Hello and welcome

to Israel Day,


I am GOLDA MEIR, international diplomat and Prime Minister of Israel from 1969-74.  Born in the Ukraine in 1898, my family moved to the US to escape the Russian pogroms.  In 1921, I moved to Jerusalem and remained in Israel for the rest of my life.  For six years, I served as the Israeli Minister of Labor.  In 1956, I became the Foreign Minister, and I was pivotal in maintaining Russian-Israeli and US-Israeli relations.  I also developed African-Israeli alliances and instituted several aid programs for emerging independent countries.

I was a fiercely independent young woman and later was called the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics. David Ben-Gurion once described me as "the only man in the Cabinet."  In fact, shortly before the Israeli Declaration of Independence, I even disguised myself as an Arab so that I could safely visit King Abdullah of Jordan, in the hopes of persuading him not to attack Israel. 

In 1969, at the age of 70, I became the world's third female Prime Minister (after Mrs. Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka and Mrs. Indira Gandhi of India).  Two of the hardest times in my life were leading Israel through the Munich Olympics murders and the horrific Yom Kippur War. One of my greatest joys was the peace treaty with Egypt.  I retired from political life in 1974.  I have two children, and I died in 1978.  Many great actresses have played me on stage and screen.

I thank the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia (http://www.jewishphilly.org) and Theatre Ariel, the Jewish Theatre of Philadelphia (http://www.theatreariel.org) for the opportunity to interact with you.  Feel free to contact them, get actively involved, and check the Internet for more information on my life.  Thank you, Godspeed, and SHALOM—till next year in Jerusalem. 

Yours truly, 
walking among you, with the hope that you will share this information with ALL your friends
Henrik Eger, 2007