Shoshana Fidler Scholarship

Shoshana Fidler, 1955 Shoshana Fidler, 1955

Shoshana was born in 1916 in Yaffo, Palestine. She was a seventh generation of families from Hungary and Russia who came to Eretz Israel in the late 1700's.

She lost her father in the first world war when she was eight months old. With her mother Rivka, and her four older siblings, she came back to Jerusalem, where her mother, siblings, and ancestors were born.

She attended the British College School for Girls in Jerusalem and was an outstanding athlete. She competed on the Eretz Israel team in the first and second Maccabia games, garnering a gold medal in each in the 60 meter run. While competing in the first Maccabia she met her future husband, Pinchas (Paul) Fidler, who was a mainstay of the soccer team for many years. She was fourteen, he was twenty. They dated in secret, and upon her turning eighteen, in 1934, they married.

In 1936, their first son, Yeshayahu was born. Their second son, Yaron, followed in 1943. During these years, both Paul and Shosh, as she was known, were in the Hagaana. Paul served as well in the British Army during world war two, and Shosh was an arms carrier, hiding arms on her body, especially while being pregnant with Yaron.

On May 1st 1948, two weeks before the State of Israel was born, Paul was killed during a bombardment of Jerusalem, while walking Shosh, his children and her mother to a safer place, as their home was near where the Jordanian and Iraqi armies where stationed. He was 37, she was 31. Yeshayahu (Shaika) was 11 and Yaron was 5.

In 1949, as the war of liberation ended, Shosh applied for a job at the Jewish Agency, and six months later she moved on to the newly created Prime Minister office in Jerusalem, where she worked with Teddy Kollek, and David Ben Gurion, heading and running their office. She stayed with that job until 1959, when she went to Washington DC, to work with the newly appointed Ambassador to the USA, Abe Harman.

Shoshana Fidler, 1995 Shoshana Fidler, 1995

In 1963, she came back to Israel, and worked at the Prime Minister office again. David Ben Gurion quit as Prime Minister that same year, and moved to S'de Boker in the Negev. Teddy Kollek asked Shosh to stay on and help break in Levy Eshkol as Prime Minister. She did so for a year, and then moved on to work with Abba Eben, in the education and foreign ministry.

In 1965 she quit the government, and at the suggestion of her close friend (whom she met in the 1950s) Sam Rothberg, she started a new career, working with The American Friends of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in the Jerusalem campus. She worked at the university until her retirement at the age of 70, in 1986.

She traveled the world widely, through her work, and as a private person. Even in her later years, and being in poor health, she traveled to France to attend her son's (Shaika) accepting a high award, the gold medal of Paris, from the French Government, and to the USA to visit her family and to get to know her first great grandson, Jake.

She had a great love for Israel, and felt a strong affinity to the land itself. At the age of 69 she took the course of Madrichey Eretz Israel, and was proud at completing the course as the outstanding student in her class. She loved gardening, working out of instinct, and had a fabulous garden on her famous balcony in Jerusalem. She was an avid reader and a world class crossword puzzle solver. She valued her countless friends, and was a friend in need to all in return.

In late 2001 her health began to deteriorate, and on March 11 2002, she passed away.

She is survived by her sons, Dr. Yeshayahu Fidler and his family, and Yaron and his family.

Fellowships in her memory are donated by Ms. Heidi Rothberg.