Teddy Kollek

Teddy Kollek

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Theodor "Teddy" Kollek (May 27, 1911 – January 2, 2007) was mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, and founder of the Jerusalem Foundation
Jerusalem Foundation
The Jerusalem Foundation is an international non-profit organization whose goal is the improvement of the quality of life for all citizens of Jerusalem. It was founded in 1966 by the mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. The foundation is politically not affiliated...

. Kollek was re-elected five times, in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983 and 1989. After reluctantly running for a seventh term in 1993 at the age of 82, he lost to Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 candidate and future Prime Minister of Israel
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

.

During his tenure, Jerusalem developed into a modern city, especially after its reunification in 1967. He was once called "the greatest builder of Jerusalem since Herod
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

."

Early years


Teddy Kollek was born in Nagyvázsony
Nagyvázsony
- External links :* *...

, 120 km from Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Hungary as Kollek Tivadar. His parents named him after Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl , born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl was an Ashkenazi Jew Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the State of Israel.-Early life:...

. Growing up in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Kollek came to share his father Alfréd’s Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 convictions.
In 1935, three years before the Nazis
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 seized power
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

 in Austria, the Kollek family immigrated to Palestine, then under British mandate. In 1937, he was one of the founders of Kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

 Ein Gev, on the shore of Lake Kinneret. That same year he married Tamar Schwarz. They had two children, a son, the film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 Amos Kollek
Amos Kollek
Amos Kollek is an Israeli film director, writer and actor.-Biography:Amos Kollek was born in Jerusalem. He is the son of Teddy Kollek, the long-time mayor of Jerusalem. Kollek studied psychology and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He became interested in film after working as a...

 (born in 1947), and a daughter, Osnat.

In the 1940s, on behalf of the Jewish Agency (Sochnut) and as part of the "The Hunting Season
The Hunting Season
The Hunting Season or The Saison was the name given to the Haganah's suppression of the Irgun's insurgency against the government of the British Mandate in Palestine.-Background:...

" or "Saison" Teddy Kollek was the Jewish Agency's contact person with the British Mandate MI5
MI5
The Security Service, commonly known as MI5 , is the United Kingdom's internal counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its core intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence...

, providing information against right-wing Jewish underground groups Irgun
Irgun
The Irgun , or Irgun Zevai Leumi to give it its full title , was a Zionist paramilitary group that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the earlier and larger Jewish paramilitary organization haHaganah...

 and Lehi
Lehi (group)
Lehi , commonly referred to in English as the Stern Group or Stern Gang, was a militant Zionist group founded by Avraham Stern in the British Mandate of Palestine...

 (known as "Stern Gang"). He succeeded Reuven Zaslani and preceded Zeev Sherf in this function, and in doing so, the Jewish Agency's policy of fighting these groups was carried.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Kollek tried to represent Jewish interests in Europe on behalf of the Jewish Agency. In 1947–48, he represented the Haganah
Haganah
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

 in Washington, where he assisted in acquiring ammunition for Israel’s then-fledgling army. Kollek became a close ally of David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

, serving in the latter’s governments from 1952 as the director general of the prime minister’s office.

Mayor of Jerusalem


In 1965 Teddy Kollek succeeded Mordechai Ish-Shalom
Mordechai Ish-Shalom
Mordechai Ish-Shalom , , was an Israeli politician and labor leader. He was mayor of Jerusalem from 1959 to 1965.-Biography:Ish-Shalom was born in Lithuania and came to British Palestine in 1923. His labor career began in the Stonecutters' Union in 1935; he then rose through the ranks of the...

 as Mayor of Jerusalem. On his motivations for seeking the mayor’s office in Jerusalem, Kollek once recalled:
I got into this by accident[...] I was bored. When the city was united, I saw this as an historic occasion. To take care of it and show better care than anyone else ever has is a full life purpose. I think Jerusalem is the one essential element in Jewish history. A body can live without an arm or a leg, not without the heart. This is the heart and soul of it.


During his tenure Jerusalem developed into a modern city, especially after its reunification in 1967 He was often called “the greatest builder of Jerusalem since Herod
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

.”

Kollek was re-elected five times, in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983, and 1989, serving 28 years as mayor of Jerusalem. In a reluctant seventh bid for mayor in 1993, Kollek, aged 82, lost to Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 candidate Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

. On November 13, 1972, Kollek appeared alongside New York Mayor John Lindsay
John Lindsay
John Vliet Lindsay was an American politician, lawyer and broadcaster who was a U.S. Congressman, Mayor of New York City, candidate for U.S...

 on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host and comedian, known as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 years . Carson received six Emmy Awards including the Governor Award and a 1985 Peabody Award; he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987...

