CEDARHURST, NY - August 23, 2011 - Eddie Jacobson and Harry S. Truman met during World War I, forging a lifelong friendship that eventually would become crucial in establishing the State of Israel in 1948. Jacobson was a significant historic figure for his role in his role in advocating U.S. support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine in and for his involvement in the early history of the modern state of Israel. The relationship between the two men and its significance is explored in a play by Mark Weston and presented by the JCC of the Greater Five Towns.
"HARRY & EDDIE: The Birth of Israel" tells the largely unknown tale of how President Truman and his former business partner's friendship helped lead to the creation of Israel in 1948. The performance will take place on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. at Temple Israel, 140 Central Avenue, Lawrence. Tickets are $18 in advance, available at the JCC, or by calling 516-569-6733. Following the show, Mr. Weston will be available for questions. The cast includes Rick Grossman as Eddie Jacobson, Joe Ryan as Harry S. Truman and Kathleen Mucciolo-Kolins in the role of Bluma Jacobson. The play is directed by Bob Spiotto.
Serving together in the U.S. Army at Camp Doniphan in Oklahoma, Truman and Jacobsen worked the regimental canteen with such success that they decided to go into business together after World War I. Although the Truman & Jacobson haberdashery eventually ran into financial difficulties during the postwar economic recession, the two remained friends, yet going their separate ways. Truman went into politics and Jacobson went on the road as a traveling salesman.
When Jacobson first heard about what was happening with the Jews in Nazi Germany he turned to Truman to discuss it. After the war, Jewish leaders knowing of the friendship approached Jacobson to arrange a meeting between the president and Dr. Chaim Weizman, leader of the Zionist movement in attempt to gain support of the U.N.'s recognition of Israel. As a result, the U.S. became the first nation to recognize the new state on May 14, 1948.
In 2008, "HARRY & EDDIE: The Birth of Israel" was presented at Hofstra University as part of its Israel at 60: A Celebration. The play will have its world premier in New York City on September 8, 2011 at St. Luke's Theatre on 46th Street in Manhattan's Theatre District.
For more information on the performance, please visit www.fivetownsjcc.org or call 516-569-6733.
About The JCC of the Greater Five Towns
The Jewish Community Center of the Greater Five Towns is a beneficiary agency of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation of New York, a member agency of the United Way of Long Island, the Jewish Community Centers Association and an affiliate of the Five Towns Community Chest. It serves the communities of Cedarhurst, East Rockaway, Far Rockaway, Hewlett, Inwood, Lawrence, Lynbrook, Malverne, Valley Stream, West Hempstead, and Woodmere. For more information, please contact the JCC at 516-569-6733, or visit www.fivetownsjcc.org.