- Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs
- Biography & Autobiography, Jewish
- Biography & Autobiography, Cultural, Ethnic & Regional
Israel, Jewish identity, Memoire, biography, Jewish heritage, Jewish culture, Jewish history
A Tourist From Petach Tikva
Growing Up Alongside the Creation of the State of Israel
Aubrey Kagan and Shulamit Kagan
Shulamit Frankel grew up in the tumultuous years during the creation of the State of Israel. In this book, she shares candid reflections of her young life as her family navigates the upheavals of this political landscape. She delves into the world of her youth, capturing details that have long been forgotten in many history books, such as German colonies in Palestine before WWII and Italy’s bombing of Tel Aviv and Haifa during this time.
Shulamit’s stories cover a wide gamut of what life was like growing up in a young Tel Aviv, from understanding the significance of the religious festivals to discovering the joys of chewing gum. At the time, the Jewish population was small, and she describes interactions with the familes of well-known Israelis. These include the brother and sister-in-law of David Ben-Gurion, the son of Shai Agnons (later Nobel laureate), and her uncle Reuven, who rose through the political ranks to become Speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
Both Shulamit and her brother fought for the creation of a Jewish state but, in an unusual manifestation of sibling rivalry, Shulamit trained in the Haganah while her brother joined the Irgun. Shulamit engages us in her family’s deep connections of love and loyalty in these difficult years. Against the background of historical events, Shulamit recalls the daily trials and tribulations of growing up in a deeply religious family in a modernizing world, capturing the tragedies, triumphs, pathos, and humour of the times.
“An enjoyable, touchingly personal account of a turbulent time in the Middle East.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Shulamit Kagan (nee Frankel) was born and grew up in what was to become the State of Israel. She got married and moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she raised her family. She became deeply involved with the small but vibrant Jewish community. She later aspired to an education and studied via correspondence, eventually attaining her MA in Psychology. As a result of political uncertainty, the family moved to South Africa, where she started her practice as a psychologist. She also expanded her involvement in the Jewish community, delivering lectures and writing many articles on Jewish life and religion, with a special interest in the role of women. Shulamit died in 2018.
Aubrey Kagan (one of Shulamit’s sons) was born and grew up in Rhodesia. He graduated as an electrical engineer from the Technion in Haifa and with an MBA from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He has practised as an electronic engineer for over forty years in both South Africa and Canada. During that time he has written scores of technical articles and blogs. This is his second book—the first was on the application of Microsoft Excel to electronic calculations. Aubrey lives in Toronto, Canada.
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