Sunday, July 5, 2020

Moshe Brodetsky - 96

We received this response to the birthday greetings we sent out to Moshe Brodetsky, here in a 2017 photo with a grandson:

Dear Moshe:    

Happy 96 Birthday!  Wow?! I remember when our paths crossed over and over again.  We first met at Hillel CCNY in 1952. You had come there to study engineering, having returned from fighting in WW II and Israel's War of Independenc. At Jasper Oval.  We were both Betarim, religious and new freshmen, so we hit it off right away.

At Hillel they were considering how to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut and thought to rent a small room, since they were afraid not many would attend.  You did something else.  You got Shoshana Damari and Hillel & Aviva, who were the most  famous Israeli acts in the U.S. to perform for free and filled the Great Hall with 1,000 students.  For Yom HaShoah you printed Yellow Magein Davids with JUDE and distributed them all over campus.  Many students wore them, and in many classes the discussion  topic was the Shoah, not the course matter.

When I was on shlichut in U.S, I passed thru NY.  You worked for HUD and organzed a luncheon meeting at the Wall Street Synagogue for Mel Stein, Esq. their N.E. Regoinal Counsel and several veteran Betarim.  As a result, The Center for Russian Jews was formed and used by the Israeli shelichim to encourage the major Jewish organizations to get active for Russian Jewry, or the Center would do it.

When I came through Washington DC in 1970 on a shlichut, you made me an appointment to meet the man who writes the Washington Post editorials about the Middle East.  This man told me he was convinced that the U.S. government had informed the Israeli government that it had to banish the Likud ministers from the government before it could get Phantoms and other aid. I reported this to Menachem Begin, who did not seem to be surprsed.  He said if Likud was forced to leave the government for a serious reason,  then it would continue to serve Israel in the opposition. 

In 1973, I was sent  by Menachem Begin, along with Yehezkel Polerevich, to deliver a Petition signed by 17,000 Russian olim to Congress to pass the Jackson Amendment.  You took me to a meeting of the Washington Executive of the National Conference which was planning the mass meeting on the following Sunday on the steps of Congress.  I was amazed to hear that there was no plan to invite Sen. Jackson, only a couple of congressmen who were not known for their support of Russian Jews.  I took the floor and said that no one would understand why he was not there.  They should get on the phone with their National Office immediately and make this point clear.  On the next Sunday, Yehezkel gave the Petitions to Jackson and they both the crowd of 10,000....

Lots of good health!  We can talk about other meetings when we are together.  Ad Meah Vesrim.  

Yitzhak Heimowitz


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