Operated by the Political Science Department at The Metropolitan State College of Denver

MSCD | UWM |
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The Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership

The Illuminator ... music dedicated to Golda Meir.

WELCOME TO THE GOLDA MEIR CENTER FOR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

Where illuminating the world of leadership matters

 

2006 Leadership Award

Madeleine Albright

All of us involved in the Golda Meir Center hope that your virtual visit proves helpful and informative. The Center (a nonpartisan, educational project established in 1993) is connected to the historic Golda Meir House on the Auraria Campus near downtown Denver . The Political Science Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver operates the Center that has the approval of the Meir family.

This site provides the opportunity to visit the house that includes the Golda Meir Museum . It also offers, in words and images, an overview of the Center's activities, as well as information on Golda Meir, the Russian-born/American-bred immigrant who went on to become Prime Minister of Israel.

While the information found here should answer any basic questions concerning Meir and the Center, please feel free to contact us if you have additional inquiries. And, if you find yourself in Denver , contact us to arrange a visit to the house and museum.

Once again, welcome,

Norman Provizer

Founder and Director

Golda

In early 1969, 70-year-old Golda Meir became the third woman in the 20 th Century to emerge as a leader of a nation. And, unlike the women who proceeded her, the Russian-born/American-bred Meir gained her position as Israel 's Prime Minister without the benefit of family ties to a famous father or an assassinated husband. Beyond that, Meir was also twice an immigrant to new lands. A fact that continually reminds us that leadership often emerges from the most unlikely places. Her extraordinary life was not without pain or controversy. But it was extraordinary. The Golda Meir House Museum is located on the 1606 side of the duplex. The living room and bedroom serve as exhibit space, while the bathroom and kitchen have been restored in a manner consistent with its appearance when Golda lived there. Original artifacts on display include a mezzuzah, a small container that holds a piece of parchment on which scripture is written. Other relics are a bank statement from Sam Korngold's business and a pushke, a small box used to collect money for Jewish charities.

A health department notice framed in the bathroom was found on the 1608 side of the house, imploring residents to “bury your dead chickens and stop throwing them in the alley.” The bathtub is also original to the house.

Another interesting item is the square oak table in the kitchen, which was manufactured locally by the Denver Furniture and Carpet Company. The feather duster was also produced in Colorado, handmade by the Capitol Brush factory. The kitchen stove has been loaned to the museum by the Colorado State Historical Society.

Pieces of her life Click here for full text 1898: Meir is born Goldie Mabovitch on May 3, 1898 in Kiev , Ukraine (then part of Russia ). She is one of eight children born to Moshe and Blume Mabovitch (or Mabowitz), five of whom (four boys and a girl) died in infancy. She is the middle child of the three surviving girls. Sheyna (or Shana) is the eldest and Zipke (later known as Clara) is the youngest.

Her father is a carpenter/cabinet-maker and Golda is named for her maternal great-grandmother Golde who was known for her strong will and stubbornness.

Early in life she witnesses the endemic anti-Jewish violence in Czarist Russia (the pogroms). The image of that anti-Semitism would remain with her and greatly influence the course of her life.

Pieces of her life 1906: She leaves Russia , with her mother and sisters, to join her father in America . They land in Quebec , Canada and then travel by train to Milwaukee . Because her father had helped a friend reach America by pretending that the friend's wife and daughters were his, the rest of the Mabovitch family now has to use false names to depart.

Pieces of her life 1913: After making her plans, 14-year-old Golda steals out of her house and takes a train to Denver in February. She moves in with her sister, her sister's husband (Shamai Korngold) and their child (Judith) who live in a small duplex located in West Denver and enrolls at North High School on February 17.

She listens to the heated debates that take place among visitors to the Korngold kitchen on a variety of topics ranging from Yiddish literature, Zionism, anarchism and socialism to women's suffrage, trade unionism and dialectical materialism. In her autobiography Golda writes, “to the extent that my own future convictions were shaped and given form, and ideas were discarded or accepted by me while I was growing up, those talk-filled nights in Denver played a considerable role.” In a different context, she put it this way, “ Denver was a turning point because my real education began. In Denver , life really opened up for me.”

As part of her life opening up in Denver , Golda meets and dates Morris Myerson (or Meyerson) who has passion for the arts, music and Golda.

Pieces of her life 1928: She becomes Secretary of the Women's Labor Council at the suggestion of David Remez. It is her first public position.

Her move back to Tel Aviv, with the children, marks her separation from Morris who remains in Jerusalem and comes to Tel Aviv on weekends. Though they are never divorced and continue to have close ties, they are very different people now following very different paths.

Remez continues to be one of the men closely connected to Golda. She never discusses such relationships publicly. But she does discuss her guilt over the time spent away from her children as she emerges as an increasingly public figure, frequently traveling abroad.

Pieces of her life 1956: In line with the idea that Israeli leaders should Hebraicize their names, Golda becomes Golda Meir (which means to illuminate or to burn brightly) rather than Golda Myerson. Since she also spelled her name Meirson, she drops the last part of the name to produce Meir. On her grave, her name in English is given as Golda Meir (Meirson). While the pronunciation of her new name is May-ear many American refer to her as My-ear.

She is named to be Israel 's Foreign Minister. She occupies that position during the 1956 Suez crisis (taking charge of the Israeli delegation at the United Nations during debates over Suez ) and serves until 1966. Prior to the outbreak of the Suez conflict, she secretly flies to France and is involved in planning the operation.

During her tenure as Foreign Minister, Golda greatly expands Israel 's contact with Third World countries especially the sub-Saharan African states with which she believes Jews shared “the memory of centuries of suffering.” Throughout her life, she is particularly proud of her efforts in building these relationships and providing highly effective assistance programs.

Pieces of her life 1978: She is hospitalized in Jerusalem 's Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center 's Hematology Ward and falls into a coma on December 7. On December 8, Golda Meir dies at 4:30 p.m. On December 12, she is buried at Mount Herzl National Cemetery in Jerusalem .

There are numerous tributes to her from across the globe. Yet, as much as anything said, Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci's words, written after a 1972 interview with Golda, ring true. While not at all pro-Israel in her sentiments, the journalist writes “even if one is not at all in agreement with her, with her politics, her ideology, one cannot help but respect her, admire her, even love her.” A decade earlier, in the Foreword to a book of Golda's papers, Eleanor Roosevelt also described Meir as “a woman one cannot help but deeply respect and deeply love.” Such was the nature of her unique life.
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