Sarah Schmuckler

שרה שמוקלר כנרת

Sarah Schmuckler was born in 1889 in Bobruisk and later became an active member of the Kinneret Group. She was a nurse and pharmacist, and a member of the Second Aliyah. She became the right hand of Dr. Hillel Yaffe in Zichron Yaakov and Yesod. She worked in agriculture at the Kinneret Moshav and Degania Kibbutz. She died of a fever at the age of 30.

Sarah was to Wolf and Nehama Schmuckler where she attended the local high school. In her home town of Bobruisk, she became good friends with Berl Katzenelson and Leah Miron. She went on to study pharmacy at the School of Nursing in Kiev, where she graduated with honours. After graduation she went to work as a medic in Belarus for two years.

She immigrated to Eretz Israel In 1913 as part of the Second Aliyah wanting to extend her knowledge in the field of diseases in Israel. In Israel she joined Dr. Hillel Yaffe ‘s Hospital in Zichron Yaacov.

In 1915, she was swept away by the pioneering spirit and left the hospital to join the pioneers on Kibbutz Degania. Later she moved to Kinneret. At the farm, Sarah joined the group led by Israeli Ben-Zion the “Bobruisk gang” or “group of friends”. She worked in the vegetable garden and kitchen. During this period she used her

medical knowledge to care for her friends and co-workers who lived nearby on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. But Sarah was not vaccinated, and she too became ill.

In the same year, a workers’ conference convened in the locality and Sarah was elected to the workers’ committee, together with Hayuta Busel and Rachel Katzenelson. She championed the rights of women and the pioneers.

During World War I Sarah went to help Dr Hillel Yaffe in Yesod to help fight the typhoid and Yellow fever outbreaks. Unfortunately, she also contracted a fever. On May 3, 1919, her condition worsened, and she was taken to Rothschild Hospital in Safed, where she suffered a fever for 3 days and died on May 6. Sarah was buried in the cemetery of the Kinneret Group where many of her friends attended the funeral and mourned her. In Dr. Hillel Yaffe tribute to her at the funeral he said, ‘She fell on the battlefield not as a soldier, driven by the will of his superior, not as one swept away by some current of passing enthusiasm, but in the battle she sacrificed herself out of a clear desire heal with her heart and the simplicity of respect for others.’