Aloni, Jenny (née Rosenbaum)

Picture
Courtesy
courtesy of Jenny Aloni Archiv (Paderborn)
Hebrew-Name
ג'ני/יני אלוני (נולדה רוזנבאום)
Biography
Jenny Aloni (née Rosenbaum) was born on 7.9.1917 to Henriette and Moritz Rosenbaum in Paderborn, Germany and died on 30.9.1993 in Ganei Yehuda in Israel. She grew up in a well-established family in Paderborn and attended a Catholic Lyceum until 1935. In reaction to the increasing number of anti-Semitic hostilities since 1933, she turned to Zionism as well as to socialist ideas. In 1935, she began preparing for her immigration to Palestine in the Spreenhagen hachschara training school. Out of consideration to her parents, she delayed her plans to leave for Palestine and instead studied in the school of the Berlin synagogue Adass Iisroel from 1936 until her graduation. Nonetheless, she continued to make contacts with socialist groups within the Zionist movement and learned Hebrew and Arabic. Following her graduation from high school in 1939, she worked as a hachschara or training group leader in the Schniebinchen (today Świbinki, western Poland) training camp. She soon thereafter immigrated to Palestine via Trieste with a youth aliyah group transporting Jewish children and adolescents. In Jerusalem, she studied literature at the Hebrew University and did voluntary social work for neglected children and adolescents. In 1942, she enlisted in the medical service of the Jewish Brigade of the British Army. In 1946, began her studies in Jerusalem to train to work in social service. She reflected on this training in her diaries, which have now been published. Jenny did not complete her studies but did continue her voluntary social work. Between 1938 and 1950 she worked with the Labor youth movement as a vocational counsellor. Later, in Paris and Munich, she helped to repatriate Jews to their home countries or to immigrate to Palestine. In 1948, Jenny Rosenbaum married Esra Aloni, who had immigrated to Palestine in 1934. Jenny served as a paramedic during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. In 1950, her daughter Ruth was born, and in 1955, Jenny Aloni visited her hometown of Paderborn for the first time since 1935. Beginning in 1957, the family Aloni lived in Ganei Yehuda near Tel Aviv. For nearly 20 years, Jenny Aloni was a volunteer at the public psychiatric clinic in Be’er Ya’akov. Because she was so successful in her work, she was able to participate in case conferences in the clinic. Before and after immigrating to Israel, Jenny’s primary vocation was that of a writer. She wrote short papers and poems in Hebrew that were published n Dovrat Ha-Po'elat, a feminist socialist journal, but most of her writing was in German. Her works included short stories, poems and diaries. Her diaries recounted such events as her childhood in the Third Reich, the ingathering of exiles in Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the 1960s, she received attention from the renowned writers Max Brod and Heinrich Böll. Jenny Aloni is considered to be among the most important writers who wrote in German in Israel. In 1967, she won the Paderborn Cultural Award for her writings. She was awarded the President’s award for her volunteer work in the Be’er Yaacov psychiatric hospital in 1976. In 1991, she received the Annette von Droste-Hülshoff literary prize.
Mother
Henriette Rosenbaum (née Eichengrün)
Father
Moritz Rosenbaum, a merchant.
Marriage/Children
Married Esra Aloni. They had one daughter (born 1950).
Age at Migration
22
Year of Migration
1939
Archival Materials
Jenny-Aloni-Archiv (Universität Paderborn)