The Ha’aretz Magazine’s “Family Affair” column is one of my favorite regular journalism features. Each column looks at a different Israeli family — some ordinary, some less so — and probes their lives, their dreams, their beliefs, their values, their family histories.
As watchers of reality TV know, glancing into the lives of others has its own inherent allure. But Israel’s tremendous diversity and the tumultuous history of the Jewish people over the past century makes “Family Affair” consistently engrossing.
This week’s is a particular winner, focused on Miki and Yehudit, two Israeli sisters in their 60s who were born in Holland with Hitler on the march, hidden by their parents with non-Jewish farmers during the war and then grew up in a succession of orphanages and boarding schools.
Theirs is a tremendously moving story about two women whose childhoods were marked by enormous tragedy and dislocation — as is the case for so many of their compatriots of a certain age — but managed to build normal lives for themselves in Israel.
Here’s their story.