(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bless you, Bennie!
Thank you for your article, “Daddy Ochberg” (March 25). Please allow me to correct a few inaccuracies in the article and to honor Bennie Penzik, the driving force behind remembering Isaac Ochberg.
• There were equal bequests to the JNF and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Ochberg’s will.
• The venture and later visits were financed by the Jewish community as a whole, not only the Cape Jewish Orphanage. Ochberg was the representative of and financed by the South African Jewish Community via the Jewish War Victims Fund.
• While permission was given to bring out 200 Ukrainian War and Pogrom Orphans to South Africa, at the last moment 37 children ran away from the temporary shelter in Warsaw and, in fact, a total of 177 children were brought out, including 44 from the three Pinsker Orphanages that were established and run by Alter Bobrow and his comrades.
• The book titled Ochberg Orphans and the Horrors from Whence they Came by David Solly Sandler was compiled from 2008 to 2011 and its publication preceded the 2011 “Ochberg experience in Israel” and was in fact on sale at the event. Parts of the book had been printed and distributed in 2009 and 2010.
It was during the compilation of the Ochberg Orphans book that the information came to light that that there had been a stone memorial to Isaac Ochberg at the Elyakim Junction that had been removed and put into storage. Bennie Penzik made it his mission to correct this wrong and in protracted negotiations with the JNF twisted their arm to properly recognize Isaac Ochberg and to establish the Isaac Memorial Heritage Park, next to Kibbutz Ein Hashofet. If it was not for Bennie there would be no Ochberg Memorial Park in Israel, no 2011 ceremony in Israel, no Ochberg Memorial Committee, no article in The Jerusalem Report and no celebration about this great man.
Bless you, Bennie!
David Solly Sandler
Perth, Western Australia
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