Teddy Kollek

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Teddy Kollek in Vienna in 2003

Theodor "Teddy" Kollek (born May 27, 1911) is a retired Israeli politician. He was Mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 till 1993.

Born Theodor Kollek to a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, and named after Theodor Herzl, Kollek shared his father Alfred's enthusiasm for Zionist ideas. In 1935, before the Nazis seized power in Austria, the Kollek family emigrated to Palestine -- this was still the time of the British Mandate. Kollek was eager to help build a new society and, in 1937, was one of the co-founders of Kibbutz Ein Gev near Lake Galilee. In the same year he married Tamar Schwarz, who gave birth to two children, Amos (born 1947) and Osnat.

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image:Teddy_Kollek_VIII.jpg


Teddy Kollek

During the Second World War, Kollek tried to represent Jewish interests in Europe on behalf of the Haganah. At the outbreak of the war he succeeded in persuading Adolf Eichmann to release 3,000 young Jewish concentration camp inmates and transfer them to England. Kollek became a close ally of David Ben-Gurion, working for the latter's government from 1952 till 1965.

In 1965 Teddy Kollek succeeded Mordechai Ish Shalom as Mayor of Jerusalem. He served six terms of office -- a total of 28 years, being re-elected in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983, and 1989. It has generally been agreed that during his tenure Jerusalem was turned into a modern city, especially after its reunification in 1967. In 1993 Kollek, aged 82, again ran for Mayor but was defeated by Likud candidate Ehud Olmert.

See also

List of mayors of Jerusalemde:Teddy Kollek he:טדי קולק

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