“Surika” Braverman (1919-2013): May her memory forever be blessed.

UPDATES 7 pm Israel time Monday:

For all the talk about how President Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel is going to focus on Iran and Syria and not the Palestinians, virtually all that is being leaked out by “senior Israeli and American officials” are steps that the Israel and the United States are going to take to try to get the PLO back to so-called “negotiating” table.

Unfreezing money held by the U.S. and partially freezing the construction of homes, schools, and health clinics in Jewish communities appear to be high on the list. In regard to this latter point, some Israeli officials have expressed the absurd hope that such a partial freeze might stop the PLO from petitioning against Jewish construction at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

This morning, however, the government gave final approval to the construction of 90 more residential units in Beth El–part of the 300 units Netanyahu promised when the Ulpana neighborhood in the same community was forcibly evacuated.


"Surika" in a picture made in the early 1940s (picture source: JPost)

An extraordinary heroine of Israel died yesterday.

The following announcement was issued by the United Kibbutz Movement:

“The kibbutz movement as a whole mourns the passing today of Sarah ‘Surika’ Braverman, one of the heroines of the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish community in British Mandatory Palestine. The important events in Braverman’s life – her coming to live in the Land of Israel within the context of the Hashomer Hatzair Zionist youth movement [in Romania], her settling in the Land of Israel, her helping to found a prosperous kibbutz, her decision to become a soldier in the war against Nazi Germany, her joining the Palmach, and her active involvement in the founding of the IDF’s Women’s Corps – all these events are a living testimony and are a shining example of what she and many other members of her generation did to bring about the establishment of a Jewish state, the State of Israel. May her memory be forever blessed.”

Of course, the above announcement barely scratches the surface. 

Surika, “the first lady of the IDF”, is best known for being one of only three women who parachuted into Hungary and Slovakia in 1943 in an attempt to save Jews before they could be murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.

Braverman is the woman in the bottom right of the picture.

Her two fellow female parachutists, Hanna Szenes and Haviva Reich, were both eventually captured and killed–and have long been memorialized as Zionist heroines. Braverman fought with a band of partisans for almost a year before managing to escape and make it back to “Palestine.”


Braverman speaking a memorial service for Haviva Reich several years ago.

Once back in “Palestine”–and of course later “Israel”, all that Braverman did was to help found Kibbutz Shamir on a barren rocky piece of land on the Syrian border, help establish the IDF Women’s Corps, and become an outspoken advocate for women’s rights.  Throughout her life she served Kibbutz Shamir in every capacity–even serving as Kibbutz secretary well into her 90s.

Her life was a remarkable one of action–of never hesitating to fight for what she believed. 

Sarah “Surika” Braverman was buried four hours ago at her beloved Kibbutz Shamir. 


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This entry was posted in News and tagged beth el, british mandatory palestine, buried, collaborators, evacuated, germany, hanna szenes, hashomer hatzair, haviva reich, health, homes, Hungary, idf women's corps, international criminal court, iran, jewish construction, kibbutz shamir, land of israel, leaked, may her memory be blessed, nazi, negotiating table, Netanyahu, palestine, Palestinian, parachute, parachutists, plo, President obama, Romania, sarah braverman, save jews, schools, senior israeli, Slovakia, surika, Syria, syrian border, the hague, ulpana, unfreezing, united kibbutz movement, upcoming visit, yishuv, Zionist, zionist youth movement. Bookmark the permalink.

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