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April 15, 2012 8:33 pm

Thank You, Cherna & Irving Moskowitz

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Dr. Irving Moskowitz speaking at Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives. Photo: Mazel123.

Making U.S. Presidential race headlines, Jewish philanthropist Dr. Irving Moskowitz has recently donated $1 million to American Crossroads; the Karl-Rove linked super PAC, in a move The Huffington Post called “eye-catching.” What is more “eye-catching” to me is that so many in the Jewish community still support President Obama – possibly the most hostile American President Israel has ever faced.

The great Jewish leader, Hillel said: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” Dr. Irving Moskowitz, and his wife Cherna epitomize the essence of what Hillel spoke – acting and working tirelessly for the people of Israel.  And they do it with tremendous self-sacrifice, facing negative publicity and threats to their safety.

There are those in the media who seem to be obsessed with these Jewish heroes, I wonder what it is that has caused this preoccupation? The Moskowitzs have devoted their lives to showing love for the Jewish people – and have said that they are doing the “natural thing for a Jew – trying to save our nation.” Dr. Moskowitz, who lost 120 relatives in the Holocaust, asks; “What could be more natural for a person with [my] upbringing than to want to help his people in Israel who are being surrounded by people that want to destroy the country?”

A Jew can buy a home in Harlem or East Los Angeles, Moscow or Tokyo – Is there a reason that a Jew (even one named Moskowitz) shouldn’t be able to buy a home in any area of Jerusalem? So many speak of human rights, equality amongst people, which includes the need to recognize the rights of Jews as equals? So why is it so newsworthy that there is a Jew who is so passionate about helping his people?

Jewish community leaders around the world and every single Israeli government since 1967 have been clear in their position that Jerusalem will always remain united under Israeli control and successive governments have continued building throughout Jerusalem – an endeavor also encouraged by most Israelis and Jews around the world. Moskowitz puts his money where his mouth is – working to establish facts on the ground that will help guarantee Jerusalem’s status as the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Worldwide, Jews should stand up and say: “Thank You Cherna & Dr. Irving Moskowitz.”

The media can tell untruths with words like “occupation” and “settlements” but in reality as Mrs. Moskowitz has said, “It is a continuation of a 2,000-year-old habit of Jews being told where they can and cannot live. This spanned from the ghettos of medieval Europe, to severe zoning restrictions in czarist Russia and finally to the edicts of Nazism where we were eventually told that we could not live at all.”

I have known these fine people personally for many years – and there are many untold stories of the amazing things the Moskowitzs do quietly, away from the glare of the cameras. The Moskowitz Foundation provides millions of dollars annually to help people in need “regardless of race, creed, politics or religion.” As Dr. Moskowitz says “I remember growing up hungry, but I cannot sit idly by and watch children in our community grow up without food to eat.” One wonders what other community leader is condemned for helping so many people?  Their latest donation which didn’t capture media headlines was a $1.5 million gift to a California middle school for the construction of a sports complex.

The story which the media should be telling is a simple one – these humble, decent grandparents have devoted their lives to helping the Jewish people. Whereas they have been active in Jerusalem and Israel for many years, and have delivered, this modern day Maccabee made his largest American political donation to date recently because of this Presidential race’s vast importance to the Jewish people.

Everybody is wrong and you alone are right?’ You cannot believe in anything in the world, if you admit even once that perhaps your opponents are right, and not you. This is not the way to do things. There is but one truth in the world and it is all yours – Ze’ev Jabotinsky

The Moskowitz family’s way is right, and these holy people are doing the right thing. At the Passover Seder we recently sang “Next Year in Jerusalem”- Any Jew who believes that Jerusalem is Jewish and must remain united can only thank them for all that they do. As Dr. Moskowitz says, “After 2,000 years of sacrifice for the dream of returning to Jerusalem, we cannot allow it to be taken away.”

Ronn Torossian is Author of PR book “For Immediate Release”, and CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR Agency.

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