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Woman Gives Birth at 64


A woman on Sunday night broke an Israeli record, giving birth to a son in Tel Aviv's Tel HaShomer Hospital at the age of 64. Mom gave birth in her 30th week and the delivery was described as difficult. Both mother and son are recovering. Fertilization was done in a private clinic and the woman only came to the hospital for pre-natal care in the last trimester. The mother is requesting anonymity and does not wish to disclose any facts regarding the fertilization and/or the pregnancy.

Two More Rockets Strike as Sharon Visits Sderot

By & VOA News

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon paid a visit to Sderot Tuesday and pledged to prevent further Kassam rocket attacks on its residents. Ironically, Sharon was then promptly hustled toward shelter due to a renewed barrage of rockets falling on the town - which is within Israel's pre-1967 borders.

His tour was not announced in advance and the rockets fired during his visit did not land near him, but residents have sharply protested Sharon's plans to withdraw from Gaza. Residents say that the abandonment of Gaza is a move that will make such rocket attacks a regular occurrence not just in Sderot but also across Israel.

"We are determined to take broad action to ensure that what happened will not be repeated - not now, before we have moved out of the Gaza Strip, and not after we leave," Sharon told reporters in Sderot. He was referring to the 3-year-old boy and his 49-year-old grandfather who were killed on Monday when struck by a Kassam rocket fired into Sderot from Gaza. "We don't plan to ignore what happened here. The security services have begun taking actions whose aim is to prevent the firing of these missiles."

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz admitted, "We have a problem dealing with the firing of Kassam rockets". According to the Defense Minister, "The initial solution is to take over the areas from which the terrorists launch the rockets, as we have done. We will stay in the Beit Hanoun vicinity as long as is necessary."

Meanwhile, an Israeli man has been found shot dead in a truck near the West Bank city of Ramallah. A militant branch of Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, claimed responsibility. The group said the shooting was revenge for the killing by Israeli troops of senior Palestinian militants in the West Bank town of Nablus a several days ago.

Australian Holocaust Survivor, Dr Marius Loeffler, Searches for Birth Mom

By Israel Faxx Bews Service (Courtesy of

"I have very little to base my research. Time is progressing and soon might be to late, as everything will disappear in oblivion. I will describe you very likely scenario, which was created after two years of very painful mental search. This is very serious.

"I am now 74 but still working as a surgeon in private practice in Australia. As my age is advancing, finding my origins and my family and especially finding my mother becomes more and more important. I will describe you the following scenario The events happened in Warsaw, capital city of Poland.

"(In) 1929, a young Jewish girl, as a result of her first love, becomes pregnant. Her age is probably 15 or 16. Her parents, affluent Jewish industrialists are horrified and devastated. They already planned the marriage of their daughter with a boy from another rich Jewish Orthodox family. They could not afford to have an illegitimate grandchild. Everything is kept secret and confinement take place in Santa Sofia Obstetrical Hospital in Warsaw on 21 July 1930.

"Before confinement took place, the parents of the girl called Halina (Invented name) were looking for suitable family to adopt their grand child. As it happened Mrs. Kazimiera Loeffler and Mr. Jan Loeffler, both age 30, put their name for adoption in the same hospital. Halina's parents got in touch with the Loefflers, who themselves were most likely of Jewish descent and found them suitable as adoptive parents for their grandchild.

"Ian was a clerk in the Ministry of Defense and they lived in an apartment, which belonged to the army. Their address was ul. 29 Listopada next to the Royal Gardens called Lazienki. Adoption took place in a secret way so nobody would know anything about it. I was born in an unhappy situation being unable to be with my own family and to grow under the care of my own mother. At this age I could not object and I was not given a choice. My mother Halina was left with a broken heart, as she loved me already. Very tragic separation was resulting from narrow mindless of the society at that time.