.

Relationship with the Arab community


In the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of 1967, East Jerusalem, which had been under Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian control since 1948, was taken over by Israel. As mayor of a newly united Jerusalem, Kollek’s approach toward her Arab inhabitants was governed by pragmatism. Within hours of the transfer of authority, he arranged for the provision of milk for Arab children. Some Israelis considered him pro-Arab. Teddy Kollek, under the orders of Ben Gurion, ordered the destruction of the Moroccan Quarter
Moroccan Quarter
The Moroccan Quarter or Mughrabi Quarter was an 800-year old neighborhood in the southeast corner of the Old City of Jerusalem, bordering on the western wall of the Temple Mount on the east , the Old City walls on the south , the Jewish Quarter to the west, and the Muslim Quarter to...

 in 1967 which made 100 Arab families homeless.

Kollek advocated religious tolerance and made numerous efforts to reach out to the Arab community during his tenure. Muslims continued to have access to al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

 and al-Haram ash-Sharif
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 (the Temple Mount) for worship, and Kollek criticized Jews for establishing new neighborhoods in contentious parts of the city. On one occasion, he protested outside the office of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
Yitzhak Shamir
' is a former Israeli politician, the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, in 1983–84 and 1986–92.-Biography:Icchak Jeziernicky was born in Ruzhany , Russian Empire . He studied at a Hebrew High School in Białystok, Poland. As a youth he joined Betar, the Revisionist Zionist youth movement...

 for this reason.

Kollek’s views toward the annexation of East Jerusalem softened after leaving office, he himself conceding that self-rule for the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem should be considered. The status of East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 has remained controversial up to the present.

Kolleck was seen by many as a bridge-builder between the Arab and the Jewish communities. Towards the end of his reign as a mayor of Jerusalem, he stated that Israel's Arab population had remained "second and third class citizens" and that neither he nor other Israeli leaders had done anything to improve the Arab's rights or quality of life:

“We said things half-mindedly and never fulfilled them. We’ve said again and again that we will make Arabs’ rights equal those of the Jews – empty words… both [PM] Eshkol
Levi Eshkol
' served as the third Prime Minister of Israel from 1963 until his death from a heart attack in 1969. He was the first Israeli Prime Minister to die in office.-Biography:...

 and [PM] Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 promised equal rights – both broke their promises… they [Palestinians] were and remain second and third class citizens.”

Q: And this is being said by the mayor of Jerusalem, who labored for the city’s Arab citizens, built and developed their neighborhoods?

“Nonsense! Fables! Never built nor developed! I did do something for Jewish Jerusalem in the last 25 years. But for eastern Jerusalem, what did we do? Nothing! What did I do? Schools? Nothing! Pavements? Nothing! Culture centers? Not one! We did give them sewage and improved the water supply. You know why? You think [we did it] for their own good? For their quality of life? no way! There were a few cases of Cholera and the Jews were scared that it might reach them, so we installed sewage and water.” In his later years, Kollek stated: "We failed in the unification of the city."

Civic and cultural projects


Kollek dedicated himself to many cultural projects during his lengthy term in office, most notably the development and expansion of the Israel Museum
Israel Museum
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem was founded in 1965 as Israel's national museum. It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem, near the Bible Lands Museum, the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

. From 1965–1996, he was president of the museum, and officially designated its founder in 2000. When the museum celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1990, Kollek was named "Avi Ha-muze'on" ("father of the museum").

Kollek was also instrumental in the establishment of the Jerusalem Theater
Jerusalem Theater
The Jerusalem Theater is a center for the performing arts in Jerusalem, Israel. The theater opened in 1971. The complex consists of the Sherover Theatre, which seats 950, the Henry Crown Symphony Hall with 750 seats, the Rebecca Crown Auditorium, with 450 seats, and the Little Theater with 110...

, and served as the founder and head of the Jerusalem Foundation
Jerusalem Foundation
The Jerusalem Foundation is an international non-profit organization whose goal is the improvement of the quality of life for all citizens of Jerusalem. It was founded in 1966 by the mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. The foundation is politically not affiliated...

