NAME: Yardeni, Israel and Atara

LEHI ALIAS: Baal HaHoma

DATE OF BIRTH: Israel - 1903; Atara - 1905

DATE OF DEATH: Israel - February 8, 1989; Atara - June 29, 1981

Israel, son of Yosef and Hannah, was born in 1903 in Horodenka, Galicia (then Poland, now Ukraine). He was raised to love the Land of Israel, and his mother would say: “Israel is your name, and Israel is your land.” 1918 saw pogroms against the Jews of Galicia, and his parents hid women and children in their basement. When some rioters came towards the house, Israel shot and them and chased them away. He was captured by the police, but he slipped away. He decided that the time had come for aliyah. He stowed away on a ship and worked there as a cabin-boy for two years, until it docked in Haifa, at which point he leapt into the sea and swam to shore.

His first job was at the Shemen Factory in Haifa Bay. There he met Atara Waskobojnik, who worked in the kitchen. Atara was the daughter of Hayim and Sasia, born in 1905 in Bessarabia. At a young age she was orphaned and raised by an uncle in Kiev. In 1919, he she reached the Land of Israel, studying cooking, sewing and farming.

The couple soon married and head to Tel Aviv to find their future.

In Kfar Saba, they met PICA’s representatives, who gave them a plot near Givat Hen, where they set up their home. The spot would soon become Raanana.

Israel was injured in the 1936 riots. In 1939, he joined the British Army. When IZL split, he followed Yair, smuggling weapons to Lehi from Egypt. When he was demobilized, he returned full-time to Lehi.

The Yardeni home was a safe house for Lehi fighters. Posters were distributed from there, while arms and explosives were stored there. This allowed Lehi to bomb and mine various strategic locations, while the escapees from Latrun and Acre found refuge. Israel hired members of the underground to work in his orchard as a cover story. Their children also took part. In addition, the family had an important role in keeping communications open.

After the War of Independence, Israel bought large tracts of land in the area of Raanana. He spent his whole life in agriculture, helping all he could. Atara accompanied him in everything, an exemplary spouse.

Atara passed away on June 29,1981. Israel passed away on February 8,1989. They left nine children and numerous grandchildren.

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