Tamar Yonah Show


- Sunday 8-10am NY, 3-5pm Israel - Weekend Edition w/Malkah Fleisher
- Monday 12-1am NY, 7-8am Israel - w/Prof. Paul Eidelberg
- Tuesday 12-1am NY, 7-8am Israel - In Depth Interview
- Wednesday 12-1am NY, 7-8am Israel - TnT: Tovia & Tamar

Friday, September 15, 2006

The 'Jewish Hillbilly' in an Israeli Jail

Jeffrey, was someone that I interviewed a while back on my show that made aliyah to Israel.
I interviewed him because of his fascinating background and stories he had to tell, about growing up as a hillbilly in North Carolina, and his Jewish roots and spiritual Journey.

Excerpt: "His father was a holocaust survivor, his mother a Cherokee Indian. He grew up barefoot, in overalls and straw hat, in the Hill Country of North Carolina. His neighbors were Ku Klux Klan who made moonshine and walked around with shotguns. So how did this 'Hillbilly' end up in Yeshiva in Israel? Hear this hilarious, dramatic, amazing story of one of our very own INR Listeners!"

Jeffrey is now sitting in an Israeli jail waiting trial for apparently (to my understanding) shipping to Israel with his belongings, one of his guns he had legally, in the USA. When authorities checked his belongings, they found his gun and they arrested him. One has to have a licence in Israel to own a gun, it doesn't matter what the laws were in America.Jeffrey, being new to the country has no friends or family here. We have all kind of adopted him and try our best to visit him in jail in Ashekelon.

Would you all do a big mitzvah (good deed, act of kindness) and please drop a card or a letter to Jeffrey saying that you are praying for him and that he will be released soon and go on to live his life in peace and happiness? (Please don't ask him anything about his case as anything he says/writes could be used against him. Just tell him a bit about yourself, and how you wish him the best and are praying for him.) He received one letter from a listener, just one, but it made him so very happy! He even read me the letter he got, it really lifted his spirits! I thought, look what this one letter did for him! What a great act of kindness this person did for Jeffrey. --- Think what it is like to be in a cell with others, and everyone gets mail from their loved ones, and you gave up your home and language and culture to make aliyah to Israel, and so you know few people here, and your name is never called when the mail comes.
Please do this act of kindness and write to Jeffrey.
His mailing address is:

To: Shmuel Zatam (*This is how Jeffrey is known in the jail, --his Hebrew name)
Kele Shikma
Ezor Ta'asiya (industrial zone), P.O. Box 17
Ashkelon, Israel

And may you all be inscribed for a wonderful and good year!


  • At Friday, September 15, 2006 1:40:00 PM, Blogger Marie said…

    Tamar...can we send him anything? Do you know if he needs anything? Thank You

  • At Friday, September 15, 2006 1:40:00 PM, Blogger Marie said…

    Tamar...can we send him anything? Do you know if he needs anything? Thank You

  • At Sunday, September 17, 2006 12:13:00 AM, Blogger Elaine said…


    This is a wonderful idea !! I have heard that it can take a week or more for a letter to get from the U.S. to Israel, is this true? How long will they be holding Jeffry on a charge like this? I would be happy to write to him, I just wondered, might he be out before the letters arrived, or is he looking at a long time? It sounds so unfair !! My husband and I drove through North Carolina about two years back and it is such pretty country !! But those roads are scarry !! Some cut "through" the mountains, with very sharp curves, and steep inclines. I was driving and I'll never forget it !! Tell Jeffry to be expecting letters from one "HILLBILLY" (Tennessean) to ANOTHER (North Carolinian??)!! This is a great idea Tamar !!

  • At Sunday, September 17, 2006 1:11:00 AM, Blogger Tamar Yonah said…

    Just to be safe, i would not send him anything. Remember, they want to convict him, so anything you say or send might be used against him. Just send him a loving letter and some prayers and hope. Also, tell him a bit about yourself so he can have an interesting read. You are wonderful, thanks!

  • At Sunday, September 17, 2006 1:13:00 AM, Blogger Tamar Yonah said…

    Elaine, thanks so much! You all are great! Jeffrey has been sitting already for about 4 months!!! And he has not even had a trial yet, it keeps getting postponed or something. So unfortunately, Jeffrey will probably be there for a while. Please send him mail! Please tell your friends to as well.

  • At Sunday, September 17, 2006 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Yitz said…

    Jeff(Shmuel) called me erev Shabbos. It was a pleasure talking with him.
    Please try to put up your interview with him on your favorite shows.
    I hope that arrangements can be made for me to go visit him.

  • At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 12:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think writing to Jews who are behind bars for no reason is a requirement for anyone who has a heart for G-d. I just mailed my letter to Jeffery and am so thankful for you Tamar giving us the opportunity to do so. May HaShem bless Shmuel and you!

  • At Monday, October 02, 2006 1:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    4 months?! Wow. People have done less time for actually having committed a real crime with a weapon over here.


    I will write him and will be careful with the content and try to just encourage him.

  • At Monday, October 09, 2006 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Yonatan said…

    This is outrageous and an affront against American Jewry! I loved Jeffrey as a brother since I heard him on the Show, he is my brother from another mother! I had a Jewish mother but I was raised around firearms and hunting for subsistence. Clean animals only but I killed and ate them, not Kosher but animals that chewed their cud and had cloven hoofs. Elk, Deer. Antelope and even Moose were fair game until I became frum. Jeffrey has that free spirit that I share and to be locked away, TAMAR! Why didn’t you announce this on all of your show’s? This is the first time I am reading this blog spot, I guess it is my fault for not looking but really Tamar this is very important information! My brother is in Jail and I did not know! My arm should fall off if I do not write my brother in Jail! I will take this to heart also because I own many firearms and I am proficient in their use. Now I know why the question about firearms is on the Nefesh B’Nefesh application for aliyah! There will be no rest in Chiloquin Oregon until Hashem knows, I know about Jeffrey! All of the people who read this, it is your obligation to comfort those in Jail and persecuted without reason. Certainly Jonathan Pollard and Jeffrey fit these descriptions but I did ot know about Jeffrey until this moment.


    Chiloquin, Oregon

  • At Sunday, February 18, 2007 4:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I remember this show, I grew up some 40 mile from Asheville, NC. Has he been released yet or is he in jail at this time? Anyone know?

  • At Sunday, February 18, 2007 4:35:00 AM, Blogger Tamar Yonah said…

    Shalom Bill,
    Jeff is STILL rotting in prison, awaiting the outcome of his trial. His trial is over, but the judge is waiting for the two lawyers to make their summations in writing, and will then decide. please pray for Jeffrey. Thanks.


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