Ted Kollek Mayor of JerusalemTed Kollek, the legendary mayor of Jerusalem passed away today at the age of 95. In an interview with his son, one thing stuck in my mind. He said that Teddy Kollek belonged to a class of political leaders and personalities that are at a different level from the people we see today in politics. He said he hoped we have some more in the making because he can’t see any of this caliber in the current leadership. I tend to agree.

Teddy Kollek lost his election in 1993 to Ehud Olmert. This is about that election:

“It was a dirty campaign in which Kollek’s age – then 80 – was used by Olmert and his aides as a deterrent in electing him, with the slogan, “Because everyone knows it’s about time”. The age campaign did its job. “I felt great and I could have continued,” Kollek said. “If they didn’t keep mentioning my age all the time, I would have won.” Following the loss, Kollek retired from political activity.”

During his term as mayor he was the first at the office at 5:30 AM every day and personally made sure the garbage trucks went out daily. He raised over a Billion dollars for the city in donations and was an outstanding spokesperson for the city he loved so much. Several of the larger contributors insisted on naming their “donations” after him and that includes the Teddy Kollek Football Stadium and an Elephant from Thailand at the Jerusalem Zoo, just to name a couple. His biggest regret he said in an interview, was that he never learned Arabic. He said it was important for the sake of the city and the people in it and that he should have.

Rest In Peace Teddy.