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"SEEDS OF MY LIFE " by Albert Chiat

"SEEDS OF MY LIFE  " by Albert Chiat
Reviewed by his daughter – Michal Peleg

Albert Chiat  ( 1914 – 1987), 15 years old and alone, made his way from his village in Lithuania to Cape Town.

"Seeds of my life" tells the story of a young  boy who left home to find a life for himself.
Suffering from poverty in his childhood, he dreamed of earning money to send home to his family.

Albert Chiat's life was full of adventure, of wisdom, of humor and of faith.

Having a business mind he was always on the lookout to make a deal, to make a profit, to better himself and always in an honest manner.

And so, slowly but surely he worked his way up the ladder and became a respected man in business, at the sports club and in the synagogue, and actually - in all walks of his life.

In his book, he captures our interest, fascinates us, makes us  laugh, makes us sad, and gives us an insight of his life in Lithuania, in Russia and in Cape Town.

It seems that every day in his life was an adventure!

During his childhood years poverty was abundant in the shtettl.  

As a young boy one entrepreneurship was to sell eggs. " My career as an egg dealer did not last long…. One day I bought a lot of eggs… a farmer passed by on his sled and offered me a lift… I sat in the small sled alongside … the horse suddenly jerked... I fell off with the basket of eggs and they all broke. They smashed into little pieces and my heart was broken too. He had a good laugh and I had a good cry."

Being a Zionist he said "I want to retire in Israel so that I can walk around with a kippa on my head and no one will say anything" . And so he did.

In Israel he didn't stop …

Living in Netantya, and being an avid bowler he had nowhere to play nearby, so what did he do? Together with his wife Debby, heestablished the Netanya Lawn Bowls Cub in the Wingate Institute, and was president for many years.

But that wasn't enough. He volunteered at the soldiers' kiosk, was active in the synagogue, visited his children and grandchildren and much much more… As they say - there was never a dull moment in his life.

A book critique wrote : "Two old sayings come to mind: that everyone has at least one good story to tell – and he has quite a few -  and that when a man talks shop about what he knows, he usually talks sense. Albert Chiat has done both engagingly, artlessly and honestly."

Albert Chait’s book can be purchased from the Telfed offices for a 25 NIS donation to Keren Telfed.

Please email Avital on or call 09-7907801.

(If you want the book posted to you, please add an additional 20NIS to your Keren Telfed donation).


Alongside our father in all spheres was  our mother – Debby, who devoted herself to raising their 4 children ( Evelyn, Neville, Marcelle and Leonard), and in doing voluntary work  mainly in  Wizo and many other organizations for  raising money for Israel .

Debby , now 93½, lives in Netanya, has 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren... so far.

Max, Albert's older brother who is prominent in the book, also made Aliya with his wife Riva, as did their 3 children (Eleanor, Benjy and Shirley) .

Telfed has selected a few books for you written by talented members of our community.

Orders can be placed by email ( or by telephone: 09 7907801.

  • Rise and Shine Personal Development Journal by Andi Saitowitz click here for purchase details (Special Chanukkah Price - NIS 50)
  • Writ in Water by Nina Selbst – NIS 50 (100% of proceeds allocated to Keren Telfed)
  • Valley of Heaven and Earth by Jonathan Zausmer – NIS 60 (NIS 10 to Keren Telfed)
  • Street Names in Israel by Peter Bailey – NIS 80 (NIS 10 to Keren Telfed)
  • The Travelling Rabbi by Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft – NIS 50 (100% of proceeds allocated to Keren Telfed)
  • The Call of Africa is heard in Brooklyn - A Memoir about Rabbi Avraham Tanzer, by Marcia Tanzer - NIS 50

** If postage is needed, an additional 20 shekel fee will apply.


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