Teddy Kollek, 97, Father of Modern Jerusalem

teddy and ben gurion
Teddy was named after Theodor Herzl, and more than anyone created the modern day Jerusalem that pilgrims, birthrighters, leftists, rightist, chareidim, and chilonim enjoy today. “As a mayor for more than a generation, he will be remembered as the person who shepherded the transition of Jerusalem from a Mideast backwater with a glorious past to a world capital of culture and politics.” writes VirtualJewishLibrary.com.

He hated nudniks, but was listed in the phone book
By Tom Segev

Teddy Kollek once returned home very late, as he often did, and found a note from his wife, Tamar: A woman rang the doorbell at 1 A.M. to complain that there is a hole in the sidewalk near her house and that the city has done nothing about it for a month. Kollek’s home phone number was listed in the telephone book; people could call him at home, and some abused the privilege. It was 3:30 A.M., and Kollek promptly called the woman back. “This is Teddy,” he said. “I just wanted to tell you that tomorrow morning, first thing, I’ll deal with the matter.”

Kollek broadcast authenticity and apolitical credibility. He had a basic fairness, a big heart and a fatherly sense of humor. And among Israel’s founding fathers, he was exceptional: He enjoyed his work.

From Haaretz.com

Of course others are not waxing so poetically. The “Voice of Judea”, called him a controversial figure, because he served with the Hagganah and not with Irgun. But this pre-State stuff is really a distraction. Let’s face it. Without Teddy, we would not have the Israel Museum (which he started) or Modern Jerusalem. Teddy, G-d bless ya.


Posted on January 3, 2007, in Israel. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Rabbeinu Yonah, the story about Teddy Kollek’s home number being listed in the phone book reminded me of another Jewish Mayor (of another great Jewish city) who listed his telephone number in the phone book. A July [13] 2005 New York Times article (“Who Has Bloomberg’s Number? Anybody With a Phone Book”) wrote the following:
    Forget 311.

    There is another number you can call the next time the garbage goes uncollected, the neighbors are too noisy or a pothole swallows your car. It is listed in the white pages under “Bloomberg, Michael R.”

    Call Mr. Bloomberg’s home, and chances are, the mayor himself will answer.

    That is what an agitated New Yorker did late Monday evening, only to have Mayor Bloomberg himself pick up the bedside phone in his Upper East Sidetown house. As the mayor recounted it yesterday, the caller had “a housing problem” and needed help.

    “The young lady went on about how her mother had lived there, and the mother is deceased, and now she wanted to have the house,” Mr. Bloomberg said, adding, “I couldn’t quite figure out what the woman’s problem was, but I said, ‘Call me in the morning; here’s the number.'”

    Little did most city residents realize, the home telephone number of their billionaire mayor is right there in the phone book. Several times in recent years, and again at a news conference in Queens yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg has entertained audiences with anecdotes about people who have looked him up in the white pages and called at odd hours for assistance.

    See the article at the following link http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/13/nyregion/13phone.html?ei=5090&en=36627faf649a47af&ex=1278907200&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1168204702-dsvmVxFYHTDZdWF3vmF6fg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: