My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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TEL AVIV, Israel—Last Saturday afternoon we went to the home of Mr. Moshe Kol in Jerusalem primarily to meet with a number of people interested in education and all phases of health work in the field of the youth aliyah. It was a most satisfactory meeting and one that gave both Mrs. Lash and myself a much clearer understanding of the problems of the newly arriving children.

Some of these problems we have known in the past in America when our immigration was heavy. As we all know, children adjust rather quickly to new surroundings and become more or less easily absorbed in the life and customs of their new country. Many parents, however, cling to their old customs and thus there is a rift between two generations. They are trying hard to meet all such problems here, but it is no simple matter.

Last Saturday night we dined with members and executives of the Jewish Agency. It was a very pleasant dinner but it carried us into the late evening. With apologies I left just as soon as we had finished eating because we were driving back to Tel Aviv and planning an early morning start on another busy day.

The drive back amused us because the road from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv runs along the country's border for some distance, and one frequently hears of attacks being made on individuals and on cars. So we were accompanied by a Jeep and border patrol, which made sure that no one would kidnap us. It seemed amusing to us but it was dead earnest to our young foreign office guide, a Mr. Gideon Tadmor, who is attached to the Division of United States Affairs and who felt himself responsible for us. He told us he had been a soldier and that he took no chances.

On Sunday morning we managed to leave a little after eight o'clock to visit the Youth Aliyah Training Institution of Pardessiya. This center is more for the teenaged youngsters than for the younger ones, and some of these teenagers, before coming to Israel, had not had an opportunity to attend school at all.

Many others had attended primary schools, but their parents now could not afford to send them to high schools, for which they would have to pay. Many parents felt the younger people were needed at home to help support their families. However, the parents are willing to allow the children to attend such a training center as the one at Pardessiya, where they learn a trade and are paid during their training. These youngsters earn a pound a day for the work that they do. Every boy works under the supervision of an older workman, so that he soon is ready to do a competent job on his own.

We visited the homes where most of these youngsters live, most of which are in the original settlement, and, of course, these homes are pretty crude and crowded. But many of the families have become attached to the boys, and the boys hate to leave them even when better homes are provided. Little by little, however, all the families are being moved to better houses.

This training center is run in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and is operated under its supervision.

E.R.

(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

TMs, AERP, FDRL