Restoration of the Historic Beit Eshel Completes a Circle

With their generous involvement in the restoration of the historic Beit Eshel buildings in the KKL-JNF Beersheva River Park, Edward and Fran Sonshine are following in the footsteps of Abraham, KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler told the Canadian couple during a convivial dedication ceremony at the park on June 16th during their recent visit to Israel.

June 22, 2014 08:46
1 minute read.

Restoration of the Historic Beit Eshel-1. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)


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 Dedicated supporters of the KKL-JNF, the Sonshines were in Israel to commemorate the 60th year anniversary of the opening of Yad Vashem. Fran Sonshine is the National Chair of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem.  

The couple took time from their schedule to come and witness the restoration work which has been completed at Beit Eshel since they were last there eight years ago. 

These are the buildings where the first Jewish settlers defended the southern border from Egyptian attack during the war of Independence in 1948.

Special guests arriving for the ceremony were Menachem Freeman, who as a 17-year-old youth was one of the Palmach soldiers sent to protect the border settlement as the fledgling Jewish State fought for its independence, and his wife Meira, who served as a communication officer as a 16-year-old in another settlement. They conducted part of their romance during the turbulent days of the war. Their son Itai Freeman and granddaughter Gal Bilgoriai were also present at the dedication. Also present were Jessica Lawson Stein and Hannah Lora Taylor of the KKL-JNF Canadian Desk in Israel. 

Before the dedication ceremony, Freeman personally guided the Sonshines through the restored buildings, recounting his days and the events that took place there. 

                                         For further information, comments or permission please contact
Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Internet Department

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