web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



From Europe To Palestine To The U.S. – The Story Of A Man, His Family And Community

boo-leon-reich

Title: Travails and Conquests: The Life of Dr. Leon A. Reich
Author: Yaakov Kornreich
162 pages. Paperback. $11.95
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

It can be said that history consists of a collection of the individual stories of people whose lives made a lasting impact. The biography of Dr. Leon Reich is one such story. It spans three critical eras of modern Jewish history. Leon’s story begins during the years before World War II, and describes how Jewish families in Central Europe grappled with the life or death decision of whether to stay or flee in the face of the gathering Nazi storm.

Leon’s story continues as his family joined the struggling Jewish community in Palestine, and describes his unique contributions as a soldier and technician to the defense of the newborn State of Israel in its desperate fight for its survival.

Leon then goes to the United State, and becomes part of the post-war renaissance of the American Orthodox community. He and his wife join a group of dedicated lay leaders in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and Leon plays a pivotal role in the development of some of the leading Jewish educational institutions of our times.

As a child Leon and his parents voluntarily gave up their relatively comfortable situation in Poland a few years before the war to face the challenges and hardships of a new life in Palestine. The family arrived and started over with a small dairy farm on the outskirts of Tel Aviv where Leon grew up as a boy.

When he wasn’t in school Leon helped out with the milking and deliveries to the farm’s customers in Tel Aviv. Leon also volunteered for training with the Haganah youth, and was a member of the first unit to be called up for combat duty in November 1947.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs. Faced with a moral dilemma, he refused to obey his unit’s orders to go to the beachfront and open fire on the Altalena, an Irgun ship that was filled with Holocaust survivors and arms to defend the country against the Arab invaders.

Eventually, the Israel army recognized Leon’s technical skills and put him in charge of a special unit that modified, repaired and improved the aiming devices on the weapons and equipment used on the front lines. During this period, Leon demonstrated the creativity and imagination that was to mark his professional and communal leadership activities for the next 60 years.

After the war ended, the army wanted Leon to participate in the further development of Israel’s defense industries. But Leon did not want a career in the military. He refused to accept a commission as an officer, and demanded his army discharge so that he could pursue a civilian career in optometry. His goal was to go to the U.S. to enroll in a highly regarded optometry program at Columbia University in New York City. To satisfy the program’s entry requirements, Leon planned to take the required courses at a community college in California, where he would live and support himself with the help of family members living in the Los Angeles area.

Leon arrived at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport in New York City on September 9, 1950, the day before Yom Kippur. Waiting for him at the gate was his father’s cousin, Esther Richman, who invited Leon to spend Yom Kippur with her family at their home in Flatbush before continuing to California.

Richman was accompanied by her daughter, Rosalie, a Brooklyn college student who came along to the airport for the ride. She and Leon quickly developed a friendship. Leon’s invitation to stay for Yom Kippur was extended to Sukkot and beyond. He missed his first semester of college classes, but by the time Leon finally left for California, a lifelong bond had been formed with Rosalie. The two were married the next summer, and returned from California to live in the Richman home in Flatbush when Leon gained admission to the Columbia program.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “From Europe To Palestine To The U.S. – The Story Of A Man, His Family And Community”

  1. Amen.
    The so called Palestine is Jordan

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Moshe Kachlon (L) and Avigdor Liberman (R)
Liberman’s Secret Plan to be Crowned Prime Minister
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

South-Florida-logo

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Joel Mandel
boo-leon-reich

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

One of the most difficult moral aspects of organ transplantation is the fact that in many cases, the organ donor must be declared clinically dead before the life-saving surgical procedure can begin.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/from-europe-to-palestine-to-the-u-s-the-story-of-a-man-his-family-and-community/2014/08/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: