Saturday, 22 March 2008

Letter 30 - May 22, (1919)

Zionist Commission to Palestine

Dear Family,-

We are still hard at work organizing our office here. Yesterday morning at 6.30, Dr. F., Szold , Dr. Poole, several others and I started out for Jaffa on our big new Fiat auto truck. It has pneumatic tyres on and so the ride was quite pleasant. We arrived about nine and immediately started our Executive Committee meeting. After that were other meetings viz Finance Committee, Vaad Hazmani etc. without interruption except for an hour for lunch until 6.30 P.M. Then Dr. F and I had a hurried supper at Moscovitz’s next door to the Z.C. and started back for Jerusalem again on the truck. The only other car is badly in need of several days repairing. When we got home we made ourselves some tea, got out some cake and had a regular little party. It’s fine to have a home.

Night before last we had the American Consul, his wife, Rev. Dr. & Mrs Glasebrook to supper. It was quite the finest meal we’ve had since we’ve left America and I’m sure they enjoyed it. The following was our menu – Chicken broth with some crisp little lumps of something dropped in, stuffed eggs with sliced tomatoes, broiled chicken with rice and some red vegetable, tokay wine, sliced fried eggplant, cucumber salad, little cakes that tasted like miniature mince pies with honey poured over them, nuts, oranges and apricots, Turkish coffee and some wonderful liqueurs (Kummel band Benedictine, which I bought at a local canteen).

Our little cook, Tsivia, introduces some new dish daily. Dr. F likes the place more and more. It’s going to be hard to leave.

By the way it is just possible that our visit might be extended a month or two.

Also we’ve just been startled to hear that Brandeis will be here in 10 days, and Weitzman is en route also. We shall have quite a gathering here of notables in a short time.

Our work in departmentalizing the activities of the Z.C is progressing slowly. The local radicals in particular oppose it. They are unique in that they feel every change is bound to take some of their power way from them.

One Capt. Stein, at present in the OETA* at Haifa is being considered as my successor as Secretary. He will be a permanent one, which will of course be much better than a series of temporary secs.

Dr F. has just alled me to go to see Mr. Yellin*, one of the leading lights of Jerusalem & the present Chairman of the Vaad Hair, who has just returned from Europe this morning.

Goodbye and lots of love,


*OETA:- Occupied Enemy Territory Administration

*Yellin, David- b. Jerusalem 1864 – d.Jerusalem 1941; author, educator, public figure in Jerusalem; Grandfather-in-law of Shoshana Israeli

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