March 23, 1915 Birth of Nechemia to Yosef Levitan and Bertha Ilion Levitan, in the town of Ravina, Latvia (on the border of Estonia)
1917 Yosef Levitan, Nechemia's father, being a revolutionary, fled from the police, probably to Russia, where he died some time later in the Civil War. Nechemia, his sister, his mother, his grandmother and three uncles flee to Russia. Following a journey of thousands of kilometers, the Levitan family arrives at the city of Perm in the foothills of the Urals (Russia).
1921-1922 Nechemia, together with his sister, mother and grandmother wander from Perm to Petrograd. There he commences his studies in elementary school.
1922 Nechemia, his sister and mother arrive in Tallinn, the capitol of Estonia, where his mother hopes to be able to care for her family with the help of relatives who live there.
the twenties' of the previous century In Tallinn Nechemia finishes grade school and enters the Jewish gymnasium (high school).
1931 Under the tutelage of an emissary from Latvia, Nechemia organizes young Jewish youth from his school in Tallinn and sets up a branch of NETZACH (acronym for Noar Tzioni CHalutzi), a socialist-Zionist youth organization.
1932 Upon completing his high school studies, Nechemia goes to a farm with a group of boys and girls for agricultural training in preparation for emigration to Eretz Yisrael.
1933 -1934 Nechemia works and lives a communal life at the farm near Tallinn. At the same time he assumes the leadership of the NETZACH movement in Estonia. When he was 19 years old, his mother Bertha died.
1935 -1937 Nechemia moves on to the largest branch of the NETZACH movement, in Riga, where he leads the group of "Tzofim" (scouts' age), and later becomes the Chief of the Riga branch of the movement.
1937 On his way to Eretz Yisrael, Nechemia is asked by the movement's leaders to remain in Vienna and work with the local branch leaders.
February 6th, 1938 Nechemia immigrates to Eretz Yisrael and goes to Kibbutz Afikim with a group of young Halutzim (pioneers) which organizes itself as the nucleus of a new kibbutz to be established in the near future.
November 1938 Nechemia, together with the group of chalutzim from Afikim, moves to the Moshava of Benyamina, where the group begins its independent existence. The name of this group is "The Anglo-Baltic Kibbutz." This is because the members came from America, England and the Baltic countries.
1941 Nechemia goes to the Huleh Valley with the first group of the "Anglo-Baltic Kibbutz" sent there. At first they settle on a small hill in the middle of the valley and they start to till land received from the Jewish National Fund.
October 31st, 1943 Nechemia marries Beba Levin, another kibbutz member.
November 10th, 1943 With the other members of the "Anglo-Baltic Kibbutz," Nechemia lays the cornerstone of Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the center of the Huleh Valley.
1946 - 1948 Nechemia goes to London to lead "Habonim Movement," a Zionist-Socialist youth movement in England.
1948 With the outbreak of the War of Independence, Nechemia and his family return to Kibbutz Kfar Blum on exactly the same day that the women and children are evacuated from the kibbutz because of the fighting going on in the Upper Galilee at that time.
1950 - 1953 Back at Kfar Blum, Nechemia fills the position of "Merakez Meshek" (economic coordinator) of the kibbutz.
1953 - 1956 Nechemia accepts the request of Isser Harel, the Head of The Mosad (Israel's Intelligence Agency) and departs on a mission to develop contacts with Soviet Jewry, and to find ways to extricate Jews from behind the Iron Curtain, and bring them to Israel. Upon his departure, Nechemia, who had been known all his life as Nyumka Levitan, hebraized his name to Nechemia Levanon. This was also an (ineffectual) attempt to hide his Baltic-Russian identity from the Soviet authorities, who had accurate information about him. It was later discovered that the source of this information was a man whose work brought him in contact with all the kibbutzim in the Huleh valley, and was a Soviet spy.

Because of the break in diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, Nechemia establishes his headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. At first he wrote letters to contacts in Russia from Sweden and gave them to Finnish and Swedish sailors to put in mailboxes in Russia, as if they were locally written and mailed. He also contacted Norwegians who traveled by rail from Poland to Sweden and their passports were sent to Israel where copies were forged. These passports were given to Jews who used them to "return" to their homeland, as if they had been visiting tourists. This route of escape worked very well and no one was caught.

