Frances Greenberg makes aliyah at 88 — after 61 years of trying

Frances Greenberg arrived in Israel this week, completing the journey she began 61 years ago. Eighty-eight-year-old Ms Greenberg was first turned back as a passenger on the Exodus ship in 1947. But on Tuesday, she was one of more than 200 North-American olim who arrived on an aliyah flight organised by Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organisation that helps Jews from Western countries move to Israel.

Ms Greenberg is living in the Ahuzat Bayit retirement home in Ra’anana. “I wanted to spend the end of my years in Israel,” Ms Greenberg, whose daughter Ilana Kraus lives in Kfar Saba, tells People. “It is a dream come true, but it will also take a lot of getting used to. It feels a little different to living in the US for 60 years, and with all the hullabaloo, I am exhausted to the core.”

After the Exodus was denied entry to Israel, Ms Greenberg was sent back to a displaced persons’ camp in Germany, where she met her future husband Isak. The couple moved to Pittsburgh in 1948. She visited Israel for the first time in 1955, again by ship, but was not yet ready to make a
permanent move.

It was not until after her husband died last year that she revived her dream of living in the Jewish state.

Ms Greenberg, who is originally from Poland, also has a son. He lives in Philadelphia.

    Last updated: 12:08pm, July 24 2008