June 15, 2024
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Teaneck’s Rinat to Feature Daniel Chertoff’s Memoir

Daniel Chertoff

The Adult Education Committee of Congregation Rinat Yisrael is always in search of speakers and topics that will appeal to their wide shul population. “Especially during these challenging times, Zoom programs are a lifeline for our members who are limited in their activities,” shared Faye Landes, chairperson of the committee. “We have found that many members have expressed their appreciation of the presentations that deal with Jewish history and the modern state of Israel. We try our best to identify speakers in these areas.We are inviting members of the entire community to Zoom in with us to these high-interest programs.”

On Sunday, June 14, at 10:00 a.m., Rinat will be launching the first in a series of presentations following Shacharit on Sundays. The program will feature Daniel Chertoff from Yerushalayim discussing his recent historical memoir entitled “Palestine Posts: An Eyewitness Account of the Birth of Israel.”

Some in our community may remember Daniel Chertoff from his days in the U.S. For over 30 years, he has resided in Israel where he worked in the investment industry as an analyst, a financial communications counsel and a senior executive in a large Israeli high-tech company. Most recently he was happily writing his doctoral dissertation in English literature at Hebrew University while serving as an associate editor of “Partial Answers,” an academic journal devoted to English literature and the history of ideas.

With the discovery of his father Mordechai’s trove of letters, postcards and photographs after his passing in 2013, the younger Chertoff was intrigued. He had worked on a previous memoir of his father’s in which there was no mention of the letters. In order to better understand the background to this correspondence, Chertoff immersed himself in extensive research, reading many books and articles from the period of the emerging of the state of Israel. He especially focused on past issues of The Palestine Post, the forerunner of the Jerusalem Post, for which his father had reported.

Mordechai Chertoff came to Palestine in 1947 as a 25-year-old, determined to make a contribution to the new state. Between 1947 and 1949, he was at various times a soldier in the Haganah and a foreign news editor and war correspondent for The Palestine Post. In his letters back to his family in the U.S., he reported about the UN vote for partition, the ongoing battles along the Jerualem-Tel Aviv Highway and the bombing of the Palestine Post at which he was a witness and even a hero, saving lives. He also mentioned encounters with famous or soon-to-be-famous people. In following up on these encounters, the younger Chertoff met up with these personalities or their descendents.

Daniel Chertoff spent four years researching his father’s correspondence and consolidated it into a “mosaic” with many pieces. Through his research, he discovered many facts about the War of Independence that were previously unknown. But aside from factual information, Chertoff discovered a great deal about his own relationship with his father. What pleases him most is that nearly all of his grandfather’s great-grandchildren are living in Israel, as religious Zionists.

To access Daniel Chertoff’s presentation about “Palestine Posts: An Eyewitness Account of the Birth of Israel” on Sunday, June 14, at 10 a.m., go to https://zoom.us/j/4653630025. Password:8372795.

Call-in number is 1-929-205-6099. Meeting ID: 465 363 0025, password: 8372795

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