Frank Sinatra Salutes Young Israel (video)
Sinatra’s visited Israel in 1962, as part of his first world tour. "We Americans salute the pioneers of Israel" says Sinatra in this Hasbara film.
Selections from George Jacobs’s tell-all memoir Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra. Jacobs was Sinatra right hand man at the time:
“After our week in Hong Kong we flew on to Israel. Mr. S adored Israel, and Israel adored him right back."
"Most moving for both Mr. S and me and was The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on the Hill of Memory, where all the trees had been planted in memory of the victims."
We often returned to Israel, which Mr. S decided was his favorite country. Mr. S often boasted he was ‘King of the Jews.’ He donated big money to Zionist causes, and would plug the place every time he had a chance… I liked Israel, too, so much that on one trip to the Promised Land I let Sinatra and [American composer Jimmy] Van Heusen talk me into rediscovering my ‘Jewish roots.’ Why, they insisted, should Sammy Davis be the only black Jew? They pointed to the Falashas, the black Jews of Ethiopia, who were a sect in Israel… So I let them find me a rabbi in Jerusalem, and after a three-day crash course, they got me a quickie bar mitzvah at a beautiful temple overlooking the ancient walls of the City of David. Afterward, to celebrate my being a man… we went to a fancy restaurant and I got so drunk on kosher wine I passed out.”