Author: Hannah Schalit
Hannah Schalit was born in Jerusalem in 1924. When peace broke out after WWII, she studied speech and drama in London. When the State of Israel was declared independent, she was chosen to make the first BBC opening air announcement – in Hebrew (in history).

The year was 1942 and I was eighteen years old. I was in Cairo on holiday arranged by my mother. She ran a hostel for the expats in Cairo. If I go into detail about mother’s job, I’ll never get to tell how I encountered King Farouk. (More…)

When we moved to No. 14 Nahmani Street, our tenants were a gentleman of the distinguished Sephardic Chelouche family and his adored French wife Paulette. She was, of course, attractive, always carefully made up and dressed. Her face brightened up with a big smile and a wink whenever she saw me playing in the garden, as she looked out of her bedroom window. (More…)

When Paula, aged 15, announced her engagement to Franz, elder sister Selma was horrified. Instead of congratulating her, Selma slapped her sister’s face.  Nevertheless, Paula and Franz married and had a daughter, Käte. (More…)

My father’s birth certificate tells us that he was born in Germany in the Westphalian town of Hörde, on the 15th of December 1877, the son of Herz Weinberg, and of  Johanna Weinberg née Alsberg both of the “Israelitisch”  faith. (More…)

There was no real living room in our no. 14 Nahmani home.  On the left side of the dining room with its round table, buffet and gramophone,  there was the master bedroom. On its right, a wide folding door opened to father’s study. There was, however,  a  comfortably sized balcony, overlooking the garden. It  stretched along the dining room with its large windows on either side of a glass paneled double door, letting in a  great deal of light. (More…)

It rained yesterday morning. The first rain of winter. The air was sharp, cold and grey. The grey light of days gone by. The wet street a deep blue-black. The grey of winter recalls what I have left behind. (More…)

It is a leisurely  five-minute walk from where I lived to the Gymnasia on Tel Aviv’s Jabotinsky street, and many long years since I dropped out in disgrace at the age of fifteen and a half. (More…)

I was three years old when father bought a charming colonial style two-storey villa on No. 14 Nahmani Street, in Tel Aviv. It had the traditional, symmetrically laid out garden. In each part of the neatly divided area, a baby palm tree spread its wide fan-shaped branches shading the oval flower bed in which it stood. (More…)