06 November 2007

Israel: Radio show connects people

Batya Unterschatz is a living legend for attempting to reconnect people during her years at the Jewish Agency's Search Bureau for Missing Relatives. Today, a daily radio program (Hebrew only) with Yaron Enosh attempts to fill the gap, announcing, at most, only seven searches on each show.

A Jerusalem Post story details Enosh's work as well as a recent reconnection as Italian-born Nobel Prize laureate Mario Capecchi discovered he might have a sibling in Austria, mentions the 19th World Conference of Child Holocaust Survivors underway in Jerusalem and the broadcaster's plans for a non-profit foundation and search for volunteers to assist.

According to the article, he is in touch with genealogical associations and search bureaus worldwide - Jewish and not - and "aims to set up a central voluntary search bureau in Israel using all the archive material of the Jewish Agency."

Jewish genealogy has become something of an obsession among Jews who lost relatives in the Holocaust or who do not know whether their relatives survived. Thanks to an Israel-based radio program, however, their chances of obtaining that precious information have greatly improved.

Yaron Enosh conducts a daily program called Hamador L'hipus Krovim (Searching for Dear Ones) on Israel Radio at 16:50 in which listeners seek to find data about missing relatives or about relatives or friends with whom they have lost contact. He has been inundated with so many requests that he is setting up a nonprofit organization dedicated to tracing Jewish individuals and families.

The story details the Capecchi family incident as well.

Marlene Ramberg Bonelli, 68, was taken in by an Italian family in the early years of the war when her mother was deported to Dachau in 1941. Her elder brother, Capecchi, was sent to another family, but the money his mother had provided for his upkeep ran out and the family turned him out to the street. He wandered homeless for nearly four years, sometimes living briefly in orphanages.

After the war, his mother returned and found him after an intensive search. She never reclaimed her daughter, and according to reports Capecchi said his mother never told him he had a sister.

Read more here.

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