Yaacov Weisman
1943 - May 24, 2020
Hi Lizzie ,
I am excited and glad to receive your mail.
Sorry for my belated response, we were away with all our children and grandchildren on a short holiday but that is a poor excuse since we are already back home nearly a week. The truth is that I am very slow in writing so please send me your phone No. so that I can also call you. Unfortunately I am not on Facebook, Tova my wife is a Clinical Psychoanalyst so we have to keep a certain degree of privacy. I am also not on Skype, until now no need since all our kids live near us, but I shall try to connect soon.
John and Mary’s visit was very exiting and enjoyable. It rekindled fond memories from a beautiful period in my life and good friendships that somehow got left behind when I returned home. It is amazing how nostalgic we become with age. I also have some photos from those youthful happy days, I promised John to scan and send them and I will send them to you as well.
Attached is a photo of our family taken at a reception celebrating Tomer’s wedding.
From right to left Tova (my wife), me, Anat (Tomer’s wife), Tomer (our elder son,40), Orly (our daughter, 36), Ido (our youngest, 28) and Ran (Orly’s husband).

We now have 3 small grandsons.   Ido is not yet married. It seems that all our kids took cue from us and married late so the only thing that we can do is wait patiently.
When I returned home, after completing my engineering degree and army service, I set up together with my father a factory manufacturing electrical wire and cable and also plastic pipes. Today Tomer is running the business but I am still very active on a full daily basis, consulting and helping.
That is enough about me for now.
Waiting to talk to you soon.

Born in Haifa (then British mandated Palestine), Yaacov completed primary and some high school before he accompanied his father to visit his great uncle Edward Weissman who owned and ran two gift stores ("Marlane") and a bar selling pineapple crush, in the city of Sydney and lived in Bondi Road. Yaacov's father returned to his home and family in Israel after several weeks while the 15 year-old Yaacov continued his secondary schooling at Randwick Boys' High and was elected a prefect. He was an excellent basketballer, a game which he enjoyed playing very much.  He went on to study engineering at Sydney University.  In 1963 he left Sydney to return to his family in Israel.

While in Sydney Yaacov  played an active role in Betar. He served on the mifkada and was a group and camp leader.

Liz Kornhaber (Schneider) remembers “the afternoon when this handsome, gorgeous looking boy turned up at our Betar Meeting in Albert Street, Edgecliff, and as a 15 year old girl I was immediately smitten."

“One particularly memorable event was in 1969: I was married and living in London and just had my first child Michael when. out of the blue. I got a phone call from Yaacov saying he was coming to London and would be staying with me for two weeks.  (I was very happy about seeing old friends visiting me in London, having had many old Betar friends visiting me); he then proceeded to tell me not to tell anyone he was in London, and when he left, he was never there; of course I complied, but my husband Tom was most bemused.”

Fifty years later I found out the reason for Yaacov's secrecy! Tova, his widow told me that he was in the U.K. as part of his military service and  helped with the purchase of sensitive equipment for the Israeli defense department!

Yaacov’s uncle had a cottage at 9 Echo Point Road, Katoomba, where Yaacov spent quite a bit of time and sometimes invited friends to join him. On a couple of occasions he led an "expedition" to conquer the Three Sisters rising out of the nearby Jamieson Valley together with his close friend John Ziegler (who had introduced him to Betar in 1958). I was honoured to join this enterprise on one occasion and we approached the sisters gingerly from the side and managed to plant a flag on the top of the middle "sister".

He was in contact with the Betar volunteers who came over in June and July 1967 and helped us with many little bits of advice as well as rekindling our previous friendship. My particular memory is that of Yaacov guiding Ros and me through the Jewish Agency offices in Haifa so that we could join our Sydney friends at kibbutz Kissufim on the Gaza border.

On his return to Haifa Yaacov joined his father's electrical cable company and took over its management when his father retired. The company site (wfi.co.il) lists its products which now include electrical and communication cables, PVC channels, electric insulation tapes, water and drainage pipes, irrigation piping and erosion prevention ground covering. It is an amazing family company which Yaacov expanded and for the past couple of years has been managed by his elder son, Tomer, with Yaacov helping and consulting until his sudden untimely passing in 2020. Ironically,  right at that time Yaacov was planning his first return to Sydney in more than 50 years; the plans were on hold first because of bushfires, then because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yaacov was a bright and gentle person but quiet and modest. He was a great and generous friend with a wonderful sense of humour.  He was especially proud of his factory, his family and his country and very happy to be able to contribute to the running and maintenance of the factory in retirement.  He was particularly proud of the use of recycled plastic as the main raw material in the manufacture of plastic agricultural and engineering materials.

Ido, the youngest of his three children, is a filmmaker and Yaacov not only encouraged and supported him but even played supporting roles in the productions!

He will be sorely missed by his wife of over 44 years, Tova (nee Dekel), his son Tomer, daughter Orly and son Ido and his three grandsons.

Henry (Bish) Ben Ezra (formerly Bishopverder)  
Contributed by Liz Kornhaber, May 25 2020
From right to left Tova (my wife), me, Anat (Tomer’s wife), Tomer (our elder son,40), Orly (our daughter, 36), Ido (our youngest, 28) and Ran (Orly’s husband).
Letter to Liz Kornhaber