Halina Robinson is now the matriarch of a large Australian family, and the centre of a wide circle of friends. At the end of World War II, she was alone. All the members of her large family had perished in the Holocaust. She was able to survive only because of the courage and devotion of many Catholic Poles who risked their lives and the safety of their own families to shelter and protect her. She wrote about these experiences in her well-received first novel A Cork on the Waves.
Now she has extended her story to an account of her immigration to Israel in 1957 with her Polish husband and two small children. Treading Water in the Promised Land tells the story of their attempt at establishing a new life in Beer Sheva on the edge of the Negev desert and later their move close to Haifa, where Halina became a teacher in a school in Kyriat Nazareth.
Immigration is never easy. For Halina the added motivation was a wish to meet her favourite childhood cousin, one of only two relatives who survived by living abroad during the War, later becoming a General in the Israeli Army. During her pre-war childhood Halina dreamed of going to Israel, but as a grown up person, many things looked different from those of the imagination of a schoolgirl, a daughter of a committed Zionist who was now not by her side to guide her.