Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!


Inspired by word of the day on “landloper”

I suppose I could call myself a ‘land-loper’.

During the years of World War II, I loped from place to place because the Luftwaffe bombers made it impossible for us to stay in London.

So, I loped to Lancing in Sussex with my mother, because my father who was employed by the army, was posted there.

He moved on and I loped to Kent to stay with friends.  Kent was bombed so I loped back to London.

Then, the Blitz became very heavy indeed, thousands of bombs fell on London and I loped to Devon. After Bristol, which was very close to Paignton in Devon where I was boarded, was bombed, I loped with my mother to Dorchester in Dorset. There to join my father who had been moved again.

From Dorset, the family loped back to Edgware, in Middlesex on the outskirts of London.

At the age of 18, I loped to Israel, chasing after my boyfriend Leon, who had volunteered for MAHAL at the time of The War of Independence. He had loped from his comfort zone in Hampstead, London to Paris. From there to Marseilles, until he finally arrived in the fledgling Jewish State.

Together we loped to England and married. Then, he loped to Holland to oversee the building of a deep-sea trawler, which was to be used to harvest big fish like tuna, to offset the famine in Israel.

We could have eloped to marry, but we needed to raise money, the wedding gifts we received in London would contribute to the building of the boat.

Which in the event did not work out, for political reasons. There were two boats commissioned one was destined for a kibbutz. However, there was not sufficient foreign currency to pay for both. Of our group of private citizens who had mostly served in the Navy, one or more had been with ETZEL, we lost out.

Due to these extenuating circumstances and the fact that I had been desperately ill, we were forced to lope back to London, where we started life anew. The opportunity of a job, caused us to lope to Manchester. From there, we loped back to London, had two kids and loped off to Israel again.

From a moshav on the sea, due to a deep financial crisis, we again loped back to London.

Eventually, loping ended when we settled and stayed for thirty years in Netanya on sea.

Finally, the last lope was to Tel Aviv, to live near our family. Then the loping stopped with the decease of my beloved Leon, after almost sixty years of marriage and a lot of loping!

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.
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