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Powerful Radio: A group of collectors who enjoy renovating radios, turntables and music boxes Israel today

2022-06-29T18:38:48.087Z

"They delve lovingly into the guts of old radios, remove rust from dusty buttons, replace components with dedication - and return to the scale the blush of yesteryear. Radio always brings a lot of emotions "



Israel's memories are intertwined throughout radio broadcasts, but there is no need to get stuck in the past.

Even today there are those for whom radio is much more than nostalgia.

Meet the group of radio renovators: about 20 Israeli men, the youngest of whom is in his 60s and the adult recently celebrated heroism, all dedicated to the same common goal: to locate antique radios, bring them back to life - and make them usable in the digital age.

They come from all over the country - from Manshar in the north to the settlements of the Gaza Envelope in the south ("The corona has prevented us from making the parliament weekly, maybe now it will be easier"), and at times seem like children in a toy store.

These include retirees, retired permanent staff, police officers, electronics experts, businessmen and even a pediatrician.

Doron Rotem (62) from Rosh HaAyin is the man who founded the group and is considered the living spirit behind it.

He advertises his love for repairing old radios on Facebook and on his website (www.restoradio.co.il).

"People hear about me online, and by word of mouth, and come to fix the old radios and turntables from their parents' house. These are always very emotional moments: tears are in their eyes, and they refuse to part with the devices."

Which first raises the question of why.

"I asked many of them why the radio is so sentimental in their eyes. After all, the oven in which mother baked the foods we grew up on, is thrown away as soon as it breaks down. But on the radio there is something else, and they all answer me the same answer: 'Our first memories as children were in front of the radio.'

"These shelters have first shared experiences with the parents, a return to the musical sounds of yesteryear, and even visual nostalgia. We would sit in front of the radio on the sideboard, stare at the green lamp and imagine.

"The devices I get repaired are usually in a state of disrepair. Most people entrust to me, in fact, what is left of them from Dad and Mom, and I am well aware of the importance of the incident. When I hand them back the repaired receiver, I perform a ceremony: I cover the radio with cloth "Velvet and a ribbon, the customer gives a speech, and the family members film it. We bring it to life with muscat wine, and only then do I teach them how to use the refurbished device. I've already fixed many hundreds of items, and it's an exciting moment every time."

Internal humor and sarcastic jokes

The group at a meeting at the Beit Rishonim Museum in Beer Yaakov.

Right: Carol Gilon, Shmuel Hershkovitz, Shmulik Fish, Moshe Zohar, Doron Rotem and Guy Baruch, Photo: Arik Sultan

Evening at the Beit Rishonim Museum in Beer Yaakov.

The excited group gathers for another joint meeting.

Everyone brought something from food or drink from home - and it is clear that beyond the common technological and nostalgic interest, a real late friendship was forged between those present.

In the three years since they met they have developed their own way of life, inner humor, sarcastic jokes about each other, and also a sincere interest in each other's troubles.

Nissim Bitton (66) from Ramat Gan is a loner on the side and is soldering and repairing a shelter he has just reached.

"I bought a broken radio, Philips' B2X67U Eindhoven from 1956, and I'm trying to revive and renovate it, to get it to work," he explains.

Where do you get a broken radio today, and how much does it cost?

"I found it on the Internet. I knew in advance that the device was not working, and it cost me around NIS 200."

Is it at all realistic to revive him?

"First of all I check the circuit and the lamps, and also try to fix it externally and polish it. I add perfection to it, like original glass I got for this specific device. How? I disassembled an old kitchen weight, and the diameter fit perfectly."

Surprisingly, radio receivers are not Bitton's specialty at all.

"I worked at Bezeq for almost 30 years, and my 'scratch' is collecting old telephones. Those with a dial, which need to rotate the finger according to the number. I am a certified electronics practical engineer, and today I have a small business for everything related to alarm systems, communications and security cameras. "Every device has a soul. And when you take one and resurrect it - it's abnormal fun."

From the side laughs Dr. Avi Likorman. “I brought my grandson a dial phone, and he started pressing it and looking for the buttons.

