David Ben-Yosef (Passovsky) 1909-1988

Born in Slonim. In the 1930s his family moved to Siedlce after the father of the family, Rabbi Yosef, received the position of chief cantor in the city’s Great Synagogue. The family quickly settled in the new surroundings, and David, together with his family, joined the public activities. He was one of the organizers of the “He’halutz” movement in Siedlce and served as secretary of the movement in the Podlaska region.

In 1932 Cantor Yosef Pesovsky decided to immigrate to the Holy Land together with his entire Zionist family, and settled in Jerusalem. David did not make do with this, moved to Tel Aviv – the center of Hebrew activity, settled in it and established a family there. He began his public activities in the ranks of the Haganah (until the day of his death he was a member of the Hagana veterans’ organization) and published a new journal of the organization. At the same time he led the founding of The Popular Merchants’ Organization in Eretz Israel, and became its general secretary. Politically, he was a delegate to Mapai convention and a candidate for the fourth and fifth Knessets on behalf of the party.

With the establishment of the State of Israel, Ben-Yosef served as the director of the Veterans’ Absorption Branch in the Ministry of Defense, where he helped many soldiers find their future in Israel. In the 1950s he took an active part in establishing the Siedlce Association in Israel, and for many years served as its second chairman. He helped expand the organization’s activities and developed ties with Siedlce communities throughout the world. In the mid-1970s, he devoted all his energies to erecting a memorial to the Siedlce community, raising funds and not resting until the monument was erected in the regional cemetery in Holon.

About two years before his death, his long illness worsened. He called a meeting of the Vaad at his home, announced his resignation and promised to continue contributing to the committee’s activities as an ordinary member, especially in the field of public relations.

At the end of 1988, the disease overcame him, and the wick of his life was extinguished. He was burried in Holon Cemetary.

Several of his testimonies can be read in this site, including: “Jewish Workers“, “Halluzim Youth movements in Siedlce“,  “The Hebrew Language Fans Group“.