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October 23, 1992 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

be interested in financial
support as well.
He wasn't.
Mr. Berry arranged for
him to join the trip anyway.
Mr. Holtzman agreed to visit
Europe and Palestine and
said he would make a finan-
cial decision after the trip.
"We saw a nation be-
leaguered by prospects of war
and the result of their inten-
tion to establish a Jewish
state. They had no planes, no
tanks and little armament
— surrounded by 22 well-
armed nations," Mr. Berry
said. "Both Joe and I were
impressed with the deter-
mination of the Jews. And
overnight I saw a different
Joe Holtzman. He decided to
join me and others in doing
everything to help these
people beat the odds."
They returned to the
United States and called a
conference to raise money. It
was the first of many
meetings with American
Jewish leaders.
During this time, Mr.
Berry returned to Israel,
working closely with David
Ben-Gurion. And he worked
with American Jews smug-
gling European Jews out of
DP camps to Palestine —
donating and raising money
to buy more boats to con-
tinue the illegal efforts.
Mr. Berry's work did not
stop when Israel was pro-
claimed a state. He called
upon the community to help
raise funds in the early
years, establishing interest-
free loans to Israel. On one

occasion, $500,000 was rais-
ed in five hours and sent to
Israel within 24 hours.
In 1949 he was named
chairman of the Allied Jew-
ish Campaign. In addition to
raising an unprecedented $5
million that year, Mr. Berry
helped develop industry so
Israel could be more finan-
cially independent.
On Mr. Berry's 75th birth-
day he bought a home in
Palm Beach where he and
his wife have spent the
winter months for 15 years.
He felt he had done his duty
and could rest. But his
reputation preceded him.
Upon his arrival to Florida,
he was bombarded with
phone calls asking for his as-
sistance in raising money for
Israel.
"It's like Jonah and the
whale. I can't get away from
it. But I don't really try to.
These are the people who
supported me and now I am
supporting them. It was the
people who made a differ-
ence between Israel becom-
ing a state and not becoming
a state," Mr. Berry said.



The Politically Speak-
ing column Oct. 19 inac-
curately reported that
Marty Doctoroff is the
only Jewish judge on
the Michigan Court of
Appeals. John Shep-
herd also serves on that
court.

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