Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi expressed his grief Sunday morning over the passing of Moshe 'Moshko' Moskowitz, who led the resettlement of Gush Etzion following the Six Day War.
"When Moshko decided to establish Efrat, he reached out to Rabbi [Shlomo] Riskin and asked if he knew how to establish a city in Israel. Rabbi Riskin replied that he did not know, so Moshko told him how Dizengoff decided he would be mayor, and only afterwards did he agree and work to bring in residents. Then Moshko looked up at Rabbi Riskin and added, 'You will be the rabbi and I will be the mayor.'"
"He was the human compass in the settlement, he drew the path to Gush Etzion, he was a person who knew how to appreciate and get excited about a new house, another neighborhood and another kindergarten in Efrat. He would shed a tear and say that the reality surpasses the dream," Revivi described.
"A month ago, Moshko sent me a letter in which he had already begged me to start to prepare for the marking of 100 years of independence for Israel," said Revivi. "The one who walked and outlined the paths of the history of the people of Israel in the Land of Israel in modern times has left us. May his memory be blessed," he concluded.
Moskowitz was born in 1925 in Czechoslovakia, and made Aliyah to Israel with his parents when he was 10 years old. His life work began even before the state was established when he was a member of the nucleus of Kibbutz Masu'ot Yitzhak, which was established in Gush Etzion in 1945.
He later began educational activities and went on a shlichut in the detention camps in Cyprus, with the aim of assisting illegal immigrants and preparing them for immigration to Israel.
After re-establishing Kibbutz Masu'ot Yitzhak within the boundaries of the Shafir Regional Council, he was elected to the position of head of the council, at the age of 27, and served in that position from 1952-1979.
Three years later, he laid the cornerstone for the town of Efrat, where he also served as the first head of the council from 1982-1986.