The Isaac Merkel Scholarship Fund for

Participants in HD Israel Programs

in honor of:

Isaac Merkel

June 26,1923— Dec 19, 1941



At age 7, Isaac Merkel and his family arrived in South Africa from Memel, Lithuania. Isaac joined Habonim Dror South Africa and became an enthusiastic, devoted and active madrich, working with chanichim on weekends and at an HDSA summer machaneh.

One December day, Isaac was standing in for a lifeguard who had not showed up for his shift at Nahoon Beach, East London. Although he was not trained as a lifeguard, when he saw that two children had been swept far out to sea, he did not hesitate in rescuing them. Isaac swam to their rescue and fought the currents to bring them safely back close to the shore where others ran to their aid and brought the children to dry land.

No one realized that Isaac was exhausted from the effort of fighting the current. He was swept back out to sea and drowned, his body never recovered. Isaac's brother Herman and the other members of the family were deeply affected by this tragedy and carried Isaac’s memory with them all of their lives.

Isaac (third
from left), his
Herman (far
left), with
their family

Herman’s daughter, Joan Isa Berelowitz, has made an $18,000 matching grant to establish the Isaac Merkel Scholarship Fund for HDNA participants in Israel Programs and to honor her heroic uncle Isaac's memory. Your gift will be doubled!