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April 17, 2015

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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 17, 2015 mm survivor sees to past By Hillel Kuttler ers in the late summer of 1946 at a detention camp in The Seeking Kin column Cyprus. British Mandatory aims to help reunite long-lost authorities had turned back relatives and friends, the Henrietta Szold, a boat TEL AVIV (JTA)--A few on which they and other Ho- blocks from Sylvia Selvas' locaust survivors had sailed home here near the Mediter- from Sounion, Greece, toward ranean Sea is the apartment pre-state Israel. where she last saw her friend Selvas, a Salonika native Sarah Haim. whose maiden name was That was 59 years ago, Tabokh, recalled that the when Haim stopped by to tell British transferred them in Selvas that she was moving February 1947fromCyprusto to the United States. Selvas Atlit, near Haifa, where they recently welcomed a visitor were detained for three more to her second-floor residence months before being released on Yirmiyahu Street in the to the JewishAgency's care in hope of finding her friend. Kiryat Haim. Two weeks after the inter- Haim settled at Kibbutz view, "Seeking Kin" learned HaGoshrim, in the Upper that Haim had died at 81 in Galilee. Selvas was picked up 2009 after suffering from by relatives living in Tel Aviv, Alzheimer's disease. But settled in the city and in1949 now Haim's son, previously met and married Yom Tov, a unaware of the friendship, said cobbler who also hailed from he looks forward to speaking Greece. About then, the kib- with Selvas. butz sent Haim to Tel Aviv for Selvas and Haim, both a course on becoming a child- Greek Jews, met as teenag- care provider. During the Samantha (Sami) Ku- perberg, daughter of Justin and Nicole Kuperberg of Heathrow, will be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah on Saturday, April 25, at Congregation Beth Am in Longwood. Sami is in the seventh grade at Lake Mary Prepa- ratory School where she is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. Her hobbies and inter- ests include art, graphic design, baking, crafts, dancing, spending time with friends and many animals, travel, and running. Sharing in the family's simcha will be Sami's sister, Taylor; grandparents, Martin and Maureen Kuperberg; great aunt, Susan Nathan; great aunt and great uncle, Joyce and Jack Rubenstein; and cousins, Marcus and Amanda Rubenstein, and Robert Stephens. months-long program, she stayed two nights a week with the Selvases at 302 HaYarkon St sleeping on their pullout sofa and returning to Ha- Goshrim the next day. In July 1956, shortly after Selvas gave birth to her daugh- ter Aviva--her first child was Moshe--Haim visited for the last time. She brought a baby gift and some big news: She was moving to Los Angeles. Haim's sister and mother, living in the family's native Athens, would join her there. Selvas received a letter from Haim after the move, even saving the envelope showing the address. But the letter and envelope have gone missing just when Selvas, 86, wanted to find her old friend. Selvas lacks even a photograph of Haim. "Who had cameras then?" she said, citing Israel's auster- ity period. "We were poor and worked just to live." Times were tough for the new immigrants in Califor- nia, too, Selvas remembers Haim writing in Greek. Selvas responded, but didn't hear back--probably because she had moved to the apartment in which she still resides. The Haim she knew pos- sessed "much courage, educa- tion and manners." They had a "good friendship," Selvas said, and sometimes cried together about their common survival in hiding and becom- ing fatherless. A break in finding Haim oc- curred when a listener to the Is- raeli radio program"Hamador L'Chipus Krovim" (Searching for Relatives Bureau) identified twowomenwith her name who had died in recent years in the United States. The show's host, Izi Mann, alerted "Seeking Kin," whose search uncovered several obituaries leading to Harry Zinn, a Los Angeles lawyer. He confirmed that his late mother was the missing woman. She was born in Kavala, near Salonika, he said, but her family hid in Athens dur- ing the German occupation: Laura, the youngest of three girls, in an orphanage; Haim and her mother, Henriette, with a Christian family; and the eldest daughter, Allegra, elsewhere with their father, Solomon, the owner of a suc- cessful textile company. Solomon died of tubercu- losis, and Henriette "went to great lengths, and at great risk, to have him buried in a Jewish cemetery," Zinn said. Allegra was captured during a roundup and deported to Auschwitz, where she died in the hospital two weeks after the concentration camp was liberated. Henriette and Laura remained in Athens postwar, but Haim preferred Israel. "She was the Zionist and felt there was a need for a place for Jews to be safe," he said. Haim spoke little to her two children--like Selvas, she had a son and then a daugh- ter-about the Holocaust or her Israel years. "The little I pieced to- gether was she was happy in HaGoshrim," Zinn said. But when Henriette and Laura decided to join a cousin who had moved to Los Angeles, Haim decided, "reluctantly, to join her mother and sister in America" rather than be farther away in Israel, he said. On a 1984 visit to Israel, the Zinns visited HaGoshrim, where Haim caught up with several residents she had known decades before. She apparently didn't visit Selvas; Zinn hadn't known of their friendship, although he said that Laura, now 84, knew. After their parents' death three months apart in 2009, Zinn and his sister--Helene Allegra Zinn's middle name memorializes her aunt--es- tablished a Holocaust studies scholarship at UCLA in their honor. Zinn said that when he speaks with Selvas, it might be in Ladino, which he learned when Henriette lived with the Zinns. "It's a remarkable window that's opened into the past that how can you not want Sudoku (see page 14 for solution SUDOKU! Information 866. 742.6655 www. cornerstonehospice, o r g Cornerstone is committed to caring for all hospice patients regardless of payer source or ability to pay. 100% Covered by Medicare & Medicaid HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE CARE Sewing since 1984 ~ 5019098 I Sarah Haim, shown while living in Israel from 1947 to 1956, died in Los Angeles in 2009. Hillel Kuttler Sylvia Selvas, displaying a photo of her late husband and their four grandchildren, had hoped to locate her long-lost friend from their native Greece. to look through," he said of search for long-lost relatives Selvas' search for his mother, and friends. Please include "It's a really emotional thing the principal facts and your to find this connection and contact information in a this information. It feels like briefemail. "Seeking Kin" is finding some buried treasure sponsored by Bryna Shuchat you weren't even looking for." and Joshua Landes and faro- Please email Hillel Kut- ily in loving memory of their tler at mother and grandmother, if you would like "Seeking Miriam Shuchat, a lifelong Kin" to write about your uniter of the Jewish people. you could save 28%' esuronce an Allstate company 7 4 3 9 5 4 2 9 5 8 4 9 5 3 1 8 6 4 -7 69 52 8 9 6 3 2 8 ~" StatePohll Media Fill in the blank squares in the grid, making sure that every row, column and 3-by-3 box includes all digits I through 9.