||Hankin Belkind Olga
Olga Hankin, the eldest daughter of Meir and Shifra Belkind, was born in Leheusek, Minsk region, Russia. Her teacher who was her father, the owner of a revised "Cheder", taught her Hebrew, Bible, Mishnah, and Talmud.
After graduating high school, she wanted to continue her studies at the St. Petersburg University but staying in the capital was forbidden to the Jews, apart from those who had needed professions. However, ambitious Olga turned to the telegraph operator at the postal office in her hometown and learns from him the profession. Due to this occupation, she gets a permit for residence in Petersburg. Here, she is the first Hebrew student who learns in the course of midwifes at the university, aiming to continue studying medicine. She also brought there her brother and sister so that they could continue their studies.
Her home in Petersburg was the center of Jewish writers and students as well as of Russian intellectuals and revolutionists and she is among the first to raise the Zionist and the "Bilu" ideas even before the riots ("Storms in the Negev") of the year 1881.
When the "Biluim" left, on their way to Eretz Israel, on the summer of 1882, she published in the "Melitz" an enthusiastic letter of encouragement in Hebrew:" ... Go brothers, use your strength and act in favor of your people, a contemptible and seditiousness nation; strengthen your hands; don't let your heart to get soft; be strong; be the pioneers of our brothers' army and your names will be a blessing to the last generation; you outdid yourself in your first step. ( M ' Smilanski, the family of the land, volume B ' page '134).
ln the year 1886, she immigrated to Eretz Israel, to Rishon Lezion, leaving behind her dreams about studying. When a year later, the settlers' revolt against the Baron Rothschild's clerks broke out and during the Baron's visit to the settlement, Olga Hankin participated in a women's delegation to the Baroness; thanks to her appearance and her impressive words, the Baron's wife tried to soften her husband's position towards the members of Rishon Lezion. As the decree of deportation against her rebelling family was final, she influenced them to give it up for the good of the community and resettle in Gedera.
In the year, 1888, she married Jehoshua Hankin and they established their home in Jaffa.
Since then, she granted a crucial contribution to the "Hankinian" enterprise.
As an expert midwife, she had good connections to honorable Arabs and due her influence they agreed to sell land. Every morning Olga, riding a white donkey used to leave home and extend her help as midwife and medical assistant to Arab and Jewish women of the city. In the evening acquaintances and friends used to come to the house and together plan their activities of redemption of land throughout Erertz Israel. During 1890-1891she influenced rich Arabs to lend her husband the first amount of money to purchase the land of "Emek Izrael" and convinced Dr. Tiomkin to give his consent to the redemption of the valley. Later on, when the decrees of the Turkish authorities caused to thwart the deal and the money of the Jews in exile was left with the sellers, she helped her husband to return the money to the buyers while she and her husband suffer shortage and distress.
"At the first difficult days which the Hadera's residents underwent," writes M. Smilansky (p. 140) "days of attempts, of mishaps, of internal strife, of discouragement - she was seen with her friend Jehoshua coming up from the sea side, back horse riding beyond the wadi "Chawarat", "... when she appeared, she pacified their shaken feelings and strengthened their hearts " During other difficult days, when her husband faced financial legal trials due to an entanglement because land purchases which he carried out, Olga " again stood there as a wall to support her whole family and as a solid rock to uphold her friend Jehoshua. Again, she wandered around by foot or by riding her donkey, between the Arabs and her medical advice seekers, and talked to Jehoshua 's foes repeatedly, as a loving friend and admirer. She strengthened his spirit and encouraged his soul, prophesying to him: that the dark night will be over, that the gate will open again, that his day will come, that he has been created for greatness and that he has been destined to do unattainable deeds... (p. 141).
In the year 1915, Yehoshua Hankin was arrested at the command of Jamal Pasha, for being a dangerous Zionist activist and was deported to Turkey. Olga exiled voluntarily with him. When the First World War was over, the two returned to Tel Aviv. Here she continued to assist the operation of redeeming the land and often contribute to charity enterprises.
When she died, she was brought to burial at the slope of Mount Gilboa in a grave Jehoshua Hankin prepared for both of them, at location overlooking the Valley "Emek Izrael" which was redeemed by them.