The Bricha Partnership Project
The JNF Bricha (Escape) Trail is the new project adopted by the JNF of South Africa. The commemorative trail is located in the Carmel Forest of Northern Israel and is three kilometres long. It is an educational project and includes observation points and explanatory signs along the way which tell the history of the heroic Bricha Movement.
Founded by Abba Kovner and other surviving partisans of Vilna, the Bricha Movement began operating in July 1945 and was active in organising the immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe to what was to become the State of Israel, until its founding. It is estimated that 300 000 people reached Israel this way.
The Bricha Movement had to negotiate border crossings, create forged documents, establish transit camps and care for the refugees whom they were transporting. Upon reaching the European coasts, clandestine ships awaited them as arranged by the Aliyah Bet organization. One example was the Exodus ship. The refugees having crossed Poland, Czechoslovakia and southern Germany and reached the French coast, boarded the Exodus, set sail for Haifa and were tragically refused entry by the British and forced to return to Europe and to an internment camp in Cyprus. Members of the Bricha movement however overcame this refusal and successfully helped these bereft, heroic Jews to arrive in Israel by sea.