HARRY SABEL BRANCH
Sabel was born on January 1st, 1909 in East Ham, the seventh and
youngest child of Leah and Abraham Abba. Like his brothers, he studied at the
East Ham Technical School where he showed an early talent for languages
inherited). He left school at what to us seems the incredibly
young age of fifteen. As was the norm in those times, he soon later opened
his own business – London Surplus Stores
in Hammersmith. The telephone
number was Riverside 5355!
21 he met his future wife, Gladys (Shapiro), at a wedding. They
. Harry called it “Lloyds Overall
Service”. Since they always addressed
each other as “darling” and wanted to conceal that the business consisted of the two of them, they explained to their
customers that their names were Mr. and Mrs. Darling! They later sold the
laundry business to the Initial Towel Company, who began to be apprehensive at
the competition from this tiny outfit.
With the proceeds they made what was at that time an adventurous trip
across the ocean to the United States. They were seen off and
Saybells, with the Berlins.
Pamela was born on September 12th 1936 at Chiswick Hospital. Harry was staying with his parents and since it was Rosh Hashanah - out of respect for them he, in accordance with Jewish law, made the journey on foot!
After the outbreak of
WWII, Harry volunteered to join the British Army, even though he had not been
conscripted, and was sent to Officers Training School (Aldershot?Winchester?). Because of his abilities and talent for
languages he was transferred to the Intelligence Corps and specialized in
counter-intelligence .,, He later
recalled having had to “hang out” in West End bars,
keeping an ear open for loose talk. On on ce occasion he heard a conversation about British
fighter aircraft with a television screen inside. Harry recounted that it sounded absolutely ridiculous to him,
though he reported the conversation and thus perhaps prevented the leaking to
the Germans of Britain’s
greatest wartime secret;
Harry was transferred to GHQ Cairo, where he served as a
military censor, rising to the rank of Captain.
. His superiors recommended that he be transferred to
counter-intelligence in Cairo but the transfer was denied. It later came out that this was because of
his close connections with the leaders of the Jewish community in what was then
Palestine.,,He found a cosmopolitan ,
sophisticated community n
and he proudly conversed with
them in French, in addition to the rudimentary Arabic which he had taught
himself. Among the families he met
there were the Ambasch sisters, one of whom later married Aubrey (Abba) Eban
and another Vivian (Haim) Herzog.
Gladys, who was running the family business during the war years, moved the family to Knebworth away from the bombing and commuted daily to London. Robbie was born in 1941, in the cottage hospital of Knebworth. Family lore has it that
Pamela, at five years old, was less than delighted at the new arrival and competition and made various attempts to push him and his nanny into the bathtub!
Harry, although not a Zionist, became enthusiastic
about Zionism after spending his leaves from the army in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem
and visiting some of the what were then
the innovative forms of communal life – the kibbutzim. It was there that he was
“adopted” by some of the leaders of the Jewish leaders of the Yishuv (Jewish
community of Palestine) who later became Cabinet ministers in the first
Government of Israel.
Having been away for three
After the war Harry became involved in the Ealing Zionist
movement and when Israel’s war of Independence broke out, he volunteered to
join the Israel army, traveling to Israel illegally,
posing as a tourist. Harry was then 39 with two children and, understandably,
Gladys was not at all happy at having him go off to another war.
via the Haganah training camp in Marseilles (check name).
In what had now become Israel,
When fighting had ceased in the Jerusalem area, Harry was joined by Gladys and the children. They still recall the flight to Israel in a Dakota DC3 aircraft. Lod (Ben-Gurion airport) was still in Arab hands and the plane was due therefore, to land at an unlit landing strip in Haifa. Since dark was approaching, the Belgian pilot informed the passengers that he would have to land in Beirut where there was proper lighting. This was when the war was still on. Only frantic objections from the passengers and the quick setting up of kerosene lamps along the landing strip finally persuaded the pilot to land in Haifa.
