Activities and events 2018
Celebrating 90 years: Mayer Zafran's 90st Birthday event
A celebration in honor of Mayer Zafran’s 90st Birthday, took place on Thursday, 30 August 2018, at “Bet-HaLohem”, Haifa. .
Held within the framework of celebrating 70 years Israel, the event honored Zafran: an Egyptian-born Jewish, a nobleman, who was one of the Cairo prisoners of “The Affair”, also known as “The Nasty Business” .
A passionate Zionist, Mayer was recruited to Unit-131 in Cairo in the early 1950s, when the unit’s representative arrived in Cairo in order to form a two-cell underground espionage ring which will run in Cairo and in Alexandria.
In 1954, Israeli intelligence officer, Avri Elad, was sent to Egypt in order to activate the network and operate the cells. Only later was it exposed he betrayed his own people and informed the Egyptians about them, as well as about Israeli intelligence shadow fighter, Meir Bineth.
They were caught, arrested and brutally interrogated under torture. Bineth committed suicide during the trial. The members of the network were sentenced to long imprisonment terms of hard penal labor. The commanders of the two cells, Dr. Moshe Marzouk and Samuel Azar were sentenced to death in hanging.
Mayer Zafran served seven years in “the Tora Farms Prison” before he was released in 1961. After his arrival in Israel, Mayer established his own family and worked as an engineer and an architect. The Haifa University tower on the Carmel mount, and four synagogues in Haifa, are among the projects he planned.
A gifted painter, Mayer’s drawings and illustrations described what he and his inmates underwent during their arrest, trial and imprisonment. The artworks were displayed in Bet Halohem, next to Mayer’s more recent works, of expressive oil paintings.
Greetings were made by: Mr. Shai Dobrin, Director, Bet Halohem, Haifa; Prof. Prof. Tamar Zewi – Head of the The Joseph & Racheline Barda Chair for the Study and Research of Jewish Heritage in Egypt, Haifa university; Mr Eli Landau on behalf of the city of Haifa; Ms. Ella Shoshana, Director, The Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund.
Speakers at the event:
Prof. Nahem Ilan lecture discussed “The unique characteristics of the Jewish community in modern Egypt”.
Brigadier General (Res.) Yuval Halamish held a presentation about “The roots of the lily flower, which set the foundation of the Israeli intelligence work.”
Mr. Robert Dassa, one of the Affair’s heroes, talked about the power of a bond.
Sons and grandchildren of Mayer moved the audience when they shared stories about Mayer’s special character. Marcelle Ninio Boger, the only woman member of the Jewish Egyptian underground network, also attended the event.
Ms. Nurith Shapiro, member of the Board of The Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund moderated the event.
Avigail Wasserman, senior year student at The Hebrew Reali high school impressed the guests with her professional, melodic musical session.
Deeply moved, Mayer Zafran thanked the guests and shared more of his memories, from when he stayed in Egypt.
Marking the Fiftieth Anniversary to the Liberation of the 'Operation Susannah' prisoners – IICC held A tribute event in honor of the operation's heroes.
In February 1968 the remaining four prisoners of the “Operation Susannah”, were released from Egyptian jail. On 14 March 2018, IICC held a special event to mark the jubilee to their release.
Marcelle Ninio Boger, Robert Dassa and Mayer Zafran (who was released already in 1961) were at the center of the event, as well as the families of the late Victor Levy, Mayer Meyohas and Philippe Nathanson.
Initiator of the event, Noam Shapira, welcomed the guests on behalf of the IICC Board.
Keynote speaker, Efraim Halevy, Head of the Israeli National Security Council and Former IICC Chair, outlined the background of the operation of the network, during summer 1954 in Egypt.
Brigadier General )Retired), Yeshayahu (Shaike) Bareket, briefly described how IDF prisoners of war, who were held in Egypt following the 1967 Six-day War, were willing to delay their own release, in order to include the prisoners of “the Affair” within their prisoners’ exchange deal.
Prof. Nahem Ilan, Chairman of The Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund, shared with the guests his insights in the field of pedagogical education, which the heroes of ‘the Affair” inspired.
Efraim Halevy and Noam Shapira honored the prisoners and their families, and presented them with personal tribute documents.
Robert Dassa’s moving words concluded the event, following which, the guests were standing on their feet, and cheered during several minutes.
The guest were delighted by the harmonious music which was played by an harpist and a flute player.
An art exhibition at the reception hall, presented a collection of artworks by Samuel Azar, Robert Dassa and Mayer Zafran, as well as photographs by Philippe Nathanson.
Designer of the exhibition was Philippe’s Nathanson daughter, Sharon Nathanson.
A remembrance event - marking 63 years to the execution by hanging, of Lt. Colonel Samuel Azar and Lt. Colonel Dr. Moshe Marzouk
January 28, 2018
A mini-seminar in commemoration of the Cairo Martyrs was held at the Hebrew Reali School, Haifa.
January 15, 2018