Bronze medal celebrates life of David Ben-Gurion
- Published: Mar 11, 2023, 9 AM
The Jewish-American Hall of Fame has commissioned former engraver of the U.S. Mint Jim Licaretz to create a 3.5-inch medal to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence on May 14.
The medal features a high relief portrait of David Ben-Gurion that lies entirely below the medal’s upper surface, similar to the effect found on the Indian Head gold quarter eagles and half eagles of the early 20th century. The reverse contains Ben-Gurion’s quote: “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.”
According to issuer Mel Wacks, money raised through the sale of these medals will go to the non-profit Jewish-American Hall of Fame and the Jewish National Fund for the planting of a tree in Israel.
No more than 75 bonded bronze medals will be produced personally by Licaretz, that will be given to contributors of $135 plus $10 shipping. Each medal will include a certificate of authenticity, a display stand, and a certificate from the Jewish National Fund acknowledging the planting of a tree in Israel. To order, call 818-225-1348 or pay with Paypal using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Ben-Gurion was born David Green (or Gruen/Gryn) in 1886 in Plonsk, Russian Poland. The young Ben-Gurion was introduced to Hebrew by his grandfather beginning in his third year. In 1906 the young Zionist emigrated to Palestine, taking up work as a farm laborer for the next four years.
A year later, he adopted his new surname. He became Ben-Gurion (“son of a lion cub”), after Joseph Ben-Gurion, a first-century democratic leader of the Jews, whom zealots killed for his moderation in the uprising against the Romans in A.D. 66. Adopting the name of Ben-Gurion in 1909, he rose to become the preeminent leader of the Jewish community in British-ruled Palestine Mandate from 1935 until the establishment of the State of Israel.
On May 14, 1948, he formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, and was the first to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which he had helped to write.
Ben-Gurion served as prime minister until 1963 with a short break in 1954–55.
Ben-Gurion led Israel’s absorption of millions of Jewish refugees and immigrants, led the 1956 Sinai Campaign against Egypt, and promulgated numerous major infrastructure projects such as the National Water Carrier and Israel’s nuclear weapons development. Following his retirement, Ben-Gurion moved to a small kibbutz in the Negev Desert named Sde Boker, where he and his wife are buried near Ben-Gurion University.
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