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Yitzhak (Theodore) Komen

(1900 - 1920)

Yitzhak Komen was a Russian-American Jew born on October 29, 1900. In late 1919 Komen, his father Julius, and a large group of Jewish families from St. Louis travelled to Israel under the name “Hoachooza Palestine Land and Development Company.” The group, led by a man named Simon Goldman, planned to establish an agricultural settlement in Poriah. They arrived via boat in Alexandria, Egypt on February 16, 1920, and from there completed their journey by train.

Upon their arrival in Israel the group wasted no time setting up their agricultural community, but their almond crop was quickly ruined by a surprise snow-fall in March and they fell on financial hardship. Yitzhak Komen was killed by sniper fire while on patrol on April 8, 1920, only two months after his arrival. The community was a failure, and while many individuals returned to St. Louis, some settled elsewhere in Palestine.

Sources: Documents provided by Mjat Hirsch