Moving to Israel at 97
Maria Bertha Holskon from Argentina becomes one of Israel’s oldest new olim – making aliyah at the ripe old age of 97
Over the last few weeks one very special new arrival has been settling down in Israel: The oldest woman to make aliyah in the last few years, maybe ever, 97-year-old Maria Bertha Holskon has come home.
Holskon was born in 1915 in a Jewish town in Argentina near Carlos Casares, founded by Baron Hirsch. In her teens she was the local beauty queen and when she grew up she moved to Buenos Aires where she remained until she decided to make aliyah.
Her youngest daughter Dalia influenced her decision to make the move to Israel; she had already made aliyah and was living in Kfar Saba, and now Maria Bertha lives there too. She has two daughters, seven grandchildren, five great grandchildren and three more on the way.
Among the possessions she brought with her to Israel are love letters she wrote to the man who would later become her husband and pictures of her family from bygone days.
And what is her secret to a long life? “Loving people and making them love you. Giving unconditionally without expecting anything in return, never stop exercising; smile a lot and offer help to anyone in need of assistance.”
I couldn’t find a photo of Maria Bertha, so here’s a photo of the 104 young people who made aliyah last August on a joint Nefesh B’Nefesh/Friends of the IDF charter flight, on their way to becoming Chayalim Bodedim (Lone Soldiers) in the IDF.