Don't Give Up on Your History!

JFCS has a new Volunteer Historian who writes articles JFCS.  Mr. Harold Levy has numerous interesting stories which he is eager to share such as the YMHA, (Young Men’s Hebrew Association), bulletin story from the 1940’s and in this amazing tale, how he was reunited after a 60 year search with his cousin in Israel.

Don’t Give Up, By Harold Levy

My story should give hope to those who search for long lost family. What was left of my Mother’s family were able to escape Eastern Europe just before WWII. They settled in Haifa, Israel. The only meeting of any of the family was with a first cousin, Ziva. She came to visit us in 1950. After she left, we had no contact. She was 19 years old at that time.

For the last 39 years, I have tried in vain to connect any of those that might be left. I have tried the Israeli consulate, the newspaper in Haifa, along with searching the web for any possible help. NO LUCK! I was about to just stop trying. I was looking around my desk when I noticed a sign that I had hung on the wall. It reads “DON’T GIVE UP! REMEMBER MOSES WAS ONCE A BASKET CASE!”

I decided, as a last resort, to contact a gentleman in Atlanta who I had met on line. He had ties to the same area in Europe that my mother was from. I sent him an email and asked if he had any suggestions that I might try. They very next day I received an email from him with an email address of a man in Haifa who may help! I sent an email to him together with an attachment containing a copy of the flap from an envelope containing the name and address that was more than 30 years old. Would you believe the luck? The very next day I received an email with the very first line that read “You’re in luck!”

It stated that he had looked up the name and address on the attachment, and wonder of wonders, MY COUSIN ANSWERED THE PHONE! She is now 80 years old. I call the number and Ziva answered. We have spoken many times. Ziva has a sister, Aya, who is 70 years old. Aya has emailed me pictures of Ziva and my Grandmother. Can you imagine how excited I was to see my Grandmothers face for the very first time, and I am now 89 years old! The reason for my story is simple, DON’T STOP TRYING! It took me 61 years to find and contact my cousin.


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