I came to Israel together with a group called Hakovesh. We arrived in Petach Tikva during the very hot summer days. These were very difficult times. There was much unemployment, and most of the agricultural work was done at that time by the Arabs, and owners of orange groves in the area traditionally gave all the jobs to Arabs who were experienced and worked for modest compensations. Since we wanted to get those jobs, we had to work very hard to compete with the Arabs. We had to acclimate ourselves to jobs that were not familiar to us in Poland, in a very hot climate that we were not used to, working many hours for very small rewards.
Every Saturday we would walk to Tel Aviv. There was no public transportation yet. We walked through the sand; there was not even one road. Not only that, but we couldn't even hire a horse and carriage to take us because we couldn't pay for the trip. So, this way we walked in the sand, barefoot, with our clothes tattered, and hungry.
Ephraim, who came with his family, was able to purchase a home in the community of Trumpeldor, which is now the main thoroughfare in Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Street. He worked in the field of music. The house of Ephraim Kramer became like an island of Kurenets in the midst of Tel Aviv. Every Kurenetser who arrived in Tel Aviv would come to him, and he would receive us with extreme warmth. Since we were all new to Israel and everything was so foreign to us, Eprhaim Leib's house where everyone was invited to sleep and to eat was a haven to us. The house was always filled with guests. It seemed like every day there were new arrivals from Kurenets, and everyone would gather at Ephraim's house.
There were times when the new immigrants were not able to find shelter when they first arrived, and they would stay with him for many days. I will never forget our regular visits, every Purim we would come to Tel Aviv and we would feel like a big happy family when we walked together through the streets of Tel Aviv.
Some weeks after Ephraim Leib arrived in Israel he got a good job in Tel Aviv and was able to support himself. Dizengoff, the mayor of Tel Aviv, liked Ephraim very much, and wanted to give him a very respectable job in his cabinet. Ephraim refused to accept the appointment, saying that all the "respectable appointments" he wanted to leave behind him in the Diaspora of Poland. Here he came to Israel to live the life of a hard-working pioneer.
Amongst the family members who came with him was his aunt Nechama Dina, who was like a mother to all of us. She seemed to have unlimited energy. She always prepared our favorite foods for us. She was a pious woman, and in all her actions was dedicated to the youths from Kurenets.
In 1934, I left the area and transferred to Afula, and my visits with the rest of the Kurenetsers became limited because the distance was too great. But still, once in a while I would visit the Kramers. At some point, Ephraim moved to Ramat Ha'Sharon, where he established a most impressive agricultural farm. At that time, Ramat Ha'Sharon was truly an out of the way place. His house stood alone between Ramat Ha'Sharon and Hertzlia. His economic situation was very good and he seemed very happy
One day, I opened the newspaper and I started shaking. I read an
announcement for the memorial of Ephraim Ben David Kramer in the cemetery in
Hertzlia. I immediately went to the funeral and stood in shock by his grave. My
heart filled with pain when I saw his mother Sarah Hinda. You could hardly
recognize her. It seemed as if old age overtook her because of all her pain.
This small Kurenets Island was overcome by waves of grief
|Hachalutz in Lebodove|
and his wife
The Soviet authorities erected another memorial. It is for the "Soviet
citizen" who were killed on Simchat Torah of 1941 (it does not say that
all 54 of them were Jewish). My fathers' brother; Asher as well as my
grandparents; Yehoshua ben Zalman Noach and my grandmother Rivka perished on
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