakhstan looking for an uncle. She saw my father on a road where he was delivering wood on a horse and asked him if he knew her uncle. My father and her uncle were neighbors and so my father took her to her uncle. My father and mother became friends and eventually they married.
My mother and father struggled through the rest of the war, hiding, trying to find food and shelter and trying to find my father’s family. My mother never found her parents and two brothers and for a long time she did not know what happened to them. Yizkor books found in Pultusk confirmed that her parents and brothers were killed by the Nazis but she never learned where, when or how.
After the war my mother and father who had reunited with my father’s family, including his parents, Zelda and Chaim, found themselves at Wetzlar, Kaserne Silhoferaue, a Deportation camp in Germany. From there they all immigrated to Afula, Israel in 1949, except for one of my father’s brothers who went to America. My parents had three children. My brother was born in Germany in 1947. I was born at Ha Emek hospital in Afula, Israel in 1950 and my sister was born there in 1952.My parents and grandparents arrived in Afula very poor and without any possessions. My parents were happy to be in Israel but their life was very hard as they struggled to adjust and make a home for their growing family. My father worked as a brick layer in the building trade and then as an orderly in Ha Emek Hospital. My mother was at home taking care of us. Within a few years of their arrival my grandparents, Zelda and Chaim, died. They are buried in a cemetery in Afula. It’s a blessing that they are buried in Israel because of the hardships they endured in Europe. Throughout the time my parents lived in Israel my father’s brother in America tried to convince them that their life would be easier if they lived in America. In 1959 my parents left Israel and moved to Cleveland, Ohio in the United States. However, life was also hard for them in the U.S. as they worked hard to provide a home for their children. They lived in Cleveland for the rest of the lives.
My parents died in Cleveland three weeks apart in 2009. They are buried in a cemetery in Cleveland near a Holocaust memorial. Their memory lives on in me, and my brother and sister and in their grandchildren and great-grandchildren . I was very sad to leave Israel when I was eight and a half years old and throughout my life felt a strong connection to Israel. I was married in 1970 and had two daughters, Jenn who was born in 1971 and Carrie, who was born in 1973.
I moved to Southern California with Jenn and Carrie in 1978 and eventually found myself in San Francisco. My oldest daughter, Jenn, married Jeff, a boy she met at a Jewish summer camp in San Francisco, when they were 16. They live in Burlingame, California. They have two daughters, Ari and Mia. They have a strong connection to Israel. This summer, Ari had her bat mitzvah in Tzfat and our whole family celebrated by touring Israel together. to study and in 2000 they got married. They have four daughters. Noa and Ellie were born in San Francisco, California. Lia and Zoe were born in Tel Aviv.
In 2003 Carrie and Yoav finally decided to make their home in Kfar Saba, Israel.The circle that began in Europe made it’s way to Israel, from my parents who came here in 1949 to my daughter, Carrie, who came with her family to live in Israel in 2006 and to my return to live here in 2015. I live close to my family here and we spend a lot of time together. My family’s history has its foundation in Israel which is very important to all of us and it is my hope that my six granddaughters carry that connection forward.
We both had a lot of fun working with each other.
הם קורפוס של כמה מאות ספרי זיכרון המוקדשים לזכר מאות קהילות יהודיות שחרבו בשואה, בעיקר מיהדות מזרח אירופה