In 1948, a young Reed student named Elihu Bergman ’50 joined volunteers to bring holocaust survivors to Israel before it became a recognized State. In April 2012, 64 years after Eli’s brief but important sojourn, 18 Reed alumni and family members who live in Israel gathered together to celebrate the Reed Centennial—the first gathering of Reed alumni in Israel.
Many in the group originally came to Israel on visits or married Israelis and remained; others were Zionists who moved to live a more complete religious life.
The genesis of the gathering came when Don Green ’54 was visiting his son in Israel and happened to meet Nahum Gilbar ’79, who works as a tour guide at Shilo, where Jews lived for the first 300 years after leaving Egypt. Don called alumni & parent relations for names of other Reedies in Israel, and together they agreed to meet in the city of Rehovot in April for what proved to be an emotional reunion.
“For expatriates, meeting Reed alumni is an especially rare opportunity,” said Martin Land ’77. “Before this gathering I had never been among 18 Israelis who had even heard of Reed College. It was an absolute pleasure to spend a few hours with people who share the Reed experience and speak about the kind of education we enjoyed in a common language.”
“I could not have become the person I am today without my experience at Reed,” said Rich Brownstein ’85.
Don kindly wrangled updates from the Reedies in attendance, which are included in this issue’s class notes. But, he asks, why stop there?
There are 750 alums residing abroad, scattered among countries in all continents. Reed boasts impressive contingents in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Athens, Berlin, Paris, and major cities in Australia, New Zealand, India, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, not to mention the UK and Canada.
Do you long for a taste of the Reed spirit but live too far away to visit Portland? Organize a gathering in your own city by contacting Todd Hesse, firstname.lastname@example.org, in alumni & parent relations.