Hear the radio tribute to the memory of Nahum Neal Bedein, my brother.

Nahum taught be how to be a brother. When I came to Israel, he said that he
missed me. And he meant it. That was forty years ago.

35 years ago, I came on special trip to America. To suggest that Nahum come on a
summer program to Israel. His first words I will never forget: “That means that we’ll be together”, he said.

He was a regular 20 year old guy, coming also for the social amenities of a summer in Israel. And then I asked him, as gently as I could, would he like to try out a yeshiva.

“That sounds cool”, he said.

And on Nahum’s second day in Israel, we went to the Western Wall, where Rav Meir Shuster whisked him off to a yeshiva.

Nahum was never the same. Israel was in his blood. Judaism was in his blood. Nahum went back to Temple University with a new thought, that he would complete his degree in the department of religion, and that he would become a Rabbi.

Well, Nahum came to Israel, registered for Pardes, with the intention of going back to study at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

He had confided in me that he wanted to bring happiness to people, and that this was why he wanted to be a Rabbi

In 1977. I saw him on his first day in Israel, on the grass at Hebrew University.

“I’m here to stay, David, I am here to stay”

.”I am going to misrad hapinim (ministry of interior) to change my status”, he said. He had fire in his eyes.

Something had happened when he hit the ground in Israel.

And within a few months, he had made that second decision, to become an observant Jew.

And when Nahum chose the profession of being a hotelier, he would always say to me that this was his way to bring happiness to people.

And he brought happiness to me as a brother, always helping, always there.

He would conclude every conversation, very simply, “I love you Dave”.

And every trip abroad, from every landing, it was Nahum whom I would call to say that I arrived OK and Nahum who would look at every aspect of my work, so that it would come through OK.

Nahum, you might say, was my private Rabbi.

And I ascribe my ability to succeed in the rough and tumble world of business to the advice that my brother gave me.

And when I walk into the new office that I am now facilitating at the new media center in the Malcha Technological Center in Jerusalem,

It will be an honor to place Nahum’s picture in the corridor and to call it the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research.

There is a popular Israeli song.

” Be my friend, be my brother, be there to reach out to my in a moment of my distress…”

That was Nahum

I MISS MY BROTHER.

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Min ha-shamayim tenucham.
    Writing to you from USA where my wife will undergo major surgery on her fractured left tibia. Hope to be able to return by February or March with her being able to walk again.

  2. David – I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, Nahum. What a wonderful tribute you have written. May G-d comfort you as he always has comforted the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem!

  3. Your brother z"l was a good man with an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing your memories of him, and may HaShem comfort you in this time of loss.

  4. Thank you for sharing your feelings. I feel like we are family and your loss is also mine. David, I consider you a giant among the heroes of the Jewish people and I regret that I never met your brother who, from what you write, enriched out nation and provided you with strength to be what you are.

  5. Beautiful, and indeed welcoming guests, especially to Israel is big mitzva. I can imagine that he inspired many guests with stories of his return to Jewish observance. Min hashamayim titnachamu.

  6. All of us at Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI, offer our most sincere condolences on the loss of Nahum Bedein. For David, his brother, his family and friends, it is surely a tragic loss. May all be comforted among the mourners of Zion.

  7. I’m so sorry, David. Brothers are so special. I’m so sorry that you have lost Nahum. It’s wonderful that you had him with you in Israel for as long as you did. You gave him the reason for going there and as it turned out, he was so happy to be there. It was indeed life changing for the best.
    Danny Eskow passed away November 1, 2009. You gave him the opportunity of his lifetime, too, by writing "Laughing Through Klitta" and acting with you. Take care of yourself and keep on reporting.

  8. Dear David, We are so sad to hear of the passing of Nachum (we knew him as Neal). There are no words that can express the sadness you must be experiencing. From Malvern Ave to Akiba,we shared many years together. Please know that our hearts are with you. Lynn,Gail(Kardon),and Stene Friedman

  9. You are a very human, honnest and sympatic personne.
    I am sure you your brother was at least like you.
    Warm thoughts in this very difficult time.
    Jean-Michel

  10. David, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Neal/Nahum. Both as part of the Akiba family and as a childhood neighbor from Overbrook Park/ Penn Wynne where our mothers served together in AJC I mourn with you. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.
    Rachel

  11. We met you in Skokie,I’ll and felt your passion for Israel which We are sure was inculcated by your brothers faith.
    May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion
    Shalom
    Marcia and Alan Cahn

  12. i have been priviledged for just a short time to share your family and their love and admire them you sarah and childre
    . somehow david nachum and your mother share the song you sing of life and honesty and rejoice in who you are. julia-

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