David Wilder was born in New Jersey in the USA in 1954, and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in History and teacher certification in 1976. He spent 1974-75 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and returned to Israel upon graduation.
For over eighteen years David Wilder has worked with the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is the English spokesman for the community, granting newspaper, television and radio interviews internationally. He initiated the Hebron internet project, including email lists of over 15,000 subscribers who receive regular news and commentaries from Hebron in English and Hebrew. David is responsible and continues to update the Hebron web sites, portraying various facets of Hebron, utilizing text, audio, video and pictures. He conducts tours of Hebron's Jewish Community and occasionally travels abroad, speaking at Hebron functions.
David Wilder is married to Ora, a 'Sabra,' for 33 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 14 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
Links to sites David recommends:
(others to be added)
Adar 6, 5768, 2/12/2008
And almost the last point - comparing Shechem to Hebron - treating Hebron like Shechem.
There was an international agreement about Joseph's Tomb in Shechem. Arafat signed it. The United States guaranteed it. But the above photos show what happened to Joseph's Tomb. BECAUSE Jews DID NOT live there. Had Jews lived in Shechem I have no doubt that just as we have access to Ma'arat HaMachpela, so too would we have access to this holy site.
Hundreds of thousands visit Hebron and Ma'arat HaMachpela annually. Only because there are Jews living in Hebron. The Arabs tell us straight out: Should they ever, G-d forbid, control this site, we will not be able to worship here. So, what do we choose - this photo or one of the above?
And the last point: Children. The question is focussed on children: how can you bring children to Hebron? My answer, many times over is, how can you not bring children to Hebron? You know, there are problems with kids all over the world. But in Hebron, we don't have problems with drugs, prostitution, and other such epidemics. Our children, when they finish their military service, don't travel to India or Thailand searching for their guru, because their guru is in their backyard - they pray there every day and every week - Avraham, Yitzhak, Ya'akov, Sarah, Rivka, and Leah - at Ma'arat HaMachpela.
We too have problems with youth, who doesn't. But our kids don't live for a 'bigger house' or a 'bigger car.' They live ideals, they grow up on ideals, and they escort these ideals into the future. Our kids continue living in Hebron, or in other communities in Judea and Samaria. Some, the really dedicated ones, make their way to Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv, to bring some of the idealism of Hebron to the Big City, where idealism is usually translated into how many vacations have people taken outside Israel. These kids, the ones from Hebron, from Gush Katif, from Yehuda and Shomron, these kids are the future leadership of the Jewish people in Israel. They live faith, they have nerves of steel, and they won't let the White House, or anyone else bully them into betraying their beliefs. Watch and see. They are our future.
Is is dangerous? Perhaps. More dangerous than elsewhere? I don't know. But I do know that if we don't live our ideals, if we abandon our homeland, our cities, there is no such thing as a vacuum. And those who fill the vacuum we leave have no intentions of stopping in Hebron, or Beit El or Elon Moreh. They too have ideals, which they hope will lead them to Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva. If we continue living where we are today, that won't happen.
So, briefly, that's why we live in Hebron, and refuse to treat this holy city as was Shechem. We prefer our presence at Ma'arat HaMachpela to the kinds of pictures of Arabs dancing on the ruins of Kever Yosef. And above and beyond that, we really truely love Hebron. We will never abandon our Saba and Savta, our Grandma and Grandpa, here in Hebron