Arie Jaffe (1923 -2001)
One of the most central and active members of the Desk passed away suddenly on October 25th, 2001.
Three tributes from very different sources throw some light on his personality and the wide radius of his life.
From the letter from Germany's President Johannes Rau, read out at the funeral:
"... So there grew a real friendship with quite an unconventional man, who should have had a much more forming influence in his country and amongst his people than he was able to attain. We liked and respected each other, we were in close inner contact with each other..."
From Jan Bang, former kibbutznik, now member of Solborg Camphill, Norway:
"... He was one of my heroes, a role model in all respects, with a colourful life behind him, and a way of presenting his views that I could only hope to aspire to, but never reach."
From the letter of Traudl Wallbrecher, spiritual leader of the Integrierte Gemeinde:
"... We gave thanks for his life, his friendship, his wide open heart which will help to carry us in the coming years, so that we will not lose hope and can carry his and our dream a step further into the hearts of the next generation: To seek and to find the way of peace between all who are still able and would like to trust in God's promise..."
At the age of 78, after completing a third stint as Secretary of Kibbutz Yakum, Arie had just received his M.A. in History, with distinction, and was about to undertake an important task: setting up a joint archives of the International Communal Studies Association and the Communes Desk. He was a co-founder and active member of the Urfeld Circle, the unique joint group of the German Integrierte Gemeinde and kibbutzniks.
Arie was born in Berlin in 1923. When the Nazis came to power, he moved to Lithuania, and then the Soviet Union, serving in the Red Army during World War 2. After the war he was active in the organisation of "illegal immigration" of survivors to Palestine and in the executive of the Socialist-Zionist youth movement, Hashomer Hatzair. Arie immigrated to Palestine in 1950 and joined Kibbutz Yakum, where he worked in the citrus groves, and in the cultivation of vegetables and fodder. Over the years he occupied a series of responsible positions in Mapam, the Socialist-Zionist Party, and in its kibbutz movement.
We sorely miss him.