Raab, David 1952-

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Raab, David 1952-

PERSONAL:

Born 1952; son of a rabbi; married; wife's name Leah (an artist); children: three. Education: Bar Ilan University, B.A.; University of Pennsylvania, M.S.; Weizmann Institute, M.S. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Raanana, Israel. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Raab & Co. (consulting firm), Teaneck NJ, owner; has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, Philadelphia; and Sy Syms School of Business, Yeshiva University, New York, NY. Chair, North Jersey Political Action Committee; member, AIPAC Executive Committee; trustee, Federation of Bergen County New Jersey; member of board of directors, America-Israel Chamber of Commerce; cochair, Citizens' Empowerment Public Action Campaign; member of management committee, Israelis for Constitutional Democracy; member, Public Council of the Israel Democracy Institute; member of management committee, Movement for Quality Government in Israel.

WRITINGS:

Terror in Black September: The First Eyewitness Account of the Infamous 1970 Hijackings, Palgrave Macmillan (London, England), 2007.

Accountability to the People: Instituting Single-Member Electoral Districts for Israel's Knesset, Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including the New York Jewish Week, Jerusalem Post, Azure, and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Viewpoints.

SIDELIGHTS:

David Raab has worked as an educator and as a strategy and organization consultant, the latter of which involved his running Raab & Company, a management consulting firm he founded in Teaneck, New Jersey. He is heavily involved in Israel-related politics and in groups that promote democracy in Israel. Raab is the author of Terror in Black September: The First Eyewitness Account of the Infamous 1970 Hijackings, which was published in 2007.

During the summer of 1970, David Raab, then seventeen, spent the summer in Israel with his parents and siblings. His rabbi father left to return to their home in New Jersey early, as he was needed to perform a wedding. The remainder of the family stayed on as long as they could, returning when it was time for the children to start the new school year. Over the course of the flight, the jet stopped for fuel, first in Athens, then in Frankfurt, before heading for New York. It was during this final leg of the trip that a woman's voice came over the intercom and announced that the plane had been hijacked and that she was now their captain. The hijackers diverted the flight to Jordan; so began Raab's experience as a hostage.

The terrorists were part of a group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They had taken four planes in total, and were searching each for Israeli citizens whom they could use as leverage. They held the Jewish women and children while sending the non-Jewish passengers to hotels. Raab's mother had a membership card in her wallet for the Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, which led to her being repeatedly questioned. The family was held on the plane, which sat on the desert runway for four days. Only then was Raab ordered off, while the rest of his family remained onboard. He was one of ten men taken to a refugee camp nearby, where they were locked in a small room. Together they prayed, though not all of them turned out to be Jewish. Lacking the necessary wine for celebration of the Sabbath, they made due with pita bread given them by their captors, and some salt that Raab had kept from an onboard meal received during the week.

Terror in Black September chronicles Raab's experiences as a hostage and his eventual return to the United States after twenty-one days; his mother and siblings had preceded him. He also writes of his reactions to his experience: how it gave him an increased respect and love for Israel, and for the Jews who fought for the land. His faith increased, and he began to identify himself as even more Jewish than he had previously. In addition, he developed a strong interest in politics that stemmed from that summer. Raab eventually moved to Israel, where he met his wife and settled permanently. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly felt that the book might have benefited from additional editing and structural work, but ultimately concluded that "much of the material is intrinsically fascinating and a sad reminder of how much and how little has changed."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Raab, David, Terror in Black September: The First Eyewitness Account of the Infamous 1970 Hijackings, Palgrave Macmillan (London, England), 2007.

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of Terror in Black September.

Middle East Quarterly, fall, 2007, review of Terror in Black September.

Publishers Weekly, June 4, 2007, review of Terror in Black September, p. 41.

ONLINE

Israel National News Web site,http://www.israelnationalnews.com/ (December 27, 2007), Ezra HaLevi, interview with David Raab.

Jerusalem Post Online,http://www.jpost.com/ (December 20, 2007), Barbara Sofer, "The Human Spirit: David Raab's Salt Shaker."

JUF News Web site,http://www.juf.org/ (September 24, 2007), Kaplan Boroson, "God Put Us into This but His Hand Was over Us."

NJ Jewish News Web site,http://www.njjewishnews.com/ (November 22, 2007), Ed Silverman, "I Was Lucky."

Terror in Black September Home Page,http://www.terrorinblackseptember.com (February 25, 2008).