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Playing Their Cards Right

3.2 The Segal family all ready to serve the breakfast

Family revives Beth Protea bridge tournament in memory of their parents 

The Beth Protea dining room transformed into a card room

Amongst the initial residents to enter Beth Protea nearly 30 years ago were Hymie and Rose Segal, formerly of Pretoria, South Africa, where they married and where their children were born and educated. The Segals left their mark as community workers of note. Their four children were the advance guard for the family's aliyah and when Hymie retired in 1980, the senior Segals came to Israel.

The fine reputation of the family came with them and was re-established in Israel when they settled in Mitzpe Yam, Herzliya. Hymie began volunteering for ESRA and the family all became supportive of the establishment of Beth Protea. Between 1973 and 1981 the whole Zawels family made aliyah, headed by Yacha Zawels, the matriarch of the family. Yacha Zawels was the first of them to move into Beth Protea. Hymie and Rose followed and they both contributed wherever a need was recognized. Hymie served as treasurer on the Residents Committee for many years. Rose, our own "Yiddishe Mama" with her golden hands, participated in all the creative handwork on offer at the home. In addition, she designed and created many innovative stuffed supports for the therapy department, such as wheelchair comforters, neck cushions and much more, which her daughters have continued making over time. The physiotherapy staff talk of these efforts with warm affection and gratitude. Another of her talents was her wonderful cooking. She demonstrated to the kitchen her superb recipes for delicious South African Jewish specialities, the chopped and Danish herrings still today bearing testimony to her skill. Rose and her late sister Anita Harris created a Yiddish song group, a choir that shared their talent for some years with other retirement homes, to the delight of all their followers.

Rose and Hymie Segal

Rose also ran the ESRA Meals on Wheels from Beth Protea, where the volunteers packed and delivered weekly food parcels for needy elderly persons who were supported by Herzliya Municipality Welfare Department.

Rose and Hymie, and their family of three daughters and a son, will always be remembered for introducing a card morning at Beth Protea, where delectable fare was served, catered by the family with the help of some great Jewish cooks amongst the residents. A morning of card games, including a bridge tournament, followed the scrumptious food. This day soon became an important annual fundraising date on the Herzliya calendar, attracting supporters from far afield.

Rose and Hymie lived out their lives in the comfort of their chosen home. Hymie passed away in 2010 and their daughter Pearl tragically followed only three years later. Rose died in 2019. With the passage of time the card bonanzas, regular for so many years, soon became a memory. 

However, in the years that have passed, the Segal family have never deserted Beth Protea and have kept contact with the management, the staff and some of the residents. A few months ago they requested a meeting with Management and proposed organizing a revival of the card bonanza to honor the memory of their parents and sister Pearl, who herself had been an integral contributor on those occasions. Management were enthusiastic and the family, with Elaine Finkelstein, President of the Beth Protea Board in the heyday of the card mornings, taking organizational responsibility, the idea became a reality. Lynn Bach of Beth Protea volunteered to advertise the event and to be responsible for the administration of it. Tasks were delegated to all around the table and the die was cast. There was one follow-up meeting where we heard that Eitan Levi, professional bridge organizer, had volunteered to run the tournament bridge. The catering was all in hand, and couples were registering regularly, so like a well-oiled machine with all systems go – we were on our way 

Cupcakes made in Rose’s honor by a member of staff at Beth Protea

The day dawned on a glorious sunny winter morning and the family marched in early like an army of caterers. The trestles were soon laden with delicious plates of food and over 30 card tables were laid with disposable plates and cutlery. The room was transformed into an exciting social center. The breakfast became a meeting place for many who had not seen each other for years. New immigrants met old friends – and old friends made new ones. The ambience was very special. Addressed by Reeva Segal and welcomed by Lynn Lochoff, the CEO, the card morning got off to a beautiful beginning, honoring the memory of Rose, Hymie and Pearl and remembering two deceased residents – the late Bobsie Solomon, whose family too participated in the event, and Phina Rosen, whose daughters were also supportive of this event. Lynn expressed her appreciation to the generous public who so willingly participated in and supported the morning's activities.

And so this special day progressed until the end of the tournament at close to one o'clock, when Eitan announced the lucky winners of the competitions. Supporters made their way home expressing the hope that it would not be too long before they met again at the next bridge bonanza at Beth Protea. 



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Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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