NAME: Shavit (Strauch), Yehuda


DATE OF BIRTH: August 13, 1923

DATE OF DEATH: June 5, 1983

Yehuda was born on 13.8.1923 in Danzig, Poland, also known as Gdansk. He was the only son of Dr. Moshe Strauch, the head of Hebrew Gymnasium in Włocławek, and Hedva, a teacher in school and kindergarten. Yehuda made aliyah with his parents in 1933, studying in a number of schools: Beit Chinuch, Balfour, Kedma and Nordia.

He joined Lehi in 1942. He was captured by the CID but he escaped their Tel Aviv headquarters by jumping from a second-story window. He hid in many places, but he never stopped his underground activities, recruiting and training, when he was once again captured by the British in early 1947. He was exiled to Kenya’s Gilgil detention camp. He was kept there for fourteen months until he returned with the last group in July 1948.

In September, he joined the IDF, serving for about a year in the Guard Corps of the Carmel District, Battalion 121 of the 8th Brigade (medium machine guns and mortars).

He was on the left wing of Lehi, following Natan Yellin-Mor (Gera). He continued on this path after the establishment of the State.

In 1955, he married Miriam Mark, and they had two children, Anat and Eran.

Yehuda was a social worker for the Tel Aviv Municipality, from 1951 until his death.

In 1983, he helped establish and develop the core principles of the social work department in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

He was well-regarded personally and professional. He was an instructor for youth groups and helped disaffected youth and young people in crisis, working with the homeless. In his last years, he was the spokesman for the department.

Yehuda was famous for his poetry, which he began publishing in the 1940s in various periodicals. He published four books of poetry, in 1970, 1972, 1974 and 1980 respectively: Suddenly Reversed in the Mirror, To See Black in Love, Poems in the Chaos of the Body and Barefoot Like a Bird. He also wrote children’s songs and books, sculpting and painting in charcoal and oils. His works were exhibited in 1980 in the Aked gallery. He explored transcendental meditation and was interested in yoga and Kabbala.

He passed away, after a lengthy illness, on 5.6.1983.