Israel Obituary Politics

Rest in Peace Mayor Teddy (1911-2007)

I’ve met a few big city mayors in my life (Detroit’s Dennis Archer, Ed Koch of NYC, and Michael Coleman of Columbus), but no one will ever surpass Jerusalem’s Mayor Teddy Kollek, may his memory be for a blessing) in popularity, sincerity, or menschlichkeit.

In July 1996, I was walking in front of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel with my dad and his friend Lazer Dorfman. Lazer pointed to the short, old man standing in front of a car with the car alarm blaring and said, “That’s Teddy Kollek, the old mayor of Jerusalem.” We went up to say hi and he shook our hands explaining that his driver was inside and he accidentally set off the car alarm. I took the keys and quickly turned off the alarm. Mayor Teddy was very thankful for our help and we talked until hisdriver returned.

Whenever I tell this story to a native Israeli, their face lights up and they tell their own story of what a nice guy and great mayor Teddy Kollek was. He will sorely be missed.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |