Remembering Teddy Kollek

הקרן לירושלים ציינה עשור למותו של טדי קולק וחנכה את הארכיב הדיגיטלי 2

The Jerusalem Foundation Remembers Teddy Kollek and Inaugurates the Teddy Kollek Digital Archives

The Jerusalem Foundation marked 10 years since the passing of its founder, legendary Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, on June 29th in an emotional ceremony that took place at the Judith Wilf Garden Plaza in Teddy Park in Mitchell Parks and Gardens below the Old City walls. The ceremony also served as an inauguration of the Teddy Kollek Digital Archives, established through the generous support of Kenneth and Ann Bialkin of the United States, long-time supporters of the Jerusalem foundation and personal friends of Teddy Kollek Z”L, who came to Jerusalem especially for the occasion.

הקרן לירושלים ציינה עשור למותו של טדי קולק וחנכה את הארכיב הדיגיטלי 1 The archives encompass a wide array of documentary materials and first-hand sources about the life of Teddy Kollek and his work for the city of Jerusalem, including photos, recordings, videos, newspapers articles and more. These materials were found and carefully selected from various archives around Israel and they cover various milestones in Teddy’s life, from when he immigrated to Israel from Vienna, through his service in the office of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, to his five consecutive terms as Mayor of Jerusalem. Now, with their digitization, these archives are available online to anyone around the world interested in Teddy’s story.

Two hundred people gathered to remember Teddy, including Austrian Ambassador to Israel Martin Weiss, and other esteemed guests from institutions throughout the city. His children, Amos and Osnat Kollek, and Co-Founder and President Emerita of the Jerusalem Foundation Ruth Cheshin, spoke warmly of their memories with Teddy, and President of the State of Israel Hon. Reuven Rivlin shared his greetings via video.

Jerusalem Foundation President Yohanna Arbib-Perugia read a letter written to Teddy Kollek by a schoolgirl in 1993, noting how its words of praise, still applicable today, would be available to future generations through the digital archives.   Jerusalem Foundation's Director General Anat Tzur noted how Teddy Park is a living legacy to Teddy’s dreams of shared living and dialogue, a public space for Jerusalemites of all backgrounds – Jews and Arabs, secular and ultra-Orthodox..

A young string quartet from the David Goldman Program for Outstanding Young Musicians at the Jerusalem Music Center in Mishkenot Sha’ananim exquisitely performed Naomi Shemer's "Jerusalem of Gold," the iconic song written 50 years ago at Teddy Kollek's request, and the first movement of Hayden's Emperor Quartet (Opus 76, No. 1), reflecting Teddy's wish and ultimate success at bringing some of the great culture of his Vienna youth to Jerusalem.

הקרן לירושלים ציינה עשור למותו של טדי קולק וחנכה את הארכיב הדיגיטלי

The night’s most poignant moments came from Kenneth and Ann Bialkin, two of the Jerusalem Foundation's dearest friends. The Bialkins emotionally recounted more than 45 years of memories with Teddy, who was an inspiration to them, strengthening their connection with the Jewish people and Jerusalem. They spoke of him not only as the great builder of Jerusalem, but also as their friend.

Speakers and audience members alike grew teary-eyed as they remembered this lost giant, yet tears were soon dispelled by laughter of children from all backgrounds playing in the Hassenfeld Family Fountain, as the spectacular water and lights show came on.

The evening ended with a toast to the future of Jerusalem, the City of Gold whose unique story has been inspiring dreamers, artists, activists and religious figures of all faiths for thousands of years – the city whose story has so many chapters still waiting to be written.