When Raya Jaglom died recently at the age of 98, the Jewish world lost a visionary leader, a devoted Zionist and a role model who made multitasking a household word.
Since 1941, when she first joined WIZO, until her final day on August 4, 2017, she embodied the principle of being available wherever and whenever she was needed.
Born in Bessarabia, Raya Horesh immigrated to Eretz Yisrael in 1939 where she studied at Hebrew University. A year later, the attractive Rumanian young woman was caught up in a whirlwind romance with Joseph Jaglom, an industrialist from the Ukraine. A year later, the two were married and made their home in Israel. This made it attractive for her family, her parents and grandmother, to join her.
Raya Jaglom first became active in WIZO, the Women International Zionist Organization in 1941, and devoted her life to it. She visited almost every country in the world on its behalf, including the U.S.S.R. at the invitation of the Soviet Women’s Committee in Moscow. In February 1971, she headed the WIZO delegation to the World Conference on Soviet Jewry held in Brussels.
In 1963, she was elected chairman of the World WIZO Executive. In 1970, she was elected president, and served in that capacity for 26 years, and subsequently as honorary president.
A pro at multitasking, she also held many other public offices. She was a member of the Board of Governors of Hebrew University in Jerusalem; at the same time, she was an active participant on the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University. As if these activities were not enough, she also served on the Executive of the Zionist Organization.
She represented WIZO as the Executive of the Jewish Agency while being a member on the board of the organization. What else?
She was a member of the international councils of two of Israel’s museums: the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum in Tel Aviv!
During her presidency, WIZO lent its support to the weaker groups in society, such as children and the elderly. She and her husband established a fund for students at the Hebrew and Tel Aviv universities, a club for Israel Philharmonic musicians, and a synagogue at WIZO headquarters in Tel Aviv.
The only time in her life that Raya suspended her organizational leadership activities was in 1947-48. For eighteen months, she focused on a single task: she enlisted in the Haganah, and fought for the establishment of the Jewish State.