דפני Raigorodsky Rigordsky Dafni, Moshe ben Zeev (Volf)

Birth Name דפני Raigorodsky Rigordsky Dafni, Moshe ben Zeev (Volf) [1a]
Birth Name Мойсей
Also Known As דפני, משה בן זאב
Also Known As 'הסיילור'
Call Name Мойсей
Call Name משה
Call Name 'הסיילור'
Gender male
Age at Death unknown


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth February 29, 1919   Moshe Rigordsky was born in Ukraine

Aliyah 1920   Moshe Rigordsky left Ukraine for Palestine at age 1 year

Event Note

Moshe Dafni cites: "After a period of training at Beer Tuvia and Mishmar HaSharon I went to work at Sdot Yam, which was at Kiryat Chaim in those days. Most of the time I worked as a stevedore in the port of Haifa."
"In 1940 I was among the members who went to the site of permanent settlement, at Caesarea. We underwent all the difficulties of a new settlement in those days. At Sdot Yam I worked in fishing."

Boat November 25, 1940 פאטריה SS Patria SS Patria was sabotaged by the Haganah while docked at Haifa

Event Note

Captain F. C. Halliday served as commander of SS Patria, under British control.

Event Note

Hans Venfel and Erich Frank were Hechalutz leaders onboard SS Patria, who, together with Monya Mardor, planned the method and timing of the explosion.

Event Note

At 9:00 in the morning, Hans Vanfel lit the fuse with the help of a little sulfur found in a matchbox.
The first explosive failed to go off, but the second explosive was too great for the weakened hull of SS Patria.
The explosion was heard throughout Haifa, as it blew out the sheets of the superstructure and created a hole of six square meters.
The waters gushed in with a terrible force and within fifteen minutes SS Patria turned on its side and sank.

Event Note

David Shpitzer, his wife and his son, Dan, were aboard SS Patria when the bomb exploded.
Dan Shefy cites: "I heard the explosion and immediately the boat tilted to the right side,"
"I tried reaching the deck. All the passageways were blocked with many people trying to reach the deck. My father was sitting on the deck when he heard the explosion. He was about to descend to locate me, but he couldn't because of the crowd. I managed to climb onto the deck."
Dan Shefy and his parents survived, and they were sent to Atlit Detention Camp.

Event Note

Dan Shpitzer Shefy cites: "Instead of taking part in the war effort against the Nazis by using the Patria ship as a troop carrier, the British thought it more important to deport about 1,800 Jewish refugees aboard the ship,"

Event Note

Emil Gregr was aboard SS Patria when the bomb exploded.
He survived the sinking.

Event Note

Jiri Polacek was aboard SS Patria when the bomb exploded.
He was below deck, supervising the cleanup of SS Patria, when a explosion ripped through the ship.
He survived the sinking.
Jiri Polacek cites: "At first we didn't really take much notice because we'd been used to the Milos, the ship we came to Palestine on, which would often lurch like that, The captain would say, 'Everyone move to the other side, please,' something we'd have to do to balance the ship."


Event Note

Monya Mardor volunteered to enter the harbor area with the assistance of Hertzel Shchori, Operations Manager of the Public Works Division of the Harbor, and two construction workers who worked on the construction of bomb shelters.
SS Patria was being prepared for her long voyage, and they had to retrofit the baking oven, so Hertzel Shchori sent a message to Monya Mardor, who posed as a worker, that they were transferring bricks and sacks of sand to SS Patria, under guard by the military and police.

