The Ship to Nowhere

Rona Arato


A difficult subject explored with sensitivity suitable for children, especially timely in today’s headlines about refugees attempting to flee war-torn lands. Told through the true experiences of Rachel Landesman, the ship Exodus leaves Europe in a vain attempt to land in a place where its people can live in safety and freedom.

Rachel is fortunate to have her mother and sister with her. Most other refugees on board the ship are not so fortunate, having lost their families in the Holocaust. The children aboard are sorted into age groups and the older children help with the younger children, many of them who have no living family members.

After living for two years in a displaces persons camp, Rachel and her family are desperate enough to reach Israel, one land where she can live openly as a Jew. As she makes friends with other children, she learns their stories and learns of their difficulties trying to live as Jews in lands hostile to them.

Unfortunately, the ship is turned back by the British who occupy Palestine, and the ship is attacked by tear gas wielding soldiers and bombardment that makes the ship unfit for sailing, Finally the passengers surrender with Israel in sight, In spite of their wishes, the passengers are off-loaded their ship and transferred to three other ships. They are returned to Europe and forced back into displaced persons camp once again. Fortunately, their situation is documented, and the whole world watches.

Fortunately the UN finally votes to create a Jewish homeland and the Jews are allowed to enter their new homeland. The Ship to Nowhere become The Ship to Home and Rachel and her family are allowed to enter Israel.


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