Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Harmonica Harold… One More Time?

It is not so easy to describe a weekend of music and harmony with Harold Jacobs.
It’s not just about a series of selected musicians, solo and in groups. Not only about the entertainment, but also the harmony between all those concerned, as the saying goes “joi de vivre”.

The choice of Neve Shalom(Valley of Peace) as the setting, also adds to the atmosphere. Although we did not exactly “hob nob” with the residents who live there, the place is unique. I suppose I could say that I had the privilege to know one of the founders of the Valley of Peace. His name was Wellesley Aaron and towards the end of his life he married my close friend Coral, who became responsible for PR at Neve Shalom. It was her daughter Penny who was at 14 years of age was the first nanny of my sabre son Micah!

Wellesley was also the grandfather of the inimitable David Broza, one of Israel’s outstanding musicians. His parents were also a part of our social crowd in those far off days. There are not so many events. where those of my generation of what we call Anglo-Israelis who have been in Israel for many years, can get together. Nor would most of us, blessed with Sabra sons and daughters, grandchildren and in my case great grandchildren, seek them out.

However I could say in our case “old soldiers never die”. Harold has given us years of fun and great pleasure. His organizing skills, coupled with the choice of entertainers is to perfection. Of course at such a gathering there’s sentiment too. Not only in remembering the past but also those performers, who sadly are no longer with us. Memories linger on. This year they were exceptional. Some who were young and innovative and brought us through their music, to former times.

There were also senior citizens who’s voices were less musical but truly emotional and they sang from the heart. Even ” Old country” songs and excerpts from musicals of the past. We truly identified. So after so many years of these heartwarming events, I can only say thanks to Harold and Debbie and all the team who painstakingly year after year, have given us so much pleasure. You have given us something so special, there are no more words to describe. It’s as well that I am using the computer, otherwise there would be tear drops melting ink!
Todah Raba from the heart and I know that I do not speak only for myself. God Bless you and your family. Keep playing and invite us. Shalom and Lehitraot!

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.