Sarah Aynor (April 8, 1926 – November 24, 2016) was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. As a young adult, she worked with orphaned children who had survived the Holocaust, taught Hebrew on four continents, was the wife of a diplomat and established the women’s division of the United Israel Appea (Keren Hayesod)l. Her life’s work was Keren Hanan Aynor, which grants scholarships to Israelis of Ethiopian descent and which she established in 1994 in memory of her husband, former Israel ambassador,Hanan Aynor.
Sarah’s father, Leib Skorokhod, and her mother, Nusia-Hannah Skorokhod-Shapira, lived in a small village in Russia. They immigrated to Israel right before Sarah was born at the end of the Bolshevik period, as part of the Fourth Aliyah.
Sarah began her studies at Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium and graduated from the Beit Chinuch model school. Later, she studied at Levinsky Teachers Seminar (known today as Levinsky College of Education), which was affiliated with the Labor Movement and produced many national leaders.
She completed her studies with honors and did her internship at “Model Kindergarten” in Tel Aviv. After college, she studied education at university. In 1968, Sarah began to pursue a Masters degree at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
In May 1950, Sarah married Hanan Aynor, who she had met at a displaced jewish children camp in Southern France after World War II. “Twelve people gathered at a café on the beach in Tel Aviv, close family and friends, as Hanan and Sarah celebrated their marriage. They had two children: Amos Aynor (1953) and Yael Aynor Koginsky (1956).
As the wife of a diplomat, Sarah lived in various cities around the world together with her family. In 1951, her husband was appointed Deputy Consul in Montreal, and her life as a diplomat began. In every place she lived, Sarah found her own way of contributing to her country, to the Jews in her city and to the needy.
1945 – 1948 Israel. Children instructor at Meir Shfeya youth village near Zichron Yaakov.
1948 – 1950 France. In May 1948, she was sent to France as a counselor for children by the Youth Aliyah movement, in preparation for their immigration to Israel.
1951 – 1954 Wife of the Deputy Consul in Montreal, Canada. Began working for her country – fundraising, developing contacts, shaping public opinion and recruiting votes in support of Israel. Her son Amos is born.
1954 – 1958 Brazil. Hanan is appointed Israel’s Consul in Brazil. Sarah is active in the Jewish community in Rio de Janeiro, where her daughter Yael is born.
1958 – 1961 Jerusalem. Sarah and the children are in Israel (1960 – 1961 Hanan is in Congo).
1961 – 1964 Hanan is appointed delegate to Israel’s diplomatic mission at the United Nations in New York. Sarah teaches Hebrew at an ulpan for Jews preparing to immigrate to Israel.
1964 – 1968 Wife of the ambassador in Dakar, Senegal and The Gambia. Volunteers to vaccinate children in the jungle and the needy.
1968 – 1970 Israel, teaches at Hebrew University’s ulpan and earns a Master’s degree.
1971 – 1973 Wife of the ambassador in Ethiopia, meets the local Jewish community for the first time, active among the Israeli community at the site, volunteers to vaccinate needy children.
1974 – 1978 Wife of the ambassador in Mexico, very active among the women of the local Jewish community, actively fundraising for the State of Israel.
1978 – 1987 Israel, establishes and manages the women’s division of the United Israel Appeal.(Keren Hayesod).
1981 – 1982 Wife of the ambassador in Zaire (known today as the Democratic Republic of Congo).
In honor of her 90th birthday, Sarah compiled The Book of Sarah Aynor, an autobiographical memento for her children, grandchildren and extended family.
Written and edited by: Vered Barnea
Produced by: Amos Aynor
Printed by Tzur-Ot, Jerusalem 2016.
After her husband’s death, Sarah Aynor established, together with friends, Keren Hanan Aynor in 1944. This is the oldest foundation in Israel that grants study scholarships to Israelis of Ethiopian descent.
The foundation was established in memory of Hanan Aynor, who was formerly the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia. During his years in Ethiopia between 1971 – 1973, Aynor played an important role in assisting the attempts to bring the Jews of Ethiopia to Israel.
During its years of operation, the foundation has assisted first- and second-generation Ethiopian immigrants in obtaining academic degrees at institutions of higher education in Israel, in order to help create a generation of young leaders who will serve as a model for the entire community and for Israeli society at large.
Since its establishment, the foundation has provided over 3,150 scholarships to selected students to financially support their studies, as well as personal advice and support throughout their studies, so that they can successfully obtain their degrees.
Some of the foundation’s graduates who have achieved key positions in society are: Shlomo Molla – member of Knesset; Sigal Konotopsky – CEO of Olim B’Yachad; Asher Elias – social entrepreneur and founder of Tech-Career; Dr. Hadas Malada-Masreta – physician in the Israeli Air Force; Shai Pedro – theater and television actor.
Keren Hanan Aynor boasts high success rates among recipients of its scholarships – approximately 98% earn academic degrees.