web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Gloria Schreiber: Working Below The Radar


Gloria and Dr. Aharon Davidi, founder and leader of Sar-El.

Gloria and Dr. Aharon Davidi, founder and leader of Sar-El.

As the members of the I.D.F. lined up for the daily flag raising ceremony held on the Tel Hashomer Army Base outside of Tel Aviv, Gloria Schreiber approached the flagpole with a mixture of pride and awe. Standing at attention, dressed in fatigues, she grasped the rope, pulled gently and watched the white and blue flag slowly ascend.

She has watched the sun rise over the Gobi desert in Mongolia and has seen it set in the jungles of Nairobi, Kenya. She has climbed the Great Wall of China and journeyed from Antarctica to Australia, Hawaii to Nepal. But none of the extraordinary sights and sounds she has experienced during her 80-plus years can compete with the thrill of raising the flag of Israel as a volunteer for Sar-El.

Sar-El is the Hebrew acronym for Sheirut Le’Yisrael, meaning “Service to Israel.”

Gloria and Dr. Aharon Davidi, founder and leader of Sar-El.

Dr. Aharon Davidi, the former head of the IDF Paratroopers and Infantry Corps is the visionary who founded Sar-El almost 30 years ago during the outbreak of the 1982 Galilee War. He had been directing the Golan Heights community and cultural activities when the majority of able-bodied men were called up for army reserve duty.

Fearing that the settlements would lose their entire agricultural crop due to the severe manpower shortage Dr. Davidi sent a recruitment team to the United States. The 650 volunteers who answered the call to work in the fields were the forerunners of Sar-El, a non-profit, non-political organization which has attracted over 100,000 volunteers from over 30 countries world-wide, volunteers like Gloria Schreiber.

Her first tour of duty took place in 1986 when she accompanied her husband, Lee, a WW II veteran, to a base outside of Beersheva. Although she shared his love of Israel and travel, Gloria confesses she was “scared to death.” But the experience was so life affirming she has returned five more times, the most recent in 2009 when she provided logistical support for the IDF, packing medical supplies for soldiers.

For three memorable weeks she lived on the base, ate in the mess hall and got to know and appreciate Israel and its people on a deeply personal level. “Jews and non-Jews join Sar-El eager to offer help and show their support for Israel,” Gloria points out. “After my husband passed away I returned several times on my own and made friends with other volunteers who have become close friends for life.”

It was during a recent trip that she experienced what she describes as the ultimate example of Jewish geography. Gloria was working alongside a volunteer from Florida who casually asked where she was from. “I live on Long Island but my family is from Mahanoy, a small town in Pennsylvania that nobody ever heard of.”

In one of those mystical twists of fate that seem Heavenly ordained, her fellow volunteer responded that not only had he heard of the town but he knew exactly where it was located because his mother grew up there. Further discussions revealed that his mother and Gloria’s mother, who passed away last year at age 105, “were best friends a hundred years ago,” Gloria marvels.

Gloria and Sar-El volunteers packing supplies.

She viewed this as more than just a peculiar coincidence when you consider that there were only 35 Jewish families, out of a population of about 14,000, in this sleepy little mining town located in the heart of south central Pennsylvania’s coal country.

How big is Mahanoy? “When the front of the greyhound bus got out of town, the back of the bus got in,” Gloria jokes.

Her maternal grandparents, Esther and William Fried, originally from Grudna, Poland, settled in Mahanoy in 1905 where their relatives had already established a business. They joined the other Jewish shopkeepers along Main Street and opened Sydell’s dress shop catering to women and children.

“My grandparents were in business for 50 years and grandmother continued to run the store even after my grandfather passed away.” Gloria admired and adored her remarkable grandmother whose many skills included the ability to daven.

“They kept kosher and Shabbos and even went to the mikvah which was over a hundred miles away. As you can imagine it wasn’t easy to keep all those mitzvos a hundred years ago.” Gloria is convinced that because they were steadfast in their observance they merited having great-great-grandchildren who are Torah observant.

How did her parents meet? Gloria delights in sharing the scenario of their fateful encounter. Ahron Weinberg, an enterprising watch salesman from New York, was en route to a more profitable cosmopolitan city when he decided to get off the train when it pulled into Mahanoy to see if he could drum up “some parnassa.” His first stop, Rubin’s Jewelry store. Ahron sold Rubin some watches and Rubin sold him a ticket to the annual B’nai Brith Dance that attracted young singles from surrounding townships. Since the next train out of Mahanoy wasn’t scheduled to arrive until the next day, Ahron decided to spend the evening at the dance where he ultimately met his bashert, Gloria’s mother, Gittel.

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.

No Responses to “Gloria Schreiber: Working Below The Radar”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.
Sleepless in Rishon Lezion, IDF Attacks in Gaza Continue
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Helen Zegerman Schwimmer
Ahuvah Gray

“When you are inexperienced and new to Yiddishkeit you figure, what do I have to lose? I think it’s called chutzpah!” With the honesty and good natured candor that have made her a much sought after lecturer across the Jewish spectrum, African-American convert Ahuvah Gray, recounts the remarkable story of her personal encounter with Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, z”tl.

Schwimmer-100512-Ocean-Pkwy

Picture it, a busy Sunday afternoon with traffic moving briskly along Ocean Parkway, a major Brooklyn thoroughfare linking the brownstones of Park Slope in the north with the beaches and amusement parks of Coney Island in the south. Suddenly everything comes to a halt.

As the members of the I.D.F. lined up for the daily flag raising ceremony held on the Tel Hashomer Army Base outside of Tel Aviv, Gloria Schreiber approached the flagpole with a mixture of pride and awe. Standing at attention, dressed in fatigues, she grasped the rope, pulled gently and watched the white and blue flag slowly ascend.

Levana Kirschenbaum, restaurateur, master chef, cooking teacher and author, has just published the ultimate cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple. This is her magnum opus, a book that takes kosher cooking to a whole new level; with everything we ever needed to know about preparing healthy cuisine from soup to nuts.

“What’s new?”

It was a casual question, posed to me by Irene Klass when we met at a Jewish women’s lecture during the fall of 1994.

When seven year-old Ariel tearfully ran into the kitchen complaining of pain it was his younger brother Shalom who came to the rescue. “Should I get you something to learn so you will feel better?” asked the six year old?

The idyllic countryside of Sobibor bears no resemblance to the large, efficient extermination camp once located in that remote corner of eastern Poland. Among the 250,000 Jews murdered during its 18 months of operation were the members of my mother’s family. I didn’t learn the details of their deaths until I was an adult, but I understood at a very young age that I had no grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins because someone called Hitler had killed them.

It’s a story that’s familiar to every student of American history. In 1620, the Pilgrims fled England aboard the Mayflower and founded the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, where they could freely practice their religion. A little known, but equally significant, historical event took place just a few years later in 1658, when another group seeking a haven from religious persecution sailed into Newport Harbor in Rhode Island and founded Congregation Jeshuat Israel.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/gloria-schreiber-working-below-the-radar/2011/12/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: