Second Burial for Californian Drug Addict, Finally Identified

Karen Margalit, a drug addict who died in September at the age of 29, was yesterday buried for the second time.

The first time, her identity was unknown, and no one attended her funeral. Yesterday, about 15 employees of organizations that had tried to help her in life attended the modest ceremony at Tel Aviv's Yarkon cemetery.

Margalit was born in the United States and immigrated to Israel at age 18. She had used soft drugs in the U.S., but in Israel, she suffered a slipped disc, began using painkillers and tranquilizers and eventually became addicted to hard drugs. She lived on the streets of Tel Aviv. She wandered in and out of drug rehabilitation centers and was even hospitalized in a psychiatric ward a few times, but nothing helped.

In September, she died of an overdose, and her body was found in a Tel Aviv parking lot. The police were unable to identify her, and after 46 days, on November 12, she was finally buried anonymously at Kibbutz Revadim.

Only after her burial was her identity discovered. At that point, Avner Cabel, coordinator of the Anti-Drug Authority's Levinsky Project, began arranging a new interment.

"I couldn't accept Margalit's burial as an unknown," he said. "I and people from other organizations knew her, and we knew that she was a person like any person, with an identity and a name."

A woman who never knew Margalit, but heard her story through the media, called Cabel and volunteered to finance a headstone.

And yesterday, she was finally reburied in her new resting place.