My name is Leah Kurtz, I turn to you in hope that you can help me and my family find peace and an answer to a sad and very frustrating case.
My parents Wasi and Yitzchak Galam passed away in the 80’s, and while looking through their documents we found a note that listed the name and ID number of my little sister, the late Rachel Galam. My subsequent inquiries, made it clear that those details would lead me to reopen a deep wound hidden within the family, a secret that carries with it pain and deep frustration among the family.
My mother gave birth to her youngest child, Rachel Galam, on June 27, 1951 in Israel, and at the age of 5 months the girl was admitted to the hospital for a certain reason. After two weeks, my family received word from Assaf Harofeh Hospital that the child had died for no reason and quite suddenly, and that there is no reason for them to come to the hospital, seeing that the hospital had already buried the body of little Rachel in a cemetery in Be'er Ya’akov.
My parents in their naivety believed that the girl had died and was buried, they believed in the system and in the doctors, and accepted the awful fate.
And so, over the years they had more children, but over the years the feeling grew in me, that the girl never actually died, and that she had been taken away from us. A funeral was never held and no burial plot or death certificate were found. I maintained the suspicion that my sister may never have died, but I did not share it with my family so as not to raise the painful issue and because I knew that my family did not have the economic means to search for her using private investigators, and also I didn’t want to reopen a deep wound based on a concern of which I was not certain. I remember that she was a particularly beautiful girl and looked relatively big for her age. I think of her all the time and never stopped feeling with all my heart and soul that my little sister is alive and well. I remember her precise date of birth by heart, because she was born two weeks after a niece of mine was born.
Additionally, I went to the Population Authority with my sister Rachel’s ID number.After filling out some forms I received a document confirming that she was registered as being alive, there is no death certificate and there never was one! And it seems that there had been no use or change made to the ID. After asking the lady clerk some questions in order to know what had happened to my sister over the years, it seemed that the information in the Ministry of Interior in its entirety has remained as it was at the time of Rachel’s birth – such as the place of residence in Kiryat Ekron in the area where the new immigrants’ shacks had been (and where my parents had lived).
Today, I am already 72 years old. After my parents and most of my siblings have passed away, I hope that maybe the suspicions in my heart are true and my little sister actually disappeared with Assaf Harofeh Hospital’s support, and that she is actually alive somewhere in Israel or abroad. It’s well known that many kidnappings of Mizrachi children were committed in Israel at that time, and so, since this dreadful phenomenon occurred in the State of Israel, the suspicion rose in me that my sister is alive. 65 years have passed, and I would like you to help me give an ending to this story that has troubled me all these years past.
I pray for the day that I get to see my lost sister.
I remember that she was a particularly beautiful girl and looked relatively big for her age. I think of her all the time and never stopped feeling with all my heart and soul that my little sister is alive and well