The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, mourns the passing of Theodor “Teddy” Kollek, the former mayor of Jerusalem.
Involved in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust, then a fighter in the pre-State Hagana and also an aide to Israel’s founder, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, Mr. Kollek, is most remembered for his six terms as mayor of Jerusalem, from 1965 until 1995, where he presided over its unification and became its greatest builder since ancient times. He was synonymous with Jerusalem, and became the City’s champion throughout Israel and across the globe. He remained, in the words of the Psalmist, a true watchman on the walls of Jerusalem, defending the City, pleading its cause and dreaming its best days ahead. The wide thoroughfares, open spaces, and cultural institutions enjoyed by all remain his legacy. As well, his tireless efforts to see that everyone felt at home in modern Jerusalem remain a model for all.
We join in offering sympathies and prayers to his wife, Tamar, son Amos and daughter Osnat. May the Lord comfort them amongst all mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.