May 3, 2010 / 19 Iyar 5770
The name Israel Rogosin appears almost everywhere in Ashdod, but few people in Israel are familiar with his story.
Several days ago, Michael Rogosin, grandson of the legendary philanthropist Israel Rogosin, came to Israel with his son, Elliot, to learn about his grandfather’s work.
Toward the end of the 1960’s, Israel Rogosin donated $2.5 million through the Jewish Agency’s Education Fund toward the construction of ten high schools throughout Israel. Two of the schools were built in the burgeoning city of Ashdod (which was formerly known as Ashdod-Yam), and they became the mainstay of secondary education in the city.
Israel Rogosin also built a textile factory in Ashdod, as well as a tire factory that was one of the largest of its kind in Israel at that time. In recognition of Rogosin’s philanthropic work, the leaders of Ashdod decided to name the city’s main thoroughfare after him.
Today, there is not a single resident of Ashdod who does not know the name Rogosin, but very few know the reason why the street was given this name. Even members of the Rogosin family knew very little about Israel’s involvement in the development of the Jewish State, and particularly the city of Ashdod.
Michael and Elliot therefore decided to visit Israel, to collect as much information as they could and to set up a memorial for their grandfather and great-grandfather.
Michael and Elliot visited the office of Mayor Yechiel Lasri, where they were greeted by the mayor’s wife who presented them with a bouquet of flowers. Fifty years ago, when she was eight years old, Mrs. Lasri presented a bouquet to Israel Rogosin when he visited Ashdod.
The mayor presented the guests with an album of pictures and newspaper clippings from the 1960’s where Israel Rogosin appears.
Later, Michael and Elliot visited two schools in Ashdod that are named after Israel Rogosin. They also walked along Rogosin Street in the center of the city, visiting the Jewish Agency Ashdod Absorption Center.
During their visit to the schools they met with students who expressed their gratitude to the Rogosin family for its contribution to the city and to the State of Israel.
The Rogosin’s were visibly impressed by the students they met, and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with them. In all, Michael and Elliot enjoyed a special and rewarding experience, and they learned a great deal about their grandfather’s work. They also promised to continue their family’s unique relationship with the city of Ashdod.