Event Note

Judith Caro was aboard SS Patria when the bomb exploded.
Judith Caro cites: "on 6th November, we were informed that we were to be transferred to a large troop transporter in the harbour for a fortnight’s quarantine. The new ship was the Patria, a former French luxury liner captured by the British. We were ferried over in small groups, women, children and the Youth Aliyah group first. We climbed a side ladder to board the ship."
"Eva and I went up onto the tween deck. We arrived just as the first group jumped into the water. Then we heard a bang. We thought they were shooting at the swimmers: we watched with interest. Then the English arrived, waving their guns and started to drive us all below deck. We had to go downstairs too, but on the next level, we went our onto the lower deck."
"There was total chaos and no one paid us any attention. Some people were screaming, others were praying. No one knew what had really happened. The bang we had heard was an explosion. The “Arabs” who brought the coal had also brought explosives on board to damage the ship. We now know that they miscalculated the amount needed and that the ship was not as robust as they had assumed. The hole in the ship’s side was so big that the Patria sank much more quickly than planned. People were trapped in their cabins and couldn't open the doors; stairs collapsed, the water poured in. People jumped from the side which was tilting towards the water and planks and boards slipped off the ship on top of them, killing many, including our Alfred, who came from Rissen with us. He was an excellent swimmer, but was knocked out in the water by a thick board."
"Eva and I had stayed by the railing. When the ship was listing so severely that we could not stand, we slipped gradually down the ship’s side, which was gradually becoming upright. We were on the upper side and so could slide down comfortably. Margot climbed out of a porthole and Chaja, who was trying to do the same, got stuck because of her broad hips. It took two sailors to pull her out."
"An Englishman in a rowing boat pulled me out of the water. The non-swimmers were picked up first. I showed him where Eva was and he pulled her into the boat too. We were all just taken to the breakwater, so that the boats could return to the ship as soon as possible. Once there, we started to realise what had really happened. Up to then we were too busy thinking about what to do next - now we could see the whole picture. Everyone went around looking for his friends and relations among the dripping wet figures."

Event Note

Moshe Dafni cites: "I was involved in retrieving the bodies of, and equipment from, the ship “Patria”."

Military Service 1941 פלמ"ח פלוגות מחץ Palmach, הגנה  

Military Action October, 1945 קיבוץ יגור kibbutz Yagur, עמק זבולון, חיפה, ישראל Palyam פלי"ם‎ No. 5 Small Boat Commanders' course קורס חמישי למפקדי סירות

Event Note

In 1945, the Palyam פלי"ם‎ No. 5 Small Boat Commanders' course קורס מפקדי סירות חמישי was held at Caesarea קיסריה.
* Moshe Dafni
Moshe Dafni cites: "In 1945, when I returned to Palestine, Yankale Salomon met me and invited me to return to the Palmach. I returned to the Palyam in October and went straight to the 5th course, as I had had so much experience at sea. After this course I was sent to the officers’ course, which was at Yagur."
* Zhmuel 'Samek' Poznanski Yanai
* Aviah Schliff


Boat December 25, 1945 חנה סנש Andarta Enderta Amorta Hannah Szenes Hannah Senesh Hannah Szenes חנה סנש beached at Nahariyah

Place Note

On December 25, 1945, Hannah Szenes חנה סנש was beached at Nahariyah נהריה.
Fritz Liebreich cites: "Andrata Hanna Szenesh ran ashore on December 27, 1945."
She listed dangerously and close to capsizing.
The passengers landed with the help of Palmach פלמ"ח members, men from Nahariyah נהריה, and a rope connected from the ship to shore.
Moshe Dafni cites: "We were called upon to help unload the ma’apilim from the “Hannah Senesh”. We all gathered at Evron, where there were many people, not only Palyamniks. Tasks and duties were assigned. I was to command the force of those who would go onto the vessel and help the ma’apilim off and into the boats or water.
Midnight came and the ship did not arrive, so we all went home. The next day we came again. We were told that since it was Christmas Day the British soldiers would not be as alert as usual. We once again arrived at the landing area and saw that we were no more than one platoon, of about 30 men. We sent some of them to bring a boat from the Nahariya branch of Hapoel. Such a boat could hold about 10 people, including its crew. The ship had two boats, each of which could take 6-7 people, and this is what there was with which to unload all of the ma’apilim. The ship came into the shore, as close as possible, and ran up onto a rock. There she rested and a strong north to south current was created about her."
"It is difficult to imagine our feelings about leaving the ma’apilim on the ship. We debated among ourselves whether we should disobey the order and go back to get the people, or whether to keep moving away from the shore. In the end we went back to Evron and not long after our arrival, the commander came along and asked for ten volunteers. These volunteers had to be aware that they could be arrested by the British if they were caught. I immediately volunteered and in a few seconds others came forward and we were ten. We wasted no time and started running back to the ship. When we got there we saw that the ma’apilim, themselves, had lowered a rope from the ship to the shore. Later I found out that among the group of young men that had laid out the rope was Yitzchak Arad (Tolka). I swam out to the ship, and Moshe Klain swam with me. The people on the ship stood there doing nothing. I told the other fellows to stand along the length of the line and help those who had trouble moving forward. I told Moshe to bring all the women first and, one at a time, told each one to grab me by the neck; I then lifted each one up and over the railing so that they could get to the rope ladder."
"When we had unloaded about half the ma’apilim, Yitzchak Sadeh and Natan Alterman appeared on the shore and I heard Benny Marshak yell: “Hurry, keep moving, come on down!”. This galvanized them into moving along more quickly, and once all the ma’apilim were down, he yelled to us to lower all the baggage as well. The baggage had been arranged beforehand on the deck and we seamen stood in a row and passed everything along from one to the next. Some of the ma’apilim helped us and the job was done quickly."
Britain's naval and political reaction to the illegal immigration of Jews to Palestine.