"I was adopted but not abandoned completely. The presence of an invisible hand was felt throughout my childhood. Nanny was employed at time of adoption and she was looking very well after me. She really was my surrogate mother. I was generally dressed in the most expensive fashion designed children clothing. I had French lessons and a music teacher was coming home to give me piano lessons. I had all the toys, a pushbike and generally was better off than my peers from the playground.

"My seven-year-older sister. A natural child of my adoptive parents was getting very little in comparison with me. That resulted in a great degree of jealousy. I did not know that I am a Jew and I could not understand why peers called me a "Dirty Jew" and pushed me and sometimes beat me up. I was a victim of anti-Semitism all my life, which was rather incomprehensive to me as I did not have any Idea that I was Jewish.

"In 1940, a Jewish family rented an apartment next to ours on their way to Warsaw Ghetto. A young woman whom I remember because she was looking at me with love, spent a lot of time with my adoptive mother Kazimiera and I was playing with her son who was younger than me by two or three years. Today I know that he was my half brother. The address of the place was Warszawa-Zoliborz ul Krasinskiego 29. Tel number was 12 55 50. This was my mother who wanted to spend a few weeks with me and say goodbye before going to the Warsaw Ghetto.

"After a few weeks they moved to the Ghetto. They had a telephone in the Ghetto. I was able to talk to them for a period of time but after, the telephone went silent. That is about all that I know. Later on in life my adoptive father told me that my natural family went through gas chamber in Treblinka.

"My mother if she would be alive would probably be around 90. Could she be still alive? Could my half brother be alive? Maybe they were able to escape from the Ghetto. What about me? I know that there was a reason for the events to take place. I know that HaShem gave me a chance to survive the Holocaust. I now have joined the Jewish community and I am happy to finally be a Jew and be amongst my own people. It is a wonderful feeling.

An Interesting Genealogy Project

By Gary Mokotoff, Editor of

I just concluded a fascinating genealogy project that I would like to share with you. Some months ago, I was contacted by a man who has formed an organization called "Schlach Ami" ("Let my people go"--Exodus 5:1). The purpose of this organization is to help Christians who are halachically Jewish to return to Judaism.

According to Jewish law (halacha) a person is Jewish if it can be proven that the maternal ancestry demonstrates s/he is descended from a Jewish woman. Note I use the term "return to Judaism" rather than "convert" since Jewish law implies such persons have always been Jewish.

The specific case was a woman living in St. Louis whose ancestry had been Christian for four generations, but she offered proof that her great-great grandmother was Jewish. I was asked to join the project as a genealogist who would evaluate the evidence and determine if it was sufficient for a Beit Din (rabbinic court) to conclude the woman was halachically Jewish.

The evidence consisted of the marriage record of the great grandmother, which demonstrated she was married by an orthodox rabbi in Quincy, Ill. Additional evidence was that a maternal granddaughter of the woman was married by an orthodox rabbi in Troy, N.Y. There was also circumstantial evidence. For example, the father of one of her sons-in-law fought in the Civil War and was included in a book published in 1896 listing Jewish soldiers that fought in that conflict. As evidence that she was a descendant of this woman, we offered birth certificates, and, when they were not available, baptismal certificates.

All this evidence was evaluated by a Chabad rabbi, who passed on the data to a Beit Din in Los Angeles who concluded the woman was halachically Jewish. My report was then sent to the leading Beit Din in the country, the one in New York, who, just last week agreed this woman was Jewish. They found the evidence in the 25-page report (mostly documentation) so compelling they said the woman would not have to go to a mikvah (ritual bath) to return to Judaism. She was, indeed, Jewish.

The decision was made on the anniversary of the death of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Schneerson. Upon hearing the decision, the woman flew to New York with the founder of Schlach Ami to visit the Rebbe's grave. The decision was significant in that a Chabad Beit Din accepted secular records (birth certificates) and baptismal certificates as proof of kinship.

Schlach Ami now hopes to have an organized program to assist other persons wanting to return to Judaism. Others who contact them who are not halachically Jewish, for example, paternal or mixed Jewish ancestry, will be offered literature and advice about the significance of their Jewish heritage.

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