PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE FOCUS FOR 2001 First and foremost, I hope that everyone enjoyed a Happy and Joyful Pesach in the warm surroundings of family and friends. This year we follow our course with emphasis on the following objectives: 1. Validate and correct our membership records to have accurate contact data as well as a valid history of  members’ service and AVI association (Aliya Bet, Machal, recruiting and service, etc). 2. Accelerate the collection of docu- ments and photographs for the AVI archives as well as the cataloguing of the material. Find the financial support to accomplish this in the shortest possible time. 3. Continue our activities in terms of reunions, special events, speaking engagements, newsletter publication and good & welfare. 4 .    Build up the AVI treasury to cover our activities and projects in coming years, with our ranks thinning as they are. Since the earliest years, AVI members had hoped for a place of remembrance where our legacy could be perpetuated for future generations growing up in America and Canada.  The opportunity may still come our way, if we remain active and involved. Though our ranks are thinning, we need to see each new day as an opportunity to help comrades, correct inaccuracies spread by unin- formed and misguided observers, and to perpetuate our legacy for future genera- tions. I am asking that more of our members and friends participate and get REPORTS FROM THE REGIONS ISRAEL (WORLD) MACHAL Smoky Simon announces Machal’s Yom HaZicharon Service for Wednesday 25 April 2001. The service will be held at the Machal Memorial at Sha’ar Hagai beginning at 10:55 hours. The service will honour the memory of the 119 comrades who fell during the War of Independence. Unfortunately many fellow-Machalniks in Israel and abroad have passed away since the last Memorial Service. Rabbi David Rosen will again conduct the ceremonies. For further information write to Smoky Simon, El Al Building, 32 Ben Yehuda St., Tel Aviv. The telephone is 972-3-621-2724 and FAX 972-3-620-2621. NORTHEAST The Boston group met with Sam Klausner, then AVI President, and his wife on December 17 at a brunch hosted by Al and Lisa Glassman at their home. Also attending were Murray and Ethel Band, Arthur and Evie Bernstein, Avram and Esther Kalisky, Arnold and Fran Schutzberg. Discussion revolved about a number of AVI issues and, especially, an effort to encourage member to donate their memorabilia to the AVI Archives at the University of Florida. The New York group has met to discuss forthcoming AVI events in the area. New York Board members are invited to attend Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebrations at the Consulate General of Israel in New York. The annual ceremony at West Point honoring the memory of Col. David ‘Mickey’ Marcus is scheduled for May 13. AMERICAN VETERANS OF ISRAEL VOLUNTEERS IN ISRAEL’S WAR OF INDEPENDENCE UNITED STATES & CANADIAN VOLUNTEERS 136 East 39th St., New York, N.Y. 10016 SPRING 2001 DAVID HANOVICE REMEMBERS THE NOGA/YUCATAN These are memories of the delivery of the Yucatan, renamed Noga – K – 26 in service during the 1948/49 Israeli War of Independence. In June 1948 I graduated from the School of Technology of the University of Houston as an Automotive and Diesel Technician after serving in the US Army during WW II overseas from Feb.1943 to Jan. 1946. As I was about to graduate from my studies, I planned to travel to Israel to participate in the Israeli war of indepen- dence that began just prior to my graduation. My application for a passport to travel to the war stricken area in the Middle East was denied by the State Department, I was determined to go to Israel anyhow. I obtained a US Coast Guard seaman’s card to enable me to work my way on a merchant steam ship going to the Mediterranean if need be. I communicated with the Israeli student organization managed by Teddy Kollek under the auspices of the Supply Mission of the Jewish Agency in New York. My application was referred to Nat Cohen, an agent of the maritime section for action at that time, and very soon after that, I was directed to join the” MV. Yucatan”, which was berthed at the Todd’s Shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana. I reported on board on the 1st of July 1948. The Yucatan was under some repairs of its Hamilton main engines, Buda generators and other machinery in preparation for the expected ocean crossing. Naturally all this was supposed to be hush-hush, and nobody knew anything about our destination.  The M.V. Yucatan, an ex-US Navy PC. 1265, a Submarine Chaser with service during continued on Page 5 continued on Page 2 continued on Page 7