NAME: Assa Naomi nee Arkabi

LEHI ALIAS: Ilana

DATE OF BIRTH: 1930

Naomi was born 1930 in Aden, southern Yemen 1930 to Shimon and Hanna, who had dreamt of living in Israel their entire lives. Their dream came true with their arrival in 1934  when Naomi was four. The family’s absorption process was difficult; they lived in tents in Tel-Aviv for a long time. Eventually the ten-member family moved to their apartment near “Habima” theatre, with aid from a rich Yemenite benefactor. They were religious, thus she studied in a religious elementary school, was a member in the Religious Scouts and graduated from the ‘Moriah’ religious high school. Naomi  joined Lehi in 1945 aged 15. She took part in weapons training and distributed info-material. Naomi  excelled in recruiting new members and recruited many  to the underground in Tel-Aviv. She was also active in Haifa. She was supposed to take part in a weapons-training course, meant to be held November 1947 in Ra’anana. She didn’t make it to the course because her mother’s pleading with her prevented her leaving the house. The day after the course began, in an isolated house  in Ra’anana, the participants were surrounded by British soldiers. When the participants attempted escaping through a backdoor to a nearby orchard, the British started firing an automatic weapon killing five youngsters; five more were put on trial and  got long sentences. Naomi was thus spared a horrible fate because of her mother’s insistence.  After the War of Independence, she graduated from ‘Talpiot’ religious teachers’ seminary and in 1950  began working as a kindergarten teacher. Between 1954-1956 she worked in England in a Jewish religious school. In Israel she was a kindergarten teacher for thirty years, until retirement. Naomi is married to Reuven Assa. They have two children and  a grandson. She continues to contribute in the field of education.

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