Yardena MarshAge 46
15 Feb 2006
Tel Aviv (Israel)
TDoR list ref: tdor.info/15 Feb 2006/Yardena Marsh
Yardena was shot dead in her apartment on Levanda Street. Ze’ev Biso admitted murdering her.
Tel Aviv thief Ze’ev Biso was arrested by police on suspicion of murdering [trans woman] Yardena Marsh,” reads the news story published on March 24, 2006 in Yediot Aharonot. “Her body was found yesterday in her apartment on Levanda street with one bullet in the chest that caused her death.” Thus ended the life of Yardena Marsh Z”L, a pioneer of the transgender community in Israel, who was found dead in her modest apartment near the central bus station in Tel Aviv.
Marsh grew up in South Tel Aviv and attended boarding school when she was a teenager. Her gender identity began to be expressed after she had finished army service. “I met Yardena Marsh during my teenage years. We grew up together in the same neighborhood, we roamed around the same parks,” says Israela Lev, who was Yardena’s friend and roommate. “We became very good friends, sisters even, and even emigrated together to West Berlin in the 80s. We lived in a very small apartment and we shared it on a really low budget. We just had to go, because the authorities and the police in Israel harassed us. Later we heard that life is better in Switzerland, so we moved there together. Yardena was one of the most charming women I’ve ever met, with a sense of humor and a laugh and a beautiful face. She had bright green eyes and curly hair. She was captivating in her grace and naivety. She loved life and had a sense of adventure.”
At a certain point Yardena Marsh began working in prostitution and was dragged into drug addiction that degraded her life. Israela Lev says that at that point their lives separated. “When we got back to Israel, we lived in Tel Aviv and we got into a mess quite often because of Yardena and her efforts to get to know the dark regions of drug dealers,” she says. “These drugs did her a lot of damage, and when I saw her every once in a while in Tel Aviv, I tried to talk to her and see if there was any way I could help her, but she couldn’t give up the addiction, and always got back to the drugs, until eventually I read in the newspaper that she was murdered. She was a beautiful transgender woman, both inside and out,” Lev says.
Nora Grinberg was in touch with Yardena Marsh’s family following her murder, and tried to convince them to bury her with dignity. “Yardena was murdered twice. Once by the murderer and again by her family who wiped out her identity,” she says. “The unwillingness to honor her after she was dead was burned inside me forever. They referred to her as a man and all they would say was how much she hurt her mother. They didn’t really care about her and there was no willingness to respect her identity and her memory after she was murdered.”