Six Day War - Talya Dahan's mother Tsiona (right) with neighbors in the trenches during a siren in Beersheba

THE SIX-DAY WAR began 50 years ago on the 5th June 1967, and was a defining event in Israel’s history. The tiny state was once again fighting for its very existence. The world was in shock, none more so than the Diaspora. Jews worldwide held their breath as Israel fought for survival. Many wanted to help. Some literally packed their bags and came. On the following pages – and in their own words – are the fascinating stories by the people profiled on this page.

Phil Bloom

 Phil Bloom was born in 1945 in Rhodesia where he was active in Habonim. He began his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1966. In June 1967 he came as a volunteer to Israel, and then turned that directly into aliyah. He graduated with a B.A. (1970) and an M.A. (1973) in clinical psychology. He was President of the Psychoanalytic Society from 2005‐2008.

Judy Copeland 

 Judy (Brodie) Copeland was born in London, went to school at the French Lycee and studied French and Russian at London University. She came to Israel in 1966. After the Six- Day War, she settled in Arad and was one of the founders of the World Union of Jewish Students Institute. After her retirement, she opened a translation and typing agency. In 2000 she worked for a U.S. company which found natural gas offshore. Since 2007 she has worked for ESRA running its Raanana center.

Alan Caplan

 Alan Caplan was born in Johannesburg, and was a member of Bnei Zion, later Habonim.   After attending the South African Airforce Gymnasium, he graduated with a B.SC from Wits University.   He joined the computer division of NCR in 1967. In 1979 he and wife Beverly made aliyah and were founding members of Moshav Manof. In 1988 Alan was commissioned by the United Nations FAO to develop a PC base computer system for rural banks which he installed in 21 developing countries.

Talya Dahan Dunleavy

 Talya Dahan‐Dunleavy was the first daughter born in Kibbutz Reim in 1952. The Dahans moved to Mitzpe Ramon in 1957, where there were no modern amenities or comforts. She fell in love with the breathtaking scenery and surrounding nature. In 1963, her family moved to Beersheva but Talya has always wanted to go back. She has lived abroad now for 43 years. She lives in Florida and is studying sociology at university.

Elaine (Ilana) Walsh

 Elaine (Ilana) Walsh, nee Cohen, was born in 1944 in Leeds,   England. In 1966 she graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in modern languages. After working for the BBC World Service in London, she moved to Paris in early 1967 where she had a job translating. When the Six‐Day War started she volunteered, but due to a ‘balagan’ only got to Israel in November.  Her jobs in Israel have included English teacher, Social Worker and computer programmer.

Rona Harris 

 Rona Harris, nee Singer, was born in Canada in 1939 and studied at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She taught in kindergartens. Rona came to Israel in 1959 aboard the “S.S. Israel” as a member of the Student Zionist and Hillel Organization group and worked on a kibbutz catching chickens. After 1965, she worked as a hospital blood, gas and cardiology technician. In 1967, just after the Six‐Day War, she returned to Israel as a volunteer. Rona appraised art and antiques for 32 years. 

Ben Novis

 Ben Novis was born in Pretoria, South Africa. He attended Pretoria University Medical School and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London. He worked at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, and founded and served as Head of the Gastroenterology Unit at Meir Hospital, Kfar Saba. He worked at Tel Hashomer Hospital and was also Professor of Medicine at Tel Aviv University. Ben was President of the Israel Gastroenterological Society. He has volunteered with Hod Ve-Hadar Masorti Synagogue since its inception.

Dov Vogel

 Rabbi Dov Vogel was born in New York in 1948, and was an Assistant Rabbi/ Educational Director. He pursued a doctorate in Curriculum Development from Columbia University. Dov made aliyah in 1980. Dov taught students at the Alexander Muss High School, Israel, and was involved in setting up the TALI school in Hod Hasharon. From 2004‐2006 he was Rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, Sweden. He volunteers weekly as a medical clown at Meir Hospital.

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Burl Polon
Amazing heroes. Tell Phil Bloom I am impressed. Burl Polon Santa Cruz CA

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ESRAmagazine documents and illustrates the life of the English-speaking community in Israel. It keeps readers in touch with the community, with each other, and involves them in life in Israel. Cont...

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