Meron Medzini came to Milwaukee to speak at the screening of the new “Golda” movie on Aug. 30, but that almost didn’t happen.
He has a breathtaking resume: He worked in Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s government; served as director of the Israel Government Press Office and as a spokesman for Golda Meir; and he wrote the acclaimed book, “Golda – A Political Biography.” He spent decades teaching Israeli studies at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School, until he retired six years ago at the age of 85. He holds a doctorate from Harvard University.
In addition to all of that, his mother was good friends with Golda Meir.
The story behind his visit here starts with a museum in Israel. Julie Schack, chief development officer for Milwaukee Jewish Federation, met Israeli tour guide Mickey Medzini at the new Tower of David museum in Jerusalem. Schack and her daughter were at the museum together.
“In telling him that I was from Milwaukee, he told me his grandmother was from Milwaukee,” Schack said. “With that he pulled out his phone and scrolled through his photos to show me a grainy black and white photo. He asked me if I recognized anyone in the photo. With a closer look I said that one of the young women looked like Golda Meir. He exclaimed, ‘It is Golda and next to her is my grandmother!’”
Mickey then told Schack about his father Meron’s work for Golda and his advisory role for the 2023 “Golda” film. He said that he and his father were about to embark on a United States tour to screen and discuss the movie in various Jewish communities.
Schack responded: “You must come to Milwaukee!” So they did.
And that’s how Meron Medzini came to visit Milwaukee. His mother, Regina Hamburger, and Meir met as children at Milwaukee’s Fourth Street School – now Golda Meir School – and became lifelong friends. And his son had a picture to show for it.