lady painting

 

Dec 2004 Journal

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Letter from Israel

Ilona first entered my world some ten years ago, when she was about 14 years old. She had immigrated to Israel from Russia with her mother and grandmother not long before, and was attending the prestigious Jerusalem Music Academy High School. For lack of means, however, she had been unable to buy the required textbooks and had been told not to return until she had obtained them.

Somehow this information came to the ears of Bnai Brith's English-speaking Albert Einstein Lodge in Jerusalem, of which both my late parents were members. The Lodge committee saw fit to extend some financial aid to the young girl, who quickly won the hearts of its members. The financial assistance continued for several years and without a doubt contributed to Ilona's success.

Ilona combines immense musical talent with great personal charm. After finishing high school she went on to complete graduate studies at the Rubin Academy of Music, also in Jerusalem. She undertook the onerous task of a double degree, in both piano and voice, studying with some of Israel's leading teachers. In addition to the assistance from Bnai Brith, Ilona won scholarships from the America-Israel Fund.

From time to time, with the assistance of the Lodge, Ilona gave concerts, displaying her talents and achievements. It was always extremely gratifying for the members to see the progress of their young protégée, and over the years her audiences grew ever larger.

After completing her studies in Jerusalem Ilona moved to London, where she was awarded a place at the Royal Academy of Music to undertake further voice studies. Having successfully completed her MA, she is currently working in London and building her operatic career.

It is gratifying to know that Ilona's talent has been enabled to blossom through the foresight and kindness of patrons in Israel and England.
Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

previous article:The hinge generation (book review)
next article:Central Office for Holocaust Claims