Avraham Levin’s career as The Jerusalem Post’s legendary advertising manager
began in 1939, when he started working as a 14-yearold office boy at The
Palestine Post, so that he could pay for his studies.
The story of
Avraham’s life, a sixth-generation Jerusalemite, is the story of Eretz
His father, Shlomo Zalman Levin, had already worked at the
paper’s printing press as an experienced typesetter, a profession Avraham’s
three brothers had also chosen as their career. The Palestine Post had been
founded only seven years earlier, in December 1932, by Gershon Agronsky and Ted
Lurie. 1939 was also a dramatic year in the British Mandate of Palestine, since
the British government under prime minister Chamberlain had just published the
so-called “White Paper,” which drastically curtailed Jewish immigration and
settlement in Palestine. Hitler’s invasion of Poland sparked World War Two, and
the three-year-long battles between Arabs and Jews in Palestine had come to an
As the war went on, young Avraham joined the Jewish Settlement
Police, that was equipped by the British and became an important segment of the
Israel Defense Forces at their inception in May 1948. In February 1948,
Avraham’s father was seriously wounded in a joint British-Arab terrorist
car-bomb attack on the Post’s offices and printing press. In the battle for
Jerusalem, Avraham was wounded in the fighting in Sheikh Jarrah, near Ammunition
Hill. When the fighting ended with the Armistice Agreements in 1949, Avraham
returned to the Post and began working as an assistant in the advertising
In April 1950, the paper changed its name to The Jerusalem
Post. It was a critical time for the paper’s future, since it had lost thousands
of its readers among the British officials and Arab intellectuals. For a
small-circulation newspaper, by definition, advertising revenue was a mainstay
for The Jerusalem Post’s survival. It was this vital niche that Avraham
recognized and kept on developing over the years.
He succeeded in getting
annual advertising contracts with leading banks and manufacturers. During his
reign, we tried to maintain the rule that one third of the daily paper’s space
should be kept for advertising.
With great pride, Avraham kept in his
pocket over the years a personal, hand-written note from Gershon Agron, thanking
him for a successful advertising campaign.
Avraham never really overcame
his somewhat early retirement in 1989, when Conrad Black and David Radler bought
the newspaper that was his life.
Born in Jerusalem on October 25, 1925,
Avraham died on December 26, 2013. He is survived by two daughters, Tzippi and
Tali, and a son, Ya’acov, 12 grandchildren and 10
great-grandchildren. Avraham is buried on Har Hamenuhot in Jerusalem,
next to his wife Ahuva.
The author was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem
Post from 1975 to 1989.