New Book: Taking Tamar #latvia

Gary Mokotoff: <mokotoff@...>

Avotaynu has published its first book that has nothing to do with genealogy.
It has to do with a genealogist. Martha Lev-Zion of Omer, Israel, is very
active in Jewish genealogy. To highlight just some of her activities, she is
founder and president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Negev—a
branch of the Israel Genealogical Society, and she is on the Board of
Directors of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.
She was on the committee that made a success the 2004 International
Conference on Jewish Genealogy held in Jerusalem and is a past president of
the Latvia Special Interest Group.

Twenty years ago, Martha, a single woman then in her 40s, heard about a TV
documentary regarding 22 children with severe birth defects who had been
abandoned by their birth parents in Israeli hospitals. Martha applied for
one of those babies and got no immediate response. Eventually she was told
that of the 65 applications received, hers was the last one considered;
likely because of her age and marital status. In the end, with only one baby
remaining, Martha took into her care a 14-month-old girl with Down syndrome.
This book relates the amazing journey of Martha's life raising her adopted
daughter Tamar.

Interwoven with her experiences fighting Israeli governmental authorities,
school systems, the birth family, and even the U.S. government, was her
commitment to bring up her daughter as normally as possible and the
incredible accomplishments her daughter has achieved.

Typical of her problem with agencies was the United States government who
initially refused Tamar a visa because "the United States of America is not
required to allow visas to the following categories of applicants:
ex-convicts, dope addicts, or the mentally retarded." (Tamar now has dual
citizenship Israeli and American).

I have always told people that genealogical research requires persistence
and patience. Martha has demonstrated she is the ultimate genealogist
through her persistence and patience to maximize her daughter's potential.

The book includes a photo album of Tamar (and Martha) in the 20 years of
Tamar's life. It is easy and enjoyable reading; enjoyable because you know
the ultimate outcome will be success.

Additional information about the book, including excerpts >from the book, can
be found at

Gary Mokotoff

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