The legacy of a person is often determined by the final acts of that person in his life.

Two years ago, Uri Orbach assumed the position as the Israel government minister for senior citizens affairs, an unusual task for a government minister.

Many people in Israel did not understand what that job involved.

Our family got to know, first hand whatOrbach’s job entailed, when our daughter, Meira, was assigned to work with recently widowed older women in Ashkelon, as part of her National Service, under the auspices of uri orbach,Minister for Senior citizens affairs.

We witnessed a well organized program, which facilitated clean, modern apartments for Meira and other young women to live in for the year in Askkelon, as they worked in a professional setting, with hours designated each day for home visits with each of the women whom they were assigned to help. Every step of the program was well done. My wife and I got to meet each of these widows being helped along with Meira’s professional supervisors.

In short, our many years in Israel had not prepared us for such a well efficient operation in social service.

As Meira’s service continued over the year, I dropped by Uri Orbach’s Knesset office on a number of occasions to convey personal thanks and to offer to publicize Uri for a job well done.

Uri’s associates conveyed thanks and mentioned that Uri was involved in every step of supervision over the program for older people, appropriately called HADARTA ( YOU SHALL RESPECT…THE ELDERLY, but said that Uri was too busy and not able to engage in “promotion”.

Other journalists had the same experience.

Reporters who knew his ministerial work who wanted to write nice things were finding that Uri was simply “not available”.

Now we know why.

It is not too late, however. to say that Uri Orbach brought dignity to older people in his last two years of life


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David Bedein
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: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.