Activities and events 2019
Bidding farewell to a heroine
More than two-hundred people followed Marcelle Ninio Boger, on 25 October 2019, on her way to everlasting rest, in Kibbutz Einat.
They included Director of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, who was joined by the Mossad Chief Officer of Intelligence. They joined Marcelle’s family, Marcelle’s peers and colleagues during “The Affair”, Robert Dassa and Mayer Zafran, family members of the Cairo prisoners, and Tami Arad, wife of the missing Israeli Air Force officer, Lieutenant Colonel, Ron Arad, who came to pay tribute to Marcelle and bid farewell.
Mossad Chief Cohen, Marcelle’s daughter, Ronit, her granddaughter, Robert Dassa and Tami Arad eulogized her. So did other close friends.
“Marcelle Ninio-Boger was a heroine”, Cohen said, “for the way she coped with a 14-year imprisonment, which was hard and agonizing, but no less, for the way she came back to life, as a free person in her own state”.
Referring to “the Nasty Business”, Cohen described how the Cairo prisoners became part of the Mossad organization, following the transfer of Unit 131, which the Cairo prisoners belonged to, from the IDF to the Mossad.
“Marcelle and her colleagues were an inspiration to us, and to all Israelis”, he said. “Their legacy is a legacy of love to the state of Israeli, to the Jewish people, a legacy of courage and endless devotion and willingness to make sacrifices”.
Tami Arad said: “I was fortunate enough, and unlucky at the same time. I was fortunate to have met you, Marcelle. I was not lucky enough to meet you sooner. You were lucid and mentally clear until your last moments. You were witty and had a great sense of humor. Always curious, you used to follow news editions in English and French; You understood Arabic and through this language you were able to understand things we all should”. Arad also said: “Marcelle was not ‘a good girl’ and did not appreciate anything which was not completely authentic. She respected honest people and always kept her European manners”.
Marcelle’s close friend, Robert Dassa, who was her colleague in the network, and was also imprisoned for 14 years said: “Marcelle was the only woman in our network. I suggested earlier the nature of the torture Marcelle had to face and cope with. One can only imagine what Marcelle went through. But anyone who knew her saw a strong, impressive and brave person. She was a sensitive woman with a special grace. She always stood tall…”
Dassa also said: “I first met Marcelle in the court hall, during the trial. I saw a young, strong woman who kept to herself and appeared to be elegant and impressive, as you can see in the few photos, which were taken in court. It was the Egyptian Military Judge, General Digwi, who recognized the way she carried herself, with dignity. He also said so to Muslim detainees, who did not show similar resilience. He told them they should have followed the model of the young woman, who appeared in the court hall just before they did”.
Marcelle was buried next to her beloved husband, Eli Boger.
Marcelle Ninio – Link
Exhibition opening: Mayer Zafran's artwork exhibition event
Mayer Zafran’s exhibition opening event took place on August 1, 2019. It was held by initiative of Zafran’ sons and in cooperation with the Israeli culture center, the “Legacy Home” at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa. The Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund supported the event.
The paintings and drawings of Zafran, who was imprisoned for a seven-year term in Egypt, during the Affair, illustrate and show the hard experiences he and his inmates underwent during their arrest, trial and the long years in jail, which followed. The exhibition also included beautiful, spectacular paintings Zafran painted during the years after his release.
Researcher and Head of the Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund, Prof. Nahem Ilan, talked about ‘the Affair’ and about the role Mayer played in it.
Ms. Tali Shaked discussed Mayer’s artwork as an expression of mental resilience and a hallmark of mental strength.
Additional speakers included Yudi Marton, Chairman of the association of illustrators
In her speech, Director of The Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund, Ms. Ella Shoshana, presented the Foundation’s goals and described its’ activities.
Mr. Gil Hanan, a teacher in the Reali School in Haifa, describes how they teach about ‘the Affair’ in school and how they commemorated the heroes.
Mayer’s speech was the highlight. He fascinated the guests with his stories about ‘the Affair’ and the experiences in prison. Even after Mayer’s concluding words, the guests kept gathering around him, asking him questions and listening to his first-hand impressions.
The Nahariya's Bet Neria congregation celebrates Egyptian Jewry
On April 10, 2019, The Bet Neria community in Nahariya, organized an event to pay tribute to the Jewish community in Egypt.
Held in cooperation with The Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund, Ben Zvi Institute and the Bet Neria congregation in Nahariya, the honorary evening focused on “the Affair”. The Ministry for Social Equality, Ministry of Education and the Bet Neria organization supported the event.
In her welcome address, Ms. Mayan Lalousch, Ben Zvi Institute Coordinator of Congregation Events, said: “During recent months, Nahem and Ella joined me at the ‘Community Project’ of the Ben Zvi institute, in order to realize an initiative to honor of the Jewish community in Egypt in an event, which would enable discussion about ‘the Affair’. I was touched by the events of “The Affair” and the values they reflected, the morals of a love to Zion and Israel, and devotion of the young Jewish Egyptians Israel. It was clear to me, I would want to take part in an initiative which would celebrate their calling and cherish their ultimate sacrifices. Some sacrificed their lives. Others underwent long imprisonment terms, torture and loneliness. We were thrilled, when the Bet Neria community responded. The Cairo Martyrs Memorial Fund was pleased to join as well and tonight the fruits of this cooperation are presented to us”.
One of the guests, former neighbor of the Marzouk family back in Cairo, told how one day, Mukhabarath officials arrived in their home, while they were holding a memorial service. The Mukhabarath asked where the Marzouk family resided. The neighbor instructed them. Being curious, she she then watched them through the window. She saw them knocking on the neighbors’ door and how Ms. Rachel Marzouk welcomed them. Seconds later, Ms. Marzouk collapsed and fell on the floor. When the news about the execution of Dr. Marzouk and Samuel Azar were published, the neighbor realized she witnessed the moment when the Mukabarath broke the terrible news to Moshe’s mother.
Dr. Naomi Feuchtwanger-Sarig held an impressive presentation which discussed Passover Haggada books and how they reflected cultural attributes.
Prof. Nahem Ilan kept the audience tuned in during his lecture: “The Affair: Values, Ideals and Assuming Personal Responsibility”. He outlined the unique characteristic of the Jewish community in modern Egypt and also screened a film.
The event was ushered with authentic music and buffet.
A remembrance event - marking 64 years to the execution by hanging, of Lt. Colonel Samuel Azar and Lt. Colonel Dr. Moshe Marzouk.
January 15, 2019
A mini-seminar in commemoration of the Cairo Martyrs was held at the Hebrew Reali School, Haifa.
January 8, 2019