He did not understand what was being done with this thing. "

Lycorman is the pride of the bunch.

70 years old, resident of Ganei Tikva, pediatrician by profession.

"I collect quite a few medical items. I have blood pressure meters from the 1940s, old glass syringes and all sorts of other things," he smiles.

How did you get into a bunch of radio collectors?

"Well, well, I also have a collection of radios. My father, Jacob Likorman, was the pioneer of radio in the country, and owned a store. The day I informed my father that I was admitted to medical school was a day of mourning for him, because I am an only child, and there was no one to continue. "His business. He probably sold a lot of the devices that eventually went to friends here."

One attendee is intrigued: "What was your father's store called?"

"The Licorman Brothers," the Doctor replies.

"Oh, I bought from someone else."

"It's okay," Lickorman laughs, "I'm not mad at you anyway."

"Grandpa had a furniture-sized radio"

Nissim Bitton repairs an old device.

"I found it on the Internet, it cost me around 200 shekels", Photo: Arik Sultan

Nostalgia screams from every corner at the gathering place.

On the walls hang photographs of the founders of Beer Yaakov, one of whom - the late Rabbi Yaakov Yitzhaki (after whom the settlement is named) - is the host's grandfather, Amir Lifshitz (63), who owns a boarding house for dogs. , Also an antique Amcor refrigerator, toaster oven and even a vintage weight from the good old days.

Or maybe, as Naftali (Naftol) and Rona (65) from Ramat Gan honestly admit, those days were not really idyllic: "The human mind remembers the good things. It was not so good and fun even then, but we long for the days when we sat at home "And we heard radio and records. We repress the bad memories."

The elder of the group is Moshe Steinberg (80), who was born and raised in Jerusalem and currently lives in the Tel Aviv area.

He is not ashamed to admit his longing for the past.

"The world has changed for the worse," he concludes.

"Everything becomes automatic, you no longer have to think. When something breaks down, you replace an entire head, you replace the heart of the device. The repairs in all the devices you see around you were done by hand and thought was invested in them. And today? The old one, and I'm very sorry about that. "

Thanks to his age, Steinberg is the only one in the group who carries a personal memory from the day the state was founded.

"I was 6, and my older brother was 12. Jerusalem was under siege at the time, and our uncle would come out with a truck and distribute water between the houses. We went out with him for a ride, and I remember mostly the adults dancing. It was a difficult time. "They were walking down the street. That's how my aunt was killed. My brother and I collected Molotov cocktails and brought them to the front positions."

Let's go back to the present.

Where do you keep your collections on a daily basis?

"You touched a sore spot," mutter some of those present.

Moti Natan (65), a Bezeq retiree from Holon, declares that he does not collect, "because my wife does not allow me. What I collected, I threw away."

Lifshitz defies: "I have more than 200 devices."

"Well, you're single," Nathan laughs at him.

Dr. Likorman: "My wife's condition is this - if I want to add something to the collection, I have to put something else in its place.

I recently gave up an antique table I had, to bring home an old sewing machine. "

Guy Baruch (58), a carpenter who focuses, among other things, on renovating and restoring antiques, intervenes: "I live in Kibbutz Bari, and I have an advantage: we have so many warehouses that I can distribute the devices among the members.

"I remember as a child I dabbled in electronics and studied mainly through the 'Young Electronic' kit, through which they explained how to build all sorts of things. Later I studied at Bezalel, and I graduated in design. Later, I specialized in furniture restoration. "So that they will be similar to the form they had in the beginning."

Rami Ness (61) works for the municipal police in Nesher.

"Every collector has some scratch, and so do we," he admits.

"All my sanitation workers in the city know my scratch. Every time they come across a vintage item - no matter if it is a wall clock, a radio or anything else - they immediately come up to me and ask 'Remy, we found this and that, is it right for you? To bring you? '"

And what do you answer them?

"I always say - bring first."

Lifshitz also admits that he is "sick of collecting."

In addition to old radios and telephones, he collects coins and banknotes on which animals appear, as well as ceramic, iron and cast-iron pottery.

