Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund expressed its gratitude this week to the 106-year-old man who helped save young Jews from Iran.
Bahruz Israeli, born in 1915, was a Zionist activist who risked his life to send Jewish youths from Iran to Israel.
Israeli is among the oldest people living in Israel. Born in the Iranian city of Toysarkan, he lived between two world wars.
In honor of his 107th birthday, set to take place next month, KKL-JNF sent him a certificate of appreciation for his many years of activity for the Jewish community in the Land of Israel.
“Bahruz was a very enthusiastic Zionist activist and worked with the Jewish Agency and the Hechalutz movement to bring Jewish refugees — mainly children and young adults — from Iran to Israel,” KKL-JNF explained.
“He sent them with various and bizarre tricks while risking his life due to a total ban by the Iranian Shah against sending young people out of the country.”
As a teacher at the Jewish school in the city, Bahruz also taught adults Hebrew and prepared them for immigration to Eretz Israel as well.
In 1952, Bahruz, together with members of the Jewish community in Iran, donated a sum of money to the JNF.
The centenarian was presented with the certificate of appreciation for this reason and for his Zionist work over the years.
Bahruz currently lives in Be’er Sheva with his large family which today includes six children, 16 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
“Joy and good thoughts without worries prolong human life,” he said when explaining his longevity. “Bad things, suffering and worries shorten it.”