Friday’s Faces from the Past: Leonard L. Broida with Golda Meir

Leonard Broida, seated at left, with Golda Meir. (Click to enlarge.)


Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

It was exciting to find this picture of Leonard L. Broida with Golda Meir in my inbox!

Golda Meir (1898-1978) was the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, and had been an active Zionist, moving to Palestine in 1921. She also served as a Foreign Minister and Minister of Labor.

The Leonard L. Broida descendant who shared this image said it was thought to be one of Mrs. Meir’s trips to the US for fundraising, and the gentlemen may have been one of the boards/committees at Suburban Temple, in Beachwood outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

It was somewhat challenging initially to find dated images of Golda Meir for comparison, to determine the approximate year this was taken. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, however, has an extensive collection of images online, as Golda attended that University to be trained as a teacher.

Since we do not have a date for this image, how can we come up with an estimated year it was taken? The photo gives us some clues.

Leonard L. Broida was born 26 February 1901, making him not quite three years younger than Golda Meir, who was born 3 May 1898. Leonard died on 9 October 1977, Golda on 8 December 1978. Using those dates alone and adding 30 years to the earliest, since they at least appear to be in their 30s, we can narrow the time range to probably be between 1931-1977.

Looking at photos on the U. of Wisconsin website, it appears that Mrs. Meir’s hair began to go gray by 1955, but it had very little gray in 1950. So we can narrow the timeline of the photo a bit more, to about 1931- 1955.

In a 1930 picture, Golda Meir met with the British Labour Party and H. N. Brailsford. She looks younger in those newspaper stories than in the above picture. She spent two years in the United States (1932-1934) as an emissary from the Israeli Working Women’s Council- could the photo have been taken then? In 1932 she would have been 34, Leonard 31. Wide lapels like those in the picture above were in fashion, so this could have been the time period in which the photo was taken.

Eighteen years later, in 1948, Life Magazine  published a picture of Golda on a kibbutz, and she looks very similar to the above photo.

While in Jerusalem in 1956, Golda was photographed at a United Nations Event; she does look similar to the above photo. She would have been 58 years old, Leonard 55, that year.

Trying to find newspaper accounts of Mrs. Meir’s travels to the Cleveland area was challenging, but more research might turn up a good lead. A reverse-image Google search did not produce another copy of this photo. A query to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee archivist or the historian at Suburban Temple may also provide answers. The best news would be that someone out there has the same image, but with names on it! (Lightly written in pencil, of course, and on the back.)


So what do you think (or know)? Was this picture taken during the 1930s, 40s, or 50s?


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Golda Meir biography:
  2. This article includes a number of images of Mrs. Meir–
  3. “Picturing Golda Meir”–,%20Golda,%201898-1978/mode/exact/page/1
  4. 1930 image of Golda Meir–
  5. 1949–
  6. 1956- Golda Meir in Jerusalem-
  7. Here is a Pinterest board with many pictures of Golda Meir:


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