The Herzlia Martic class of 1972 made history in October 2022 by being the first to hold an international reunion in Israel – celebrating their 50 years since graduating from MH Goldschmidt Avenue.
Almost half of the surviving graduates either attended in person or via a global Zoom link set up by the Herzlia Alumni Association.
The celebration – in the words of the participants – was “amazing“, “fantastic” and “such a huge success” as described by the attendees. “It was so wonderful seeing friends from school and we were able to just pick up where we left off however going forward, we will keep in closer touch than we did in the past,” said Selwyn Scher, one of the Israel-based organizers of the reunion. “We are now planning on holding our 55th Anniversary International Reunion in Cape Town in 2027.”
This special reunion which took place over a week was meticulously put together by Hannah Klass, Tony Sachs, Orly Michael and Selwyn Scher.
The week started on Friday 21 October with a visit to Jerusalem and the Old City and as always an emotional visit to The Kotel.
Tony Sacks and his wife Eva hosted an ‘extraordinary’ Shabbat dinner. Eva used recipes accenting her home country, Chile, that included empanadas, pastel de choclo, chopped liver, and chicken soup – all served with wonderful Chilean wine!
The official reunion dinner on the Sunday evening was attended by 30 alumni. It was held at the home of Orly Michael (the daughter of the Israeli Ambassador during our last five years at school). The dinner was not only Kosher but also featured South African hake, curried fish, herring, chopped liver and a wide variety of ever-tasty salads plus a lot more.
There was a tribute made to those classmates who have passed away over the past 50 years. This was followed by tributes to the many ‘colourful’ teachers of that era and our privileged experience at Herzlia School by David Morris, Jonathan Mirvis and Jonathan Sachar.
Finally, there was an appeal made by Robin Chorn for the Alumni to participate to a greater extent in the fundraising by the Herzlia Foundation Trust.
The group met up early on Monday morning and after a long bus ride to Galilee, spent a relaxing hour and a half rafting down the Hazbani River which flows into the Jordan River. This was followed by an exceptionally moving visit to the Helicopter Memorial site where 73 Israeli Military Personal lost their lives when two helicopters collided in 1997. Kaddish was recited by Tony Sachs followed by a very emotional “Hatikva “.
The day ended in the beautiful Hula Valley Nature Reserve which is a major stopover for half a billion birds migrating between Africa, Europe, and Asia annually. It was the perfect time to see thousands of Cranes, Pink Flamingos and other birds making their rest before they continued their flight to Africa.
The next few days were marked by smaller groups getting together to visit museums, markets, various sights and many, many restaurants around Tel Aviv.
Attending the reunion in person were the following alumni:
Robin Chorn, Irene Miller, Tony Sachs, Selwyn Scher, Avron Myers, Peter Sternberg, Jonathan Sacher, Jonathan Mirvis, Hannah Klass, Orly Michael, Sandra Zetler, David Morris, Zea Katzeff, Desiree Anstey, Jenny Halpiren, Herschy Pakter, Rochelle Zolin, Debi Michaels, Zela Anstey, Judy Shapiro, Richard Saevitzon, Stephanie Kaplan
Attending the reunion via Zoom were the following alumni:
Andrea Sternberg, Jenny Tavor, Vardi Roy, Colin Wolfsohn, Raphael Weiner, Bev Bloch, Bonnie Blumberg
The reunion which could not have taken place in a more unique country was topped-off with much laughter, funny and wild memories from those special days at Herzlia. Hugs and kisses all around brought to an end a Reunion which will be remembered for the rest of our lives by all those who attended.
Below are some of the remarks made by some of the participants:
My dear friends.
Having been home for almost 48 hours, Susan and I want to express our thanks to our Martic 1972 Reunion participants.
I don’t remember who initially came up with the idea to have the reunion in Israel last year. Regardless, based upon everyone’s determination to make it a success by all who attended (“If thou will it – Im Tirzu…), it came true (…ain zo agada…). We overcame hurdles…and made it happen. We all had our own hurdles to overcome. Unfortunately for some, those hurdles were too great; they could not attend and we missed them.
We can’t thank our organizing Israeli classmates enough. Tony, Orly, Hannah, and Selwyn did such a superb job. From our standpoint, everything went off smoothly – and for that too, we are appreciative. Orly, thank you for your wonderful hospitality in your beautiful home. We also had the added bonus of meeting your 2 beautiful daughters. Tony, thank you for your leadership and planning. Hannah and Selwyn! The two of you did so much work ‘in the trenches’. You were both the driving force – you never gave up… and then you were the practical implementers of those plans.
Susan and I loved spending those few days with all of you. Wishing you all good health and happiness. Susan & David.
Thank you all Had a memorable 10 days Such special treasured memories Just magical emotional wonderful day which we all experienced. Thank you everybody for an amazingly special time and to the fabulous four thank you for all your hard work and effort.
Flying back home tomorrow night with warm and happy memories of a truly exceptional reunion. Wonderful to reconnect with you all and I will treasure all the beautiful moments we shared after all this time. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this a wonderful and meaningful time for us all❤️. We packed so much into a very short time frame and every moment was special I will never forget it – Can’t wait for 2027.
The most amazing experience!! The time of our lives!!!! Orly, Selwyn, Hannah and Tony, there are just no words to say about the outstanding reunion you guys put on. You pulled out all the stops and provided an unforgettable event for us all. Your hospitality throughout was magic!
Such a lovely note from David. When I arrived in Tel Aviv and started seeing those who had travelled from abroad, we repeatedly said to each other “can you believe this is really happening“. It did and it was momentous. As the Eagles song Hotel California goes: “ you can check out (of Herzlia) but you never really leave“.As I embark on another tiyul, (I have lots of wonderful memories of walks and talks, of water and comfort food and our shared history. See you all soon.
Just a magical emotional wonderful day that we all experienced Thank you everybody for an amazingly special time and to the fabulous four thank you for all your hard work and effort.
That was just an awesome, amazing, wonderful evening, filled with FABULOUS food and drinks, great laughter, memories and reconnections after half a century – I cannot imagine a more perfect celebration of the 50th anniversary of our Matric Class of 1972! Special thanks to Orly, Selwyn, Tony, Hannah and David who so tirelessly worked for MONTHS to put this MAGNIFICENT evening and the social events together!
No doubt it was a perfect Reunion for so many reasons. The fact that it was held in Israel and so many of you decided to make the geographical and economic effort (Leonard Cohen) to attend this event made the event. Both events which exceeded all expectations added a lasting memory to this once-in-a-lifetime event. The effort we put into it was no more than the effort you guys made in travelling to Israel. It was an unbelievable and emotional meeting after so many years. May we be fortunate in being able to meet again for another reunion? For those travelling home a safe and good flight. For us in Israel who have traffic to contend with let’s meet up from time to time. It was a privilege and honour to have been part of this class.