Bulletin Board Archive

- A Short History of Harbin; Tales from Old Harbin by Sid Agranoff

A Short History of Harbin; Tales from Old Harbin by Sid Agranoff

Historic letter uncovered: (Dec 3, 2021):  Below is a letter from Harbin Betar written for my brother just before he left Harbin for Australia. He was 14 at the time and he arrived in Sydney with his parents and sister on the 10th March 1938. The contents of the letter are immaterial. What is important is its historical value. Note the letterhead and the Keren Tel Hai stamp on the bottom. Keren Tel Hai was a fund raising instrument set up by Jabotinsky and/or the Revisionist organisation.
- Sid.
Letter can be downloaded here.

The history of Jews originating from China
is not as well-known as that of European Jewry. He therefore thought that a short article giving that history would be appreciated. This article covers Harbin and Tientsin since nearly all former Betarim born between 1930 and 1950 who have come from China came from there. The essay can be downloaded here.

Tales from Old Harbin, an essay by Sid Aganoff on the events that occurred in Japanese-occupied Harbin, China, in the early 1930s, can he downloaded here.

Also, see "My First Hike" recollection added here!

- Memorial for David Golomb zoom video posted

Memorial for David Golomb zoom video posted

On November 22, 2021, a memorial ceremony for David Golomb was held in Miami, Florida. In attendance were Susha and Miriam, his wife and daughter, a large on-site audience and around 50 zoom participants. Video of the event has been posted here.
The hour was such that participation from friends in Australia was not practical. Hence, recordings have been sent to those who requested and the video is on our website.
Thanks to Miriam Golomb for organizing and making the video available for sharing on the website.

- What's on 162SmilingFaces?

What's on 162SmilingFaces?

19 years of data contributions by you has resulted in a rich content - rich with photos, historical articles, comment and videos. Look at the numbers as of Nov. 1, 2021:

Number of images:  1,804
Number of website pages: 174
Downloadable articles and books: 881 pages
Videos of past Betar times: 241 minutes
Videos of current 'Celebration' videos: 1,080 minutes

Certainly, enough to keep you entertained and your memories alive!

-Harry Stuart

- 1967: Whatever Happened to Emmanuel?

1967: Whatever Happened to Emmanuel?

Peter Keeda has submitted an essay describing the volunteerism of a group of Sydney Betarinm who flew to Israel to help in the aftermath of the 1967 war. Illustrated and containing newspaper articles of the era, the essay describes the service provided by a number of Betarim on kibbutz Kissufim. It can be downloaded here.

- Ronnie Sekel Blows us into the New Year

Ronnie Sekel Blows us into the New Year

As you know we are in lockdown but had permission to blow the shofar on Rosh Hashana. Ronnie Sekel's wife bought him a shofar for his 80th birthday and he learned all the notes.

Hear him here. (1 min. 16 sec. video.)

Submitted by Keith Masnick.

- Ron Sekel - Here I am

Ron Sekel - Here I am

To all those who I have not seen for years:
Life remains a wonderful trip for the two of us, Margaret and I.

-Ron Sekel

- Betar Australia Website

Betar Australia Website

Taken a look at Betar Australia's website lately? Get a perspective of the youth of Betar today - perhaps it will remind you of those days 60 - 70 years ago when you made friends - some life-long - or perhaps found your soulmate amongst the chanichim of Betar. Everything then was in black and white, of course. :)

Click here or on the stylized version* of the badge of Betar Australia on the right to access the site.
* The original design was by Yosef Steiner (seen as #18 here). Aaron Ninedek modified it to the design we see today (top left of our home page).

(Reciprocal link with 162 can be seen in About/History on the Betar Oz site.)

- Betty Levy - on her 80th.

Betty Levy - on her 80th.

Family photo of Betty's 80th posted here!

- Thanks to our Donors, our Site wil be Accessible for another Couple of Decades!

Thanks to our Donors, our Site wil be Accessible for another Couple of Decades!

The final appeal for funds is closed. The target has been met.

Thank you!

Thank you to those who contributed money to pay for the continued hosting of our site. At the same time, I negotiated a more reasonable rate with the ISP - one which suited our needs better. Note: the 'donate' button has been removed from the home page.

The site will be accessible by you and others for a couple of decades (or better) and will continue to be updated until I shout 'barley'.

-Harry Stuart

Time marches on -- and money runs out.
After 19 years on the web - and being fully funded by its supporters in its lifetime - decisions about the future of the site must be made. 162SmilingFaces has been - and still is - a delight to those who want to review our youth, study the history of the times - or are just  enveloped in nostalgia. 
To ensure that the site will exist beyound our lifetimes, we appeal to you to contribute to the registation and hosting costs to keep it going, accessible and searchable by the current and future generations.

- New Videos Discovered - and Posted

New Videos Discovered - and Posted

John Goldlust has digitized and released a number of videos he produced some 40 years ago featuring Melbourne Betarim of the 1960s - 1990s. The four videos and one audio file have been edited and placed in chronological order in the Videos page.


The group Hatzlilim that performed on In Melbourne Tonight in 1968 and 1969.

Recorded at the 1988 Betar reunion: the sketch Rinse the Cordial off my Toga and a Trivial Pursuit panel answer questions posed in Married to Betar (not).

John Goldlust's interview of the Skall sisters Evie and Judy.

The story behind the 'displacement' of Henry Burstyner from Ballarat camp as related by three of the displacers and the displacee.

- Sorry to Report - David Golomb

Sorry to Report - David Golomb

David Golomb passed away on May 10, 2021 in North Miami.

Sadly, David was a Celebrant of the Living in his zoom session just two weeks ago.(see https://vimeo.com/540515954).

Condolences posted here.

- Celebration of the Living

Celebration of the Living

The ongoing series of the stories of the lives of the Betar family are now accessible from the videos tab.
Michael Price manages and creates the Zoom recordings which take place one or more times/month. Celetratees volunteer to tell their stories which are illustrated with photos, maps, newspaper clippings, etc.

- Sorry to Report - Theo Balberyszski

Sorry to Report - Theo Balberyszski

With great sorrow I have been asked to inform you of the passing today of our friend Theo Balberyszski. His funeral will take place in Israel on March 12, 2021. - Hedva Sheiner

Condolences by Jack Mirjam, Danny Rosing and others  posted here.

- Sorry to Report - Tami De Vries

Sorry to Report - Tami De Vries

January 27, 2021.
After a cancer diagnosis three months ago, Tami has now succumbed to the disease. She had been buoyed by the love and support shown by her family and close friends, and displayed an amazing grace, acceptance, and self-possession from the moment she became aware of the illness and throughout treatment.

-Louis De Vries

April 4, 2021:
Obituary by Daniel de Vries posted here.

- Sorry to Report - Henry Burstyner

Sorry to Report - Henry Burstyner

Henry Burstyner passed away January 8th 2021. More details to follow. Reported by Aaron Ninedek. Condolences here.

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Henry Burstyner
Sid Agranoff
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Theo Balberyszski
David Golomb
Betty Levy
Ron Sekel