As part of the kick-off of JDC’s Centennial celebrations in Jerusalem – where the humanitarian group got its start in 1914 – the organization celebrated the 100th birthday of Ralph Goldman, its esteemed and beloved Honorary Executive Vice President and a leading figure in the building of the State of Israel. Joining the festivities was Israeli President Shimon Peres, who made a stirring tribute to his long-time friend, Goldman, and to JDC.
“They say a person has to decide what to be and what to do. What to be comes from nature. What to do comes from vision. And Ralph had a rare combination of the two,” said Peres. “To be, no body can compete – to his devotion, his honesty, seriousness, and ability. And to do – he did impossible jobs and responsibilities. Whether in the United States, in Israel, or in the Joint. And he won everyone’s respect.”
After recalling their history together and Goldman’s role in the Haganah, in leading nation-building projects throughout Israel’s history, and his remarkable tenure at the Joint, Peres reflected that Goldman’s “doings are on the record, his being is a contribution in its own importance of the nature of Jewish life and the nature and character of the Joint.”
Peres expressed his gratitude and that of Israel by concluding, “Ralph we are proud of you. The State of Israel recognizes your unusual contribution and thanks you from the depths of our heart.”