The Zionist-settlement enterprise was launched near the place where the Jordan River leaves the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret).
This series of four articles features the story of the first families who settled in the area and live there to this day. The photos are documented in the houses of the pioneers and in the colony's museum.
We would like to thank Mulik (Shmuel) Yizraeli, whose family was one of the founders and who treasures the days of the colony in his memories.
The Yizraeli family
David Rubin Yizraeli was born in 1886 in the city of Yekaterinoslav, on the banks of the Dnieper River, to a Jewish family related to Rabbi Kook and the Baal Shem Tov.
David was a Zionist activist from his youth, and in 1905 he headed a group of pioneers who immigrated to the Land of Israel. The group members arrived in Jaffa, continued to Haifa and took a train to Melahamia (Menahamia). There they were "adopted" by teachers Zvi Shaam and Hannah Baalul.
Hannah was the first female teacher in the Galilee, starting in 1903 when she taught in Kfar Tavor together with teacher Yossi Vitkin. In the barns of the Melahamia colony, a love affair began between David Rubin Azrieli and teacher Hannah Baalul.
David worked in Melahamia for two years. Because he was an outstanding worker, he was recruited by Manya Shochat to run the operations at the cooperative enterprise she founded in the colony of Sajera.
When David moved to Sajera, Hannah worked as a Hebrew teacher with Jewish children in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. She taught at a school established by her cousin for three years before returning to Israel.
In 1909, David received a farm in the Kinneret colony from Jewish Colonization Association (JCA). Hannah returned to Israel and the two were married. Hannah and David took part in the colony's public activities for many years. David served as chairman of the colony's committee and Hannah managed the local schools. They had four children – Yemina, Emanuel, Shulamit and Shmuel.
After defeating the Syrians in the Jordan Valley battle during the War of Independence, David discovered his hidden musical talent. He began composing musical creations, many of which were played on Israel Radio. David Yizraeli died in 1965, and his wife Hannah in 1982.
1. The Rubin family, David Yizraeli's family, in the city of Yekaterinoslav (Dnipropetrovsk). David himself is not seen in the photo. 1 – Israel, David's brother; 2 – brother Shmuel; 3 – sister Hodel; 4 – Hodel's son; 5 – David's mother, Malka of the Haneles family (related to the Baal Shem Tov); 6 – young sister Paulina (who later married Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and was a member of the politburo until foreign relations were estbalishedwith the State of Israel in 1949); 7 – brother Avaraham; 9 – David's uncle; 8 – uncle's wife
2. From the right: Hannah Baalul of the Anwi family (Yizraeli) and her sister Esther in Jaffa, 1903
3. Hannah Baalul and her friend (L) as teachers in the Hebrew school in Plovdiv, the second largest Bulgarian city, 1909.
4. At the Yizraeli home, Kinneret, 1923. 1 – Emanuel, 2 – David, 3 – Esther, Hannah's sister, 4 – Shmuel, 5 – Shlomit, 6 – Esther's son, 7 – Hannah, 8 – Yemina, the firstborn daughter
5. The children of the Kinneret colony in 1929: 1 – Amihai Halevy, 2 – Hannah Cohen, 3 – Shulamit Cohen, 4 – Emanuel Yizraeli, 5 – Yoav Halevy, 6 – Metania Avramson, 7 – Hezy Yatom, 8 – Yoram Kavshana, 9 – Eliezer Sheinker, 10 – Yemina Yizraeli, 11 – Nehama Hefetz, 12 – Avner Kavshana, 13 – Mordechai Rahamim
6. With teacher Yeshayahu Eshkol. Standing: Dina Koren, Shulamit Yizraeli, Pnina Sheinker, Lina Cohen. Sitting: Yehoshua Kavshana, Mulik. Yitzhak Koren. Linneret, 1935
7. A musician adapts David Yizraeli's works to an orchestration
The Kavshana family
Yitzhak Kavshana was born in the city of Polonsk in 1888. He studied in the "heder" (religious elementary school) with Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and the two founded the Ezra organization in the city with a number of friends.
Among the members of the organization was Shlomo Lavi, one of the founders of Kibbutz Ein Harod, and Shlomo Tzemach, the principal of the Kaduri Agricultural High Shool.
Yitzhak immigrated to Israel in 1905 and started working with his friends in Petah Tikva, where he founded the Poel Hatzair party. As a Polish national, he was called to serve in the Polish army and returned to Poland with his friend Shlomo Lavi. Upon completing their basic training, the two purchased fake passports and returned to Israel, where Yitzhak began planting the Herzl Forest in Ben Shemen and the Hulda Farm.
Hannah Soklaver was born in Poland in 1896. When she immigrated to Israel in 1914, she arrived in Yavne'el where her two relatives lived. The two were Yitzhak's sisters, who married Dov and Haim Yoffe. Hannah married Yitzhak and they were accepted to the Kinneret colony. Yitzhak was a public activist in the Galilee peasants' committee.
Hannah and Yitzhak Kavshana had five children: Yoram, Avner, Shuka, Sarik and Uzi. Hannah died in 1977 and Yitzhak in 1981 at his daughter's home in Nahalal.
8. In the photo: Yitzhak with his brothers and sister. From the right: Yitzhak, David, Miriam (Avraham Yaffe's mother), Sara, Rachel (the mother), Yaakov
9. Petah Tikva, 1908. From the right: Sara Kavshana and Miriam (Kavshana) Yoffe, Moshe Leib. Sitting: Yitzhak Kavshana
10. David Ben-Gurion visits his childhood friend Yitzhak Kavshana, the 1950s
11. Yitzhak Kavshana in 1972
The Shneidman family
The first Shneidman to arrive in the Land of Israel was R. Isaac, who purchased a piece of land in Shaem al-Julan. When tried to settle in the area in 1989, he was expelled by the Turks and received permanent housing in the Mishmar Hayarden colony by the JCA.
The same year, his son Yehuda arrived in Israel with his wife Malka and their seven children. The family moved to Yesod Hamaala, Rosh Pina, Sajera and Melahamia in search of work. A disaster took place when the grandfather drowned in the Jordan River.
When the Kinneret colony was established, the JCA offered the farm of Leibovich, who moved to Australia, to the son, Avigdor Shneidman. Avigdor married Elisheva Karon, whose family was among the founders of Metula. She died while giving birth to their child, and Avigdor later married Nehama, who arrived at the Migdal farm with a group of pioneers from Vilna.
12. Photo from 1898: 1 – Yehuda Shneidman, 2 – his wife Leah, and their children (Avigdor standing on the right)
13. Bezalel and Yehuda Shneidman in their backyard, 1933
The family members appearing in these articles and their friends are invited to add information through the talkback feature.
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