Golda Meir – From Girl in Ukraine to Hero of Israel

Stand for Israel  |  March 7, 2022

Golda Meir, born in Ukraine, boards plane in Israel
(Photo: David Eldan/GPO)

Recently, Stand for Israel told you about Golda Meir’s youth in the United States (as well as her girlhood home). But did you know that Israel’s first female Prime Minister was born in Ukraine, the very war-torn country which so many are now trying to escape?

In this fascinating read by The Jerusalem Post’s Iris Georlette tells how the fear and helplessness of her early years in Ukraine shaped the strong leader that Meir would become:

“Her Kiev childhood was not good”, said Professor Miron Medzini who served as Meir’s spokesperson when she served as prime minister. “Her father was a poor carpenter…There was little money and her father went to the US to support the family. Infant Meir was brought up with her mother, grandmother, and sisters… When she was eight years old, she witnessed preparations for a pogrom; she saw the hammering of wooden planks on the doors and she heard the hoof beats of the galloping horses.”

“In her memoir, there is a lively scene from her early childhood. There was a fear of a pogrom against the Jews and little Meir saw her father attempt to use house furniture to block their door [in case of a break in],” says Jewish historian and Ukrainian born reporter Shimon Briman. “She carried the bitterness her whole life, her father can not protect her in anyway other than using wooden chairs and closets. She remembered the fear throughout her life, the helplessness of exile and the life of hunger.”