His grandfather's house, located in front of the museum, was declared a site for preservation, but he felt the need to come to Rishonim House every day, to make sure he was not harmed.

And like the others, he too craves recognition.

Do you think what you will do with your collections after you reach 120?

Dr. Likorman: “We dream of setting up a home entertainment museum, which will have wax records, music boxes, tin records with holes, a gramophone, and of course a radio.

"If I get to lecture in schools, students will probably be interested to hear that WiFi is also an electromagnetic wave, and that these things actually started long before today."

Rotem: "Three months ago I had my first grandchild, and I'm building on him inheriting me as a technician ... but to tell you the truth? I really do not care what happens after I leave. I would like to leave a scratch on the wall. There was no municipality I was not in. "Between Gedera and Hadera, in order to find a hostel for my museum. I am also willing to come and give classes and lectures to children and teenagers. But in the meantime I do not find clients for it."

What is your first memory from the radio?

Nathan: "The Green Lamp."

Steinberg: "I remember my grandfather in the Bukharan neighborhood of Jerusalem. He had a radio the size of a piece of furniture. Everyone had to get permission before he touched a button, otherwise they would hit him with a ruler. It was like a sacred thing. To this day I keep the house. This radio, from 1932. It does not work. "

Danny Carmi (67) immediately Mordechai is a mechanical engineer.

His touch on the shards is slightly different from that of the others.

"My parents were emissaries in South America, and when they returned they brought a turntable with them. They could not take it home to us, and had to give it to the kibbutz club," he says.

Rotem: "When I was eight, my father bought me a first gramophone. I disassembled it into pieces, and it was the last gramophone I got from him."

Karol Gilon, 74, from Yehud, an electronics engineer and IAI retiree, returns to his childhood in Czechoslovakia: "In the Eastern European bloc, in the days of communism, it was difficult to get radios. .

Shmuel Hershkovitz (70), former director general of the Ministry of Internal Security and the Ministry of Environmental Protection: "As children, we still heard Radio Ramallah (a Jordanian station that broadcast until 1967).

My mother worked forced labor at the Siemens factory, and one day I saw a Siemens radio receiver at home.

I asked her, 'Mom, how can you bring home a German device, and another Siemens'?'

"Then she told me that she had carried the device with her from the Nuremberg DP camps, and that connected her to what she went through in the Holocaust."

"The hobby got out of hand"

Dr. Avi Likorman. Everything Collection, Photo: Arik Sultan

Rotem has his own museum at home, and he has even built a special warehouse to store his items - from old radios, to gramophones and turntables to music boxes.

About 350 items, the oldest of which is a box from 1838.

The device with the greatest sentimental value, for him, is his childhood radio from Reshafim, the kibbutz where he grew up.

"The kibbutz was then made up of families of Holocaust survivors, so it was a kibbutz without grandparents. Imagine this thing. There was only one grandfather there, and we also 'imported' him from Haifa. But he had a radio, and we would always come to him to listen to programs and broadcasts." .

Rotem's musical instruments are a time tunnel to the innocent world of the 19th century.

In the manual rolling of an old Manuela you can hear music produced by a roll of pins, mechanical combs and small steel hairs.

A tour of the place gives rise to quite a few moments of amazement, and there is no visitor who does not shout at any point: "Here is my grandmother's radio!".

It also happened to us, by the way.

"My wife calls this place the 'Electric Cave,' and I call it the 'Curator of the Museum,'" Rotem laughs.

"From the way every device is built you can learn about where it came from. The French devices, for example, are as pompous as Louis XIV, but inside there is an atomic mess. The German devices are characterized by a huge mass, castings and gears, and are serious and unattractive. And citrus, but they are the most complex, complicated - and yes, also effective. "

And the Israeli devices, such as those manufactured by Ben Gal Radio in the 1950s?

"They combine French chic with British electronics, and most importantly - very high volume."

Rotem left the kibbutz at the age of 21 and moved to Rosh HaAyin.

He served as an artillery officer, and for many years served as vice president of an aluminum parts factory. "I am a casting technologist, and I always had a mechanical approach," he testifies. Medical.

