A nurse in Israel

Raquela Prywes’s life mirrors the establishment of Israel.

August 29, 2018 19:55
4 minute read.
YOUNG HOLOCAUST survivors arrive at the Atlit detainee camp, 1945.

YOUNG HOLOCAUST survivors arrive at the Atlit detainee camp, 1945.. (photo credit: ZOLTAN KLUGER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)


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At the corner of my street in Jerusalem’s Beit Hakerem neighborhood, there is a little pocket park. It has two benches, which are often occupied by the elderly or Filipino caregivers, having a break and meeting their compatriots. For anyone who doesn’t have her own garden, or a balcony with a view, it is a haven in a bustling suburb. It is always well tended, weeded, watered and pruned, and there is always a bush or a shrub in bloom.

There is a plaque in the garden that simply announces in Hebrew: “In memory of Raquela Prywes, a nurse in Israel.” I have always been intrigued by this unknown lady, and only recently found out her story. She was born in 1924 in Palestine, as it was called then, and her family had lived here for nine centuries. She grew up in Jerusalem in a close family that supported her in every way until her death in 1985 at the age of 61. She became a nurse and a midwife at the age of 18.


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