web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Reaching Behind The Iron Curtain: An Interview with Soviet Jewry Activist Rabbi David Hill

Rabbi David Hill

Rabbi David Hill

Many years later when we invited Brzezinski to a national conference on Soviet Jewry in Washington, he came over to me and said, “Were you the one who asked me that question?” I said, “I didn’t think you remembered.” He said, “I never forgot it.”

You were president of the National Council of Young Israel from 1961-1965, yet you write in the book that you are displeased with the organization today. Why?

Because they turned to the right. When I was president, and even a short time thereafter, we had national conventions that attracted over a thousand people. Prior to Lubavitch, it was Young Israel in the 1930s, ‘40s, and early ‘50s that did work on kiruv, attracting young people. But in the middle or late ‘80s, Young Israel decided to take a different course which I objected to.

In what sense did Young Israel move to the right?

I’ll give you an example. There was a rally that was called for by the OU in the 1990s, and they asked Young Israel to participate. To bring in greater numbers, they also asked Agudah to participate, but Agudah insisted that no prayer for Israel or the soldiers be made. And as much as I objected, Young Israel gave in. That was unforgiveable.

As someone who is, thank God, over 90 years old, what would you say has been the most important value you have carried through your life?

The concept of hakaras hatov – to recognize that when something good is done to you, you should have the ability to say thank you. My thank you was to the Almighty God who rescued my family from Europe, and at a very young age I decided that I had a debt to pay back.

Any message you would like to impart to the younger generation?

Read Jewish history. If you do, you will find that more miracles have happened to the Jewish people in the last 70-odd years than in the previous 2,000. Our prophets proclaimed in the name of God, “I will gather you amongst the nations and bring you back home.” We are the generation [referred to in that prophecy] – mine, yours, and the ones to come. So young people must understand the beauty and the history of our people to see what they could contribute to the future.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Reaching Behind The Iron Curtain: An Interview with Soviet Jewry Activist Rabbi David Hill

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.
Gaza: Egypt Responsible For Weapons Shortage
Latest Indepth Stories
US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Cliff Rieders

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

The only way to become humble is honesty about our experiences; it’s the only path to true humility

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Dr. Mitchell Bard

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich

You have to understand that Ukraine was really a very, very Jewish place for many years.

What I think is going on here is the Midrash is making a comment about Rut’s love for Naomi being some sort of reflection of how we have to love God.

HarperCollins’s omission was especially egregious because it is a major general and educational publisher.

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

I was very pro-Israel, I was very proud of being Jewish, and I was living in New York at the time as a single man in my 20s and I was just looking for a little bit more.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/reaching-behind-the-iron-curtain-an-interview-with-soviet-jewry-activist-rabbi-david-hill/2013/07/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: