Ephraim Menaker is the son of Jakow (born in Radziechow, 1883) and Szprinca Menaker (born Winniki, Poland in 1884). He was born on April 27, 1919 in Lvov where his father was a butcher and in charge of delivering supplies to the army. The family lived in Winniki, a small town outside of Lvov. Ephraim had six siblings: Israel (b. 1904), Nissan (b. 1907), Liepa (Eliezer, b. 1909), Symcha (b. 1911), Mosze (b. 1914) and Mindl (b. 1921). Israel immigrated to America in 1919 while the rest of the family remained in Poland. Ephraim attended the Gymnasia Ivrit in Lvov and then studied mechanics in the Jewish Technical School "Korkis". After one of his high school classmates was killed by antisemites in 1937-38, Ephraim did not wear his school cap outside of the school for fear that anyone would know he was Jewish. His brother Mosze belonged to a Hachshara in Lvov, and his brother Symcha also worked as a butcher. Neither was married. Mindl was married to Mosze Hochberg. Ephraim Menaker was mobilized into the Russian army in 1941 and sent to Baku. He remained in the army throughout the war. The rest of his family was sent to Lvov ghetto and from there to Belzec where they perished. After liberation Ephraim joined a Kibbutz Hachshara in Krakow and then lived for one year in the Bad Reichenal displaced persons' camp. He also helped the Bricha transporting Jewish children into Italy. In July 1947 he sailed illegally to Palestine on board the Exodus. While on board he met Esther Scapinker whom he later wed. After the ship was forced to return to Europe, Ephraim and Esther were taken first to the Poppendorf camp and later to Emden. They married in Emden on December 31, 1947 and finally immigrated to Palestine in 1948 on board the Kedma where they settled in Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk. The couple remained in Israel until 1956 and then spent 18 years in the U.S., returning to Israel in 1972. They have one daughter who lives in Maryland.
Fira (Esther) Scapinker Menaker is the daughter of Shlomo and Rachel Scapinker. She was born in Rostov on the Don on February 15, 1925 and had one brother David, born in 1927. The family was religiously observant and spent the war as refugees in Kutsaisi Georgia. Fira attended public school and gymnasia and finished ten years of education. Fira left the Soviet Union in 1945 as a Pole and went to Lvov to wait for her parents. However, her parents never joined her. Instead they were arrested and incarcerated by Stalin because of their Zionist and Jewish beliefs. Fira traveled from Lvov to Krakow and then to the Rosenheim displaced persons' camp where she worked as a counselor. Her parents were released from Soviet prison by Nikita Khrushchev in 1953.