And speaking of medicine, Corona had a direct connection to the prosperity of the radio gang.

"In recent years, I have had my own company in China," says Rotem.

"I really lived on the line there, I learned the language and I had quite a few customers in the security and high-tech field. Then the epidemic broke out, and I could no longer enter China. At some point I closed the company, and decided that at my age .

"I saw on Facebook that a lot of people like ancient radio preservation. I posted in one of the groups that I was going to have a meeting, and for that purpose I donated a winery of a friend in Bnei Atarot. 70 people came, and everyone brought their wares. I sat there quietly, wrote down phone numbers Radio days. 'I then asked the group who wanted to learn how to repair old shelters, and 20 members signed up.

"I recruited from the group Tzuriel Reinstein, who is an electronics engineer, and we met at my house. At first he taught us theoretical lessons on the structure of radio, and slowly we specialized and divided into work groups. We fixed devices that came to us, and we had a happy year. ", And she gently hinted to me that it was time we moved to another place. That's how we got to Beer Yaakov. Either way, the hobby got out of hand, and I don't think I came across a device I couldn't fix."

Not even one?

"Not even one. Even if I have difficulty or feel I have reached a dead end, I am helped by people with great and broad knowledge of my own."

How much can an old radio repair cost?

"Usually the amount will range from 1,000 to 1,500 shekels."

If you repair a radio receiver from 80 or 100 years ago, can we hear C network, regional radio or Galgalatz?

"Yes, of course. When you restore a device, the wisdom is that it will not look new afterwards. The old devices pick up AM frequencies, which are no longer used, so I put together a chip that will receive FM and Bluetooth, and instead of the green viewfinder I used to put a digital monitor "That's how the receiver looks like it was, but can pick up modern radio."

In this context, it is not pleasant to tell, but when we entered Rotem's house, we interrupted him in the middle of listening to a news broadcast.

And heaven forbid, he listened to the radio on his cell phone.

Ouch.

are you?

"Respect for nostalgia is in place, but comfort is not compromised," he surprises.

"I can tell you that even when I'm really engaged in repair work, I hear classical music from the computer. Even the people who turn to me to fix shelters for them, do not rely on it to hear news in them. It's good to have the possibility, More".

• • •

"Radio will not disappear from the world"

Dr. Mordechai Naor, author and researcher of the history of Israel and former commander of Gali Tzahal, conducted an in-depth study of Hebrew-Israeli radio broadcasts from the 1930s to the 1970s - a study recently published in the book "Our Radio Days" (Hoch Yehuda Dekel).

According to Naor, 87, who has been listening to radio for eight decades, in 1952, just four years after the founding of Kol Yisrael, no less than 235,000 radio receivers operated in Israel - "illustrating the centrality of the medium in the lives of citizens before the advent of television."

Tomer Sagis, editor and presenter of the nostalgia program "Everything is Gold" on Tel Aviv Radio, explains that the Internet age has not damaged the intimacy between the listener and the broadcaster in the studio, and "many people now listen to radio on their cell phones and treat him as a virtual friend."

Prof. Rafi Mann, from the School of Communication at Ariel University, notes that the radio medium can be integrated into the cyber world, and veteran broadcaster Yoav Ginai points out: "The Internet has led to a population explosion on the scale.

Today, everyone can set up their own radio station, broadcast on the network - and be recorded at any point in the world. "

And what about the radios?

"They will not disappear from the world," said MK Ophir Akunis, who served as a music editor and presenter at Kol Yisrael in his youth and is currently the living spirit in establishing the "Heritage Center for the History of Public Communication in Israel." "An old people is new, and the radio experience of yesteryear will be displayed in 3D illustrations and in multimedia, alongside a permanent exhibition of items, accessories and displays of radios from yesteryear," he announces.

Nitzan Chen, formerly a radio and television man and now director of the Government Press Bureau, emphasizes that the designated center will offer an "intergenerational shared entertainment experience," while MK Ofir Pines notes the "combination of efforts between the government, the Tel Aviv Bureau, the Tel Aviv Municipality and the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage." - which will ensure the completion of this important project in the near future. "

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Source: israelhayom

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