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Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai

I just met this morning with Mayor Ron Huldai of Tel Aviv.  He isn’t showy.  He shuns the limelight.  But he is a man with a vision. He has been responsible over the last 16 years for Tel Aviv’s rebirth from a bankrupt municipality to a shining example of a welcoming city and the best that Israel has to offer. it is a seaside paradise of commerce, art, culture and tolerance.  Tel Aviv like every large municipality in the world has its underbelly.  And Tel Aviv is no different. But in a one on one meeting this morning he mapped out a vision to help the foreign immigrants mainly from Africa, working families, the booming children’s population in Tel Aviv, the income gap, the housing crisis and even as far as trying to fund dentures for Holocaust survivors.

He isn’t slick but he is dedicated, smart and brilliant. He retired from the Israeli Air Force as a Brigadier General! He understands that building infrastructure is critical to a successful city and a successful Israel.  He has been focusing on building adequate schools and day care especially in low income areas of South Tel Aviv.  He has spear-headed special needs education in the Tel Aviv schools. And now he is making sure that Tel Aviv schools have adequate shelters.  This summer’s war with Gaza left many young school children without a safe place. And he is committed to care for the oldest and youngest of Tel Aviv’s citizens!  Often politicians don’t really do anything about those who don’t yet vote or are often too frail and old.  But Huldai understands that society must care for the least powerful and he told me that is why he is willing to come to the U.S. to seek funds for the Tel Aviv Foundation.

The Foundation is working hard to create many programs in Tel Aviv alongside the municipality to strengthen the commitment to the poor, young families who have no where to live because rents are sky-high and to the seniors.  The foundation is working on large projects such as building a sports stadium to small projects like equipment for handicapped toddlers.

There are projects that cost $75.00  and $750,000.   I hope you will visit the website and consider a donation for a project.  to make it part of your regular tzedakah donations.  Or if you have an upcoming b’nai mitzvah in your future then suggest one of these projects for their mitzvah project.

Mayor Huldai inspired me today by his dedication and his no nonsense approach to governance and to caring.  He reminded me of what great public servants are supposed to aspire to. May he continue to go from strength to strength.