Once diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union were reestablished, Nechemia goes to Moscow in the capacity of agricultural attache of the Israeli embassy. For more than two years he managed to make secret and regular contact with Jews in many cities, to supply them with information, books for the study of Hebrew and prayer books. In the autumn of 1956 Nechemia and his family, and two other families of the Israeli diplomatic corps are declared persona non grata and forced to leave Russia because of their contacts with Soviet Jewry.
1956 Upon his return to Israel, Nechemia organizes a public struggle in Europe and in America for the freedom of Soviet Jewry. He sets up a special unit within the framework of "Nativ," the department which served as an organ of the Prime Minister's office for liberating Soviet Jewry. He conscripts volunteers for the unit "BAR" to work within diplomatic delegations of Israel in London, Paris and New York. In addition, Nechemia takes advantage of visits by Soviet officials to Western Europe and the USA to bombard them with questions, and have their hosts question them about the condition of the Jews in the Soviet Union.

Another example of his initiatives was to send a group of orthodox American Rabbis on a visit to the Soviet Union. This group returned with an authentic evaluation of and information on the situation of Jews in the regions they were able to visit. In the summer of 1956 Nechemia concludes his work in "Nativ" and returns to Kfar Blum.
1956 - 1959 Nechemia is once again chosen to be the Economic Coordinator of Kfar Blum.
1960 - 1961 Nechemia returns to work in "Nativ," where he is in charge of "BAR." He uses these years to increase the world's awareness of the situation of Soviet Jewry. One of the activities of "BAR" was the organization of a meeting in Paris, in 1960, of a number of the leading intellectuals in the Western world, to discuss the condition of Soviet Jewry.
1962 - 1964 Nechemia is once again chosen to be the Economic Coordinator of Kfar Blum.
1965 - 1969 Nechemia is appointed as a minister in the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. There he acts as a representative of "BAR." His main effort in these years is to influence American politicians and to mobilize them to the campaign on behalf of Soviet Jewry. To that end Nechemia works in close cooperation with the leaders of American Jewish organizations.
1970 - 1982 Nechemia, having returned to Israel at the end of 1969, receives a commission from the Prime Minister, Golda Meir, to be the Director of "Nativ." At the beginning of this period there was a storm of protest in Israel over the arrest of about thirty Jews in Leningrad, Riga and Kishinev because of their attempt to immigrate to Israel. Nechemia, through the agency of "Nativ," organized an international convention in Brussels against the persecution of Soviet Jewry. When the trial in Leningrad commenced, "Nativ" organized mass protests and mass letters and telegrams protesting the trials. In 1971 there was another convention in Brussels which "BAR" organized, attended by public figures from North and South America and from Europe. It was obvious that these efforts worried Soviet officials, because they made strenuous efforts to scuttle the event.
In the 'seventies of the previous century it finally appeared that these efforts had succeeded, and tens of thousands of Soviet Jews received permits to immigrate to Israel. At the same time, "Nativ" fought against the wave of immigrants who made their way from Vienna to the USA, instead of continuing on to Israel. "Nativ" also fought for the freeing of "Asirei Tzion" (those Jews who were imprisoned because of their efforts to immigrate to Israel).
1982 - 1999 Nechemia retires and returns to work in Kibbutz Kfar Blum. He works for a number of years in the Kibbutz Guest House in any position demanded of him. During these years he writes two books: The first is entitled, "Code: Nativ," in which he describes the history of "Nativ" from its inception until his retirement. The second book, "The Road To The Banks Of The Jordan," is an autobiography of Nechemia from birth until Kfar Blum was established in the Huleh Valley. After the fall of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union, Nechemia visited Russia several times. On his second trip he met with Gorbachov, the former President of Russia. On a third trip, he visited the regions where he was born and where he spent his youth in Latvia and Estonia.
1999 - 2003 Nechemia spent his last years surrounded by his family in Kibbutz Kfar Blum. Despite numerous ailments and his advanced age, he was alert and active and continued to visit his son Gabi and his family, whose work took him to S. Africa, India and Zimbabwe, and back to S. Africa.
September 2nd, 2003 Nechemia died in Kibbutz Kfar Blum.

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