NAME: Kalmi, Yitzhak


DATE OF BIRTH: September 25, 1915

DATE OF DEATH: December 22, 1987

Yitzhak was born on September 25,1915 in Sofia, Bulgaria, to Yaakov and Sarah. His father was a wealthy butcher while his mother was a homemaker raising the two children. In his youth, he studied in the Hebrew school, then he moved on to the Reali High School. He joined the youth movements, first HaShomer HaTza’ir and then Beitar. He distinguished himself in his leadership abilities. Before making aliyah, he was made the Beitar representative for Bulgaria. He then made aliyah in 1936 alone, as his parents and sister stayed behind.

He joined the Beitar work company in Zikhron Yaakov and the Western Wall company in Jerusalem; he also founded a company in Ekron. He was arrested by the British and spent six months in Acre Prison. He was commander of a Beitar company in Magdiel, where he married and had a daughter, but the marriage failed and ended in divorce. While he was instructing a course, he was arrested again for another six months. While in Magdiel, he was recruited for the IZL, and after the split, he moved on to Lehi.

During World War II, he enlisted in the British Army and served at warehouses in Cyprus and Egypt, while he continued his underground activity. He was in Egypt when Lord Moyne was assassinated, and he was arrested due to informers. He was exiled to Eritrea, where he remained for three-and-a-half years. After his return, he enlisted in the IDF; after completing his service, he became a civilian IDF employee. He then worked at Ramleh Engines.

In 1949, he married Hannah Gershon, and they had two daughters, Sarah and Nurit. In Ramleh, he became politically active for Mapai. He also volunteered with various public-welfare organizations. He was a founder of Bnai Brith’s Ramleh chapter, where he remained active and eventually became the chapter president. In 1963, he did the same in Lod and became the president of that chapter as well.

From 1972 until he retired, Yitzhak worked in the aerospace industry.

He passed away on December 22,1987. Posthumously, he was named a worthy citizen of Lod, in recognition of all his activities there.