Moshe Moshkowitz’s light blue eyes twinkle as they peer at you. In his modest Jerusalem office in Heichal Shlomo, the 89-year-old great-grandfather talks with contagious enthusiasm about his life’s work of establishing Israeli communities. A man who has gone about his work quietly, Moshkowitz has had a hand in the establishment of 10 Jewish communities across Israel since before the establishment of the state.

Moshkowitz, affectionately known as Moshko, pioneered two blocs of Israeli communities: Gush Etzion and the Shafir Regional Council in the south, where he served as council head for 27 years and established the Or Etzion Yeshiva High School.

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