When the fighting finally ended, Harry was appointed the
Government Press Information Officer (PIO) acting as the Spokesman for the Israeli Government.
In (?) Sidney, Betty and Peter were the first
members of the Sabel family to visit Harry and Gladys in Jerusalem and their film of the visit
became a staple feature at various London Zionist meetings.
Things in Israel were tough in those days. After having come through austerity and rationing in England, Gladys had to face rationing again in Israel in addition to wrestling with Hebrew, a language which she never completely mastered.
Her English austerity
experience was put to use,
when she traveled to settlements of new immigrants and taught them how to use
powdered eggs and milk. Even the
Russian that she learned from her parents came
of useand she liked to
recall how, when the Russian-speaking greengrocer tried to cheat her out of her
ration of vegetables, this polite English lady shocked him by coming out with
an explicit description in Russian of the greengrocer’s parents’ genital
parents vehemently denied that she could have learned such language at home!
Pamela, who was 12 when she came to Israel, found it very hard to adjust from the strict discipline of the Haberdasher’s Aske’s Girls School to the laxity of the Israeli co-ed school system compounded by the need to learn a new language. Robbie, who did not inherit Harry’s language talents, was equally unhappy in his first year. He recalls having the teacher call upon him to explain, in Hebrew, British foreign policy of Ernest Bevin. Robbie burst into tears and ran away from school.
Harry left Government
service and, for the rest of his career in Israel worked for the Jewish Agency
and the Jewish National Fund, including stints in England and South Africa
where he served as J.N.F. Director.
Pamela served in the Israel
Army, studied languages at the Hebrew UniversityEnglish, and at
the age of 19 married Werner Loval, then a young diplomat in the Israel Foreign
Service. She had to receive special
permission from the army to go abroad on her
to get the necessary authorization!
Pamela and Werner subsequently served at the Israel Embassies in Guatemala and Mexico . Werner then left the Foreign Service and founded the Jerusalem office of the Anglo-Saxon Real Estate Company, now Israel’s leading real estate company.
Pamela worked for many years as the head of the bureau of the President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later as personal assistant to Aura Herzog, the wife of Israel’s sixth President (Haim Herzog).
Pamela and Werner have 4 children:
an architect, married to Shirley. They
have three children, Liron, Ori Harry, and Yael. They live
who has a B.A. in computer studies and an M.A. in Business Administration has
followed Werner into the Anglo-Saxon real estate company. He is married to Smadar and they have four
children: Netta, Tamar, Amir and Hagai
· Debbie, who graduated in occupational therapy but now works in alternative medicine. She is married to David and they have three children; Tal, Maya and Shani. They live on Kibbutz Gezer, not far from Jerusalem.
who has an M.A. in Social Work, specializing in early childhood. She works with disadvantaged children and
children at risk. She is married to
Amir and they have (so far!) one son, Guy.
They also live
Robbie studied at Carmel College in England and
returned to serve in the Israeli Army.
His reserve duty was as Chief Military Censor for Jerusalem, interesting
in view of Harry’s military career!
then studied law at the Hebrew
University and began
the legal department of the Israel Foreign Ministry, rising to the post of the
legal advisor with the rank of ambassador.
He also served as the Political Counselor at the Israel Embassy in
Director-General of the Israel Foreign Ministryp his On retirement from the Foreign Ministry Robbie began
teaching international law at the
Robbie married Ruthie
and they had two children; insert
Danny who was the local Israel journalist for the LA Times. Danny
served as a tank commander in the army, trekked over the Himalayas,
studied history and philosophy at the Hebrew University and was an enthusiastic
guitar player. Danny died of cancer aged 27.
Michal, a senior lawyer, in the Israel State Prosecutor’s
Office who is married to Arnon, also a lawyer, who is in private practice.
Michal and Arnon have three children:
Dana, Omer and Tamar and
they live near Jerusalem.