. Through a leadership which spanned decades, Kollek raised millions of dollars from private donors for civic development projects and cultural programs. Kollek once remarked that Israel needed a strong army, but it also needed expressions of culture and civilization.

Kollek was considered the "number-one friend" of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, which occupied a 15 acres (60,702.9 m²) site in Romema
Romema
Romema is a neighborhood in the city of Haifa, Israel. Romema is located east of Ahuza, on the northern slope of Mount Carmel...

 from 1950–1991. Though the zoo
Zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

 attracted many visitors to its exhibits of animals, reptiles and birds mentioned in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 and was successful in breeding
Captive breeding
Captive breedingis the process of breeding animals in human controlled environments with restricted settings, such as wildlife reserves, zoos and other conservation facilities; sometimes the process is construed to include release of individual organisms to the wild, when there is sufficient...

 and protecting endangered species
Endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...

, it was considered small and inferior to zoos in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv Zoo
The Tel Aviv Zoo was a zoo founded in 1938 and located in central Tel Aviv, Israel. The zoo was closed in 1981 and now the Gan Ha'Ir shopping mall occupies this site.-History:...

 and Haifa. Kollek promoted the idea of moving the zoo to a larger location and upgrading it to a state-of-the-art institution. Around 1990, under the auspices of the Jerusalem Foundation, the Tisch family of New York agreed to underwrite the expensive undertaking. The zoo re-opened as The Tisch Family Zoological Garden in Jerusalem on a 62 acres (250,905.3 m²) expanse near the neighborhood of Malha in 1993. Kollek helped the zoo raise money to build the elephant
Elephant
Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct...

 enclosure and to bring in female elephants from Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 at $50,000 apiece. The zoo named its male elephant Teddy and one of its female elephants Tamar in honor of the mayor and his wife.
For Kollek's 90th birthday in 2001, the zoo feted him and the Jerusalem Foundation unveiled a new sculpture garden
Sculpture garden
A sculpture garden is an outdoor garden dedicated to the presentation of sculpture, usually several permanently sited works in durable materials in landscaped surroundings....

 dedicated in his honor.

Retirement




Kollek continued to be active in retirement, maintaining a five-day work week into his nineties, even as he became increasingly infirm. He and his wife lived in their walk-up Rehavia
Rehavia
Rehavia is an upscale Jerusalem neighborhood located between the city center and Talbiya.-History:Rehavia was established on a large plot of land purchased in 1921 from the Greek Orthodox Church by the Palestine Land Development Company . The area was known at the time as Ginzaria, a native...

 apartment until the mid-1990s, when they moved to Hod Yerushalayim, a retirement home in the Kiryat HaYovel neighborhood. Kollek died on January 2, 2007. He is buried on Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl , also Har HaZikaron , is the national cemetery of Israel on the west side of Jerusalem. It is named for Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism. Herzl's tomb lies at the top of the hill. Yad Vashem, which commemorates the Holocaust, lies to the west of Mt. Herzl....

, Jerusalem.

Awards and commemoration

  • In 1985, Kollek was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade
    Peace Prize of the German Book Trade
    The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade is an international peace prize given yearly at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt am Main, Germany...

    .
  • In 1988, he was awarded the Israel Prize
    Israel Prize
    The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is largely regarded as the state's highest honor. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the...

     for his special contribution to society and the State of Israel.
  • In 2001, he was honoured with the title of Honorary Citizen of Vienna.


Teddy Stadium in Malha, Jerusalem, is named for him.

In 2005, he was voted the 88th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet
Ynet
Ynet is the most popular Israeli news and general content website. It is owned by the same conglomerate that operates Yediot Ahronot, the country's secondleading daily newspaper...

to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.

See also


  • List of mayors of Jerusalem
  • Amos Kollek
    Amos Kollek
    Amos Kollek is an Israeli film director, writer and actor.-Biography:Amos Kollek was born in Jerusalem. He is the son of Teddy Kollek, the long-time mayor of Jerusalem. Kollek studied psychology and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He became interested in film after working as a...

  • List of Israel Prize recipients
  • List of honorary citizens of Vienna

Quotes


"Jerusalem's people of differing faiths, cultures and aspirations must find peaceful ways to live together other than by drawing a line in the sand"

Further reading

  • Ruth Bachi-Kolodny 2008, "Teddy Kollek. The Man, His Life and His Jerusalem", Gefen Publishing House. ISBN 978-965-229-417-3