Frank Sinatra

by yu jessler

Frank Sinatra * 12.12.1915 - was not only a gifted singer and entertainer, but was also active all his life against racism, anti-Semitism and for the state of Israel.


Since the first reports on the Shoah were published in the United States, Sinatra has been committed to saving the remaining European Jews, traveling around the country, drawing the public's attention to the Holocaust, collecting donations and thanking them with medals that he had made himself and on one side bore a picture of Saint Christopher and on the other side a star of David.


In 1945 Sinatra starred in "The House I Live In", a short film against anti-Semitism. He supported the founding of the State of Israel and in 1947, when the United Nations considered ratifying their partition plan, he sang at the "Action for Palestine Rally" in Hollywood. And he helped Teddy Kollek, the later mayor of Jerusalem, who was still in the Haganah at the time. The Copacabana Club, controlled by the mafia (to which Sinatra was known to have had a close relationship), happened to be next to hotel 14, the Haganah headquarter. In his autobiography, Kollek told how in March 1948 he avoided a weapon boycott imposed by Truman against the fighters and handed over a million dollars to an Irish ship captain, whose ship full of illegal ammunition was already moored in the New York harbor.


Kollek discovered Sinatra at the bar, gathered all his courage and told who he was and what he was planning and asked for help because he was afraid of being caught. So Kollek went out to the main entrance with an empty bag, was promptly followed by FBI agents, and in the meantime Sinatra walked with the money in a paper bag through the club's back door and delivered it successfully ... he later said to his daughter Nancy: “it was the beginning of a young nation. i wanted to help, i was afraid they might fall down. "


In 1962 Sinatra visited Israel, gave seven concerts and sang at the official Independence Day celebration in Tel Aviv (in the photo with Ben Gurion). In 1966 he played the role of a Jewish pilot in “Cast a Giant Shadow” with Kirk Douglas and donated his honorarium for the construction of an Arab-Israeli youth center. In 1975 he performed again in Israel (hence the album "The Jerusalem Concert") and in 1982 he collected considerable funds for the financing of the Shoah documentary "Genocide". Sinatra donated over a million dollars to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and sat in the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal center because he admired its founder.


He celebrated his 80th birthday with a trip to Israel (plus Jordan and Egypt - because of his support for the Jewish state, his films and records were banned in other Arab countries for a long time), to which he invited over a hundred friends, Walter Matthau, among others.


Frankie Boy has protected his Jewish friends all his life. He beat up guys who called "Jewish bastards" or "nigger" in his youth already. At one time he is said to have given a journalist a black eye because he made an anti-Semitic remark. According to “Time Magazine”, Sinatra left his own son's baptism because the priest refused to admit a Jewish friend as a godfather. When Sinatra heard that some golf clubs did not accept Jews, he joined a Jewish golf club. In 1979, he threatened a cemetery official in Palm Springs with smashing his face because he refused to bury the singer's Jewish friend during the Thanksgiving holiday.


Why Sinatra was so closely connected to the Jewish people is not known exactly, but for years he wore a small Mezuzah around his neck, a gift from an old Jewish neighbor of the Sinatra family, Mrs. Golden, who had looked after him as a child, spoke Yiddish to him and fed him cookies. To honor her, he donated $ 250,000 to Israel bonds many years later.