These are the astounding stories and anecdotes composed over 50 years of Herb Friedman’s remarkable life of activism.
About the Author Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman waw the chief executive of the United Jewish Appeal from 1954 to 1971.
The United Jewish Appeal was formed in 1938, with an initial mission of rescuing and resettling European Jews after Kristallnacht. After Israel was established in 1948, the U.J.A. became the major financial link between American Jews and the Jewish state.
In 1964, Rabbi Friedman began a $127 million fund-raising campaign that led to the construction of 119 high schools in Israel with the mission of improving the education of Sephardic Jews, those primarily from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who were not performing as well as Ashkenazi Jews, those with European roots.
In 1985, with Leslie H. Wexner, chairman of the Limited Corporation, a clothing retailer, Rabbi Friedman started the Wexner Heritage Program, which has trained about 1,500 Jewish community leaders in 31 cities in the United States and Canada. He was president of the foundation for 10 years.
Rabbi Friedman was an Army chaplain during World War II and later was an adviser on Jewish affairs to General Lucius D. Clay, the commander of American occupation forces in Germany. David Ben-Gurion, who later became the first prime minister of Israel, recruited Rabbi Friedman into the Haganah, the paramilitary organization that became the core of Israel’s army. As a member of the Haganah, Rabbi Friedman participated in the Aliya Bet, the illegal transport of European Jews to Palestine.
“Herb Friedman has catalyzed both young and old alike to join in declaring their steadfast support of the Jewish entity, with the State of Israel at its core.” —Shimon Peres, Former Prime Minister of Israel