Under an assumed name, Hava Ben-Zvi survived the Second World War in Eastern Poland. She arrived in Palestine in 1946 still young enough to enter and graduate from High School and then continued on to Teacher’s College. The 1950’s were years of Ingathering of Exiles from all over the world into the new State of Israel. She worked as a teacher with Ma’abarah children, a transition center for new immigrants, and directly experienced the growing pains and joy of the new State.
In 1957, with their four-year old son, Hava and her husband, Ephraim, moved to the United States as graduate students, where she earned a Master’s degree in Library Science and Ephraim a Ph.D. in chemistry. Thereafter, she worked in supervisory positions in public libraries and then served for twenty-seven years as the director of the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles. She received the Ezra Award from the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles for her significant contribution to Jewish education in the community.
During those years Hava was one of the founding members of Women’s American ORT in San Marino, California.
Following her retirement, Hava began to pursue a new goal as a writer. Eva’s Journey: A Young Girl’s True Story and The Bride Who Argued with God: Tales from the Treasury of Jewish Folklore are the products of this new endeavor. Hava ‘s a new book, Portraits in Literature: The Jews of Poland, an Anthology, is a literary tapestry of a magnificent world and a life that was and is no more, and is a loving tribute to the memory of her husband, Ephraim Ben-Zvi, and a memorial to the lost world of Polish-Jewry. This book has been selected as a finalist in the 2011 National Jewish Book Awards.
Awards and Recognition
- National Jewish Book Awards, Finalist for Portraits in Literature: The Jews of Poland. An Anthology
- The Ezra Award for a major contribution which has served to broaden the level of Jewish knowledge and education in the community.