The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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TEL AVIV, Israel, Thursday—This is our last day in Israel, and it has been a busy one.

Last night we were in Haifa, on Mount Carmel, and I woke this morning to find the most beautiful view of the Mediterranean from my window. We visited the Kaiser-Fraser plant first and on the way there we passed through the busy commercial section of the city. The harbor was full of ships, and what can happen here if peaceful relations can be reestablished throughout the world is easy to see.

One of the first results would be the lessening of the shortages that now exist for everyone in Israel. So far as I can find out there are only two things which are not rationed; first, the filet of fish, when one can buy it, and, second, bread. Everything else is strictly rationed. The regulations provide for only three eggs per week and one small piece of meat per week, which usually is beef. Beef is imported, as all the cows here are milking cows. And since there is no grazing land, the cows are fed indoors on special concentrated food and just let out in penned yards now and then.

One sees a few being herded on the hills but that is rare. Chicken also is rationed, and there is no such thing as game. Clothes are rationed, as are shoes, soap, and all sweets. Oranges are not rationed but bananas are and are available only for children.

Think how this picture might change if goodwill existed among the nations in this region.

We visited several kinds of youth services today, one of them a wonderful home for babies and children up to six years old. In this place undernourished children from the immigrant camps and orphans are cared for. It is not really a hospital but a type of convalescent home in which nursury school work and infant care go on side by side.

Then we saw a temporary screening place for youths brought from different countries. One group came largely from Morocco and Tripoli and are being studied and screened in preparation for permanent homes.

Our last visit was to a center where they have a rather unique feature: they train young people as fishermen as well as giving them farm training. Now they are to run a vocational training program which will be available to other children from other camps. The children will learn the first part of a trade before they go out to be apprenticed in that trade.

We visited the Weizmann Institute the other day, after which I had the pleasure of dining with Mrs. Weizmann. She was most kind and hospitable and it was a great pleasure to see her again.

Today at one of the children's centers my last memory of Israel will be of the delightful dinner given by Prime Minister David Ben–Gurion and his wife at the King David Hotel. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion is a very remarkable personality. A scholar, and a great reader, he is said to give 15 hours a day to the difficult job of consultation with all of his official family and comes to decisions which only he can make. Yet, he has a keen sense of humor and gives one a feeling of warmth and of real pleasure in meeting him. This is a gift any public man must find invaluable. In addition, he is recognized as a very fine administrator; he appoints his people and then lets them do their job unhindered, which is the secret of really good administration.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Tel Aviv (Israel) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 22, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.