Irving Moskowitz held nothing more lovingly to his bosom than the charge of enemies ranging from Time Magazine to the Cana’anist Gush Shalom that he was the mover and shaker, beyond compare, in the “judaization” of eastern Jerusalem. Unflaggingly determined to bolster that accusation, Moskowitz, through the foundation bearing his name, spent millions of the dollars he’d earned in California real estate realizing his dream of a re-empowered Jewish people living anywhere in their glorious capital and its eastern environs they chose.
Thousands of Jewish families in the Old City, David’s City, the Yemenite village of Shiloach, the neighborhoods of Shimon Hatzadik, Kidmat Zion, Abu Tor, Beit Orot and Ma’aleh Hzeitim bear witness to his success. In audaciously creating “facts on the ground,” Moskowitz bought the palatial eastern Jerusalem quarters of arch pogromist and Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin el Huseini, turning it into a yeshiva, and pried open the Western Wall tunnels to millions of tourists over the hysterical objections of the Wakf.
Cherna, Moskowitz’s dedicated wife and partner, will continue to carry the torch he lit, but Irving will be missed. He was a rare gift.