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sold in large amounts. He sought creative solutions and raised one: "I will require all IDF officers who are Lieutenant Colonels and above to buy Thucydides' book on the Peloponnesian War."
Overall, this was a successful enterprise. It lasted ten years at a fast pace and afterwards at a slower pace. Within its framework, exemplary books were translated from twenty different languages, including Ugaritic, Akkadian, Chinese, Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and Latin. Ben-Gurion, who resigned the premiership in June 1963, observed the translation enterprise from the sidelines with great pleasure, until his death in 1973.
An All-Embracing Musical Tour with Danny Kaye
Each of the entities that populated that National Institutions Building initiated, on more than one occasion, a large move or operation – In Israel and abroad, but it seems that the operation conducted by Keren Hayesod in late 1967 was unprecedented, original and had tremendous resonance. We refer to the organization and financing of the tour of the Gadna Orchestra around half the world for six weeks – from the end of October to almost mid December 1967.
What made said musical tour so unique was the conductor of the orchestra – The Jewish-American actor and entertainer Danny Kaye, who was a big star at the time. Kaye had been a music lover from childhood. He befriended the greatest conductors of his time, including Arturo Toscanini, accompanied them, learned from them the secrets to conducting and was able to conduct several internationally renowned orchestras himself, such as the New York Philharmonic. Yet he could not read sheet music...
Danny Kaye was also a great friend of Israel and frequently visited here. He mostly loved the IDF and following the victory in the Six-Day War, he came to Israel, appeared before the wounded and cheered up thousands with his performances. Upon returning to the United States, he had an idea: He would take the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra for a tour around the world, a tour that would mark the victory and prove that Israel was not merely an army but had culture and music as well.
To realize his idea, he contacted the Israeli Embassy in Washington, which did not know what to do with this unique offer and referred him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. It too did not know how to realize this idea and rolled the ball to the Jewish Agency. The Chairman of the Agency Executive at the time was Aryeh Louis Pincus, a pragmatic and sober man. In his estimation, he would be unable to secure the Philharmonic Orchestra, which was signed on contracts to perform in Israel and abroad for several years. Why not approach the Gadna (Youth Battalions) Orchestra, which had won international prizes over the previous years? He moved the ball onward, to Israel Goldstein, Chairman of Keren Hayesod, knowing that the fund had offices in dozens of countries around the world.

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