Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vera Weizmann
Vera Weizmann (1881-1968) was a wife of Chaim Weizman, medical doctor and a Zionist activist.
She was born in the town of Rostov, Russia and acquired her medical training in Geneva, Switzerland.
She married Chaim Weizmann in 1906, and they had two sons. The Weizman family lived in Manchester, England for thirty years (1906-1937). In 1913, Vera Weizman received her English medical license and worked as a doctor in the public health service at seven clinics for infants, developing advanced techniques for infant supervision and nutrition.
During her career, Vera Weizmann treated approximately 10,000 babies annually. Most of her work was performed as a volunteer.
In 1916, Dr. Weizmann had to give up her work as a pediatrician when she joined her husband upon his appointment as the scientific adviser in chemistry to the British Admiralty during World War I. In the years that followed, Dr. Vera Weizman devoted herself to promoting the Zionist vision and her husband's political activity.
In 1920, together with six other women, Dr. Vera Weizmann founded the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO). She was the head of the organization, acting as President, alternately with Lady Sieff for about forty years.
When World War II began, she devoted all of her efforts to Aliyat Hanoar ("Youth Aliyah"), an organization that she established in England and continued to head in Israel as honorary President.
Their younger son Michael Weizman served as a pilot in the British Royal Air Force during WWII and was killed when his plane was shot down over the Bay of Biscay.
During Israel's War of Independence, Dr. Vera Weizmann focused on the treatment and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. Immediately after the war, she established the Association of the War of Independence Handicapped Veterans and served as its President. She also established two centers for the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, Beit Kay in Nahariya and the Department of Rehabilitation at Sheba — Tel Hashomer Hospital.
In addition to her activity in these organizations, Dr. Vera Weizman gave her support to many voluntary organizations such as ILAN, Magen David Adom, for which she served as President, and dozens of other private and institutional charitable endeavors.

No comments: