A gathering will be held in New York on Sunday, November 7, to remember former Israeli MK Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was assassinated 20 years ago. Rabbi Kahane was born in America and spent the first part of his adult life there, fighting for the rights of Soviet Jews, and for the right of American Jews to self-defense.
The memorial, in a West Side synagogue, will include speeches from Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel
, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and Mordechai Dzikansky, a former NYPD homicide investigator and intelligence officer who recently wrote the book Terrorist Cop: The NYPD Jewish Cop Who Traveled the World to Stop Terrorists
The free event will also include music composed by Cecelia Margules and Rami Yadid.
Rabbi Meir Kahane is most known in Israel as the founder of Kach, a now-banned Knesset faction that proposed that Israel annex Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and insist that all non-Jews either swear loyalty to the Jewish state or leave. The Knesset created a new law in 1988 in order to ban Kach on the grounds of racism, just as polls were predicting that the party would grow dramatically in the next elections.
In America, Rabbi Kahane was known for his activism
, including the establishment of the Jewish Defense League (JDL). He was also very active on behalf of Soviet Jews, who faced anti-Semitism and were not allowed to leave the USSR. He faced prison time on multiple occasions for refusing to end his aggressive campaign against the Soviets.
Rabbi Kahane was murdered in New York City in 1990, shortly after speaking to an audience of American Jews about the importance of aliyah (immigration to Israel). His killer was Egyptian-born El-Sayid Nosair.
His son Binyamin Kahane created the Kahane Chai (“Kahane lives”) movement, which was also banned. Binyamin Kahane and his wife Talya were murdered by terrorists in 2000 as they were driving home to their six children. Rabbi Kahane is survived by his wife Libby, three other children, and grandchildren.
In Israel, Rabbi Kahane was remembered this week by nationalist activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel with a rally
in the Arab city of Umm el-Fahm.