Event Note

On December 25, 1945, Chaim Shani was among the Palyam men who helped take the passengers off Hannah Szenes חנה סנש, at Nahariyah נהריה.
Chaim Shani cites: "We also had to dispose of weapons that Palmachniks had brought to secure the area, before the British arrived on the scene. We were given a large room in Kibbutz Gaaton in which to store the weapons."

Boat February 3, 1948   Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה sailed from from Civitavecchia

Place Note

On February 3, 1948, Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה sailed from from Civitavecchia, carrying 670 passengers.
Irenaeus E. Thomas of the University of Rzeszow cites: Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה carried 679 passengers.
Tzvi Ben-Tzur cites: "The first attempt to load the Ma’apilim was near the shore of Civitavecchia, Italy, but the weather was bad and the sea was rough. When one of the launch boats carrying Ma’apilim to the vessel overturned, the loading was halted. It was resumed only two days later, when the sea had calmed down. The vessel sailed on February 3rd 1948, carrying 680 Ma’apilim."
AmutaYam.org.il cites: Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה sailed from from Foggia, carrying 680 passengers.
Paul H. Silverstone's Aliyah Bet Project cites: Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה sailed from from Civitavecchia, carrying 679 passengers.
Yehudale Tzfati served as Palyam פלי"ם Commander מפקד aboard Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה.
Moshe Dafni served as Palyam פלי"ם Escort מלווה aboard Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה.
Danny Sandler served as Gidoni גדעוני, wireless radio operator, aboard Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה.
Moshe Dafni cites: "The captain was an old man, the chief engineer was an Austrian, and there were four other men in the crew."

Event Note

Yehudale Tzfati served as Palyam פלי"ם Commander מפקד aboard Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה.

Event Note

Moshe 'haSailer' Dafni served as Palyam פלי"ם Escort מלווה aboard Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה.

Event Note

Danny Sandler served as Gidoni גדעוני, wireless radio operator, aboard Yerushalayim haNetzura ירושליים הנצורה.

Military Service   חיל הים הישראלי Israeli Navy, צה"ל  

Marriage     Moshe Dafni married Daphne Sade

Residence 1961 מושב שרונה moshav Sharona, הגליל התחתון, הצפון, ישראל Moshe Dafni became a farmer

Death November 16, 2005 חיפה Haifa, חיפה, ישראל  

Burial November, 2005 קיסריה Caesarea Maritima Caesarea قيسارية‎, חוף הכרמל‎, חיפה, ישראל  



Father Raigorodsky, Volf Zeev 'Velvale' ben Mordechai
Mother Goralnik, Dasha 'Duba' bat Moshe
  1. Raigorodski, Rachel bat Zeev (Volf)


Married Wife Sade, Daphne Dafni


Source References

  1. השערים פתוחים The Gates are Open, Collection of Memories of Clandestine Immigration 1945-1948
    1. Page: 189
  2. Escaping the Holocaust: Illegal Immigration to the Land of Israel, 1939-1944


  1. Raigorodsky, Volf Zeev 'Velvale' ben Mordechai
    1. Goralnik, Dasha 'Duba' bat Moshe
      1. דפני Raigorodsky Rigordsky Dafni, Moshe ben Zeev (Volf)
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        2. ', ['', u'Sade, Daphne Dafni', ''], '
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      2. Raigorodski, Rachel bat Zeev (Volf)