US Rep. presidential candidate Michele Bachmann 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)
Kibbutz Be’eri is trying to get in touch with one of its best-known former
volunteers, US Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), kibbutz
administrator Yuval Bar said on Wednesday.
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Bachmann, who is running for
the Republican presidential nomination, has mentioned more than once on the
campaign trail how much she enjoyed her summer at Kibbutz Be’eri, in the western
During a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in
2010, she recounted coming to Israel in the summer of 1974 and working on the
kibbutz “from 4 a.m. to noon. We were always accompanied by soldiers with
machine guns. While we were working, the soldiers were walking around
looking for land mines.
“I loved Israel from the moment I first landed,”
Bachmann said. “I was delighted to go back as a member of Congress and see all
the changes. To see how it has developed – it is nothing short of a miracle, to
see a rose bloom in the desert. I have a tremendous love for Israel and great
admiration for the Israeli people.”
Bar, the kibbutz’s accountant,
published a series of articles in the kibbutz’s daily newsletter and Facebook
page this summer, titled “Michele Bachmann – the real story.”
sure about soldiers searching for mines,” Bar wrote, “but now we can all see
that there is a former volunteer from Be’eri that hopes to be the leader of the
The kibbutz administrator quoted a newsletter from June 27,
1974, which explained that 23 American tourists arrived at Be’eri for a two-week
stay. The group consisted of non-Jewish students aged 17-19 from
Bar called on kibbutz residents to let him know if they
remember the Republican candidate. Artist Ziva Yellin brought Bar a note that
Bachmann, then Michele Amble, wrote nearly 40 years ago.
especially for Ziva, who has such a pretty smile,” Bachmann wrote. “Thank you so
much for your friendship. I will remember you and think about you
“I don’t remember too many details, because I was only 12 years
old then,” Yellin explained. “I know there was a group of girls who would spend
time with us in the pool. I remember spreading our towels on the grass next to
them for a few afternoons in a row.
“The girls in the group were very
pretty, and Michele stood out,” Yellin said, explaining that Bachmann was “very
curious and asked many questions.”
After reading Bar’s articles, Yellin
found a scrapbook from 1974 with letters from seven volunteers.
a souvenir, proving that she really did volunteer on our kibbutz.” Bar said he
does not remember Bachmann or the group, but enjoyed researching and writing
“I have been trying to get in touch with her, but it isn’t
easy,” he stated. “I haven’t given up yet, though.”