Australian woman, 96, making aliyah

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A 96-year-old woman is making aliyah from Australia.

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Lily Hyde will leave the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home in Sydney Wednesday morning for Tel Aviv, where she will be reunited with her family.

Believed to be the oldest Australian ever to immigrate to Israel, Hyde was born in Durban, South Africa and worked as a music teacher in an orphanage in Johannesburg. 

Her son Robert, 68, made aliyah with his family in 2010 and she has one great-grandchild she has yet to meet.

“She took ill recently and we thought of her on her own and I made enquiries with an aged care home in Herzliya and booked her a room,” Robert Hyde told J-Wire, a local Jewish website.

The State Zionist Council of New South Wales had to fast-track Hyde’s application forms, according to the report. “We managed to work with Israel and get all the necessary paperwork taken care of in less than 24 hours,” a Zionist council official said.

“It’s a dream come true,” Hyde was reported as saying Tuesday just hours before her departure. It will be comforting to have “so many of my family by my side.”

She is scheduled to move into Beit Protea in Herliyza, which was opened in 1992 by the Zionist Federation of South Africa.

Hyde is not believed to be the oldest immigrant to Israel, however. Two Jews from the former Soviet Union were said to have been 111 when they arrived in the 1990s. A Baltimore couple, Phillip and Dorothy Grossman, were 95 and 93 respectively when they arrived in February this year – the oldest married couple to make aliyah.

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