Rogg and Ben Gurion in 1971

Better late than never: Making aliyah at 70

It was 42 years ago that David Ben Gurion asked British Geoffrey Rogg to make aliyah. Now as an 'Old Man' he's finally complying with the request

Geoffrey Rogg, 70, is a classic example of a British man. He considers things carefully before taking action; he doesn't just shoot from the hip. An example of this typical British attitude is easy to find. Forty-two years ago David Ben Gurion asked him to make aliyah – now he finally decided to answer in the affirmative.


In July 1969, Rogg, then 28, organized a major fundraising event in London for the Negev Foundation to which Ben Gurion was invited. It was the former prime minister's last trip abroad; he passed away four years later.



During the visit, Ben Gurion befriended Rogg and before returning to Israel invited the Brit to visit him at his hut in Sde Boker.


In 1971, Rogg accepted the invitation and was received by the former prime minister in his library where the two chatted. At the end of the meeting Ben Gurion said: "Young man, all this is well and good but what really interests me is when will you make aliyah to Israel?"


Rogg says that since that day, not a day has gone by that he hasn't thought of making aliyah, but unfortunately it was never made possible. In 1981 he met his wife Tzipora, a UN employee in New York and the two were married. He immigrated to New York where she has been working at the UN headquarters for the past 27 years.


'Finally here'

Now, with only a "slight" delay, the two have decided to make aliyah. They will be arriving in Israel on August 16 on a special Nefesh B'Nefesh olim flight.


Vice Chairman of Nefesh B'Nefesh Erez Halfon who has brought over 27,000 olim from North America to Israel said: "Ben Gurion's call to make aliyah is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. Geoffrey is proving that it is never too late to fulfill your aliyah dream."


Rogg knows exactly what he's going to do first when he lands in Israel. He says he intends to go to Sde Boker and visit Ben Gurion's gravesite where he plans on saying "Dear Mr. Ben Gurion, though it took me a while, I'm happy and proud to say I'm finally here with my wife forever".



פרסום ראשון: 06.13.11, 08:37
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