"A letter to the Editor"... A reply to the Alena Lourie Tribute by Stephen Darori
"Habonim was actually started as Yeladei Poalei Zion ילדי פועלי ציון in 1926 in Cape Town by Sarah Kaplan Drus and in December 1930 Norman Lourie expanded it nationwide in direct opposition to the country wide establishment of Betar in South Africa . Zeev Jabotinsky visited South Africa from October 1930 to August 1931. While he was in South Africa he was informed that the British would not allow him to return to Zion and his stay was extended considerably . Betar was established by Harry Hurwitz ( one of Menachem Begin's wingmen after 1977), Meir Katz ( long time educationist and principal at Herzlia.com) and my paternal grandfather Hymie Baker whose older brother had being a childhood friend of Jabotinsky in Odessa .
Two opposing Jewish Youth Movements one promoting Labour Zionism of Beryl Katzenelson and the other promoting Revisionist Zionism of Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin's Betar Movement in Poland. In 1932 the first Zionist Youth conference was held .... not to oppose and shout at each other but rather to encourage Jewish Youth Participation in the two Zionist youth organisations.
Sarah Kaplan Drus was my Material grandmother . Poalei Zion established in 1923 became the Bnoth Zion Organisation in South Africa in 1934. To this day the major activity of the Bnoth Zion is running thousands strong creches for Black and coloured working mothers largely in Cape Town and now also in Soweto and Alexandra. "