I Was a Teenage Stowaway

Victor Rodack dreamed of visiting Israel. In 1967, he found an unusual way to make his dream a reality.

By Vox Tablet|April 29, 2015 12:00 AM


These days it’d be pretty hard to walk without a ticket onto a boarding airplane bound for an international locale. Between the TSA and sniffer dogs, any would-be stowaway would likely see the inside of a jail cell pretty fast. But before September 11, in fact, before 1970, it wasn’t quite as challenging.

When Victor Rodack, now a psychiatrist in his 60s, was a young teenager he had but one dream: to get to Israel. He tells Vox Tablet producer Julie Subrin exactly how he made that dream come true.

Bonus track: Listen to Victor’s press conference at JFK Airport, just after he landed back in the United States. (Thanks to Victor Rodack and Paul Ruest for making this archival interview available.)

A page from Victor’s album of news clippings: Victor and his parents at JFK upon his return from Israel. (Photo courtesy Victor Rodack)

Find this story online: https://www.tabletmag.com/podcasts/190562/i-was-a-teenage-stowaway