David Dranikoff - The Legend

I struggle when I have to talk about myself. It’s not that I have any deep secrets, it’s that I had a perfectly ordinary life. I was born in Brooklyn NY and was brought up in the middle forties and early fifties when our country was percolating with opportunities. My father got a good job earning 50 bucks a week, which was enough for my mother to put food on the table and clothes on our backs. Life was pretty good for America and us. The world looked at America with a bit of envy and gratitude. The war was over and our country was involved with the Marshall plan to rebuild Europe. It was perhaps the first time one nation did so much to help so many. You would have thought that the people of this great country would have complained about the vast sums of money going over seas; if there was much of that I don’t remember it.  Our country was the breadbasket of the world. Our manufactures were busy supplying quality products to meet the needs here and over seas.   America was a light onto nations and we were all generally very proud of our country.

In the sixties I met my wife Lois and we moved to Elizabeth, NJ. We had our ups and downs like everyone else but when everything settled down we ended up with two great kids, four fabulous grandchildren plus a wonderful daughter and son in-law. 

Somewhere in the middle of our life together Lois and I traveled to Israel. That trip started a thirty-year involvement with a terrific organization call UJA. Over the years volunteering for UJA I was privileged to serve in a bunch of different capacities and still do. That original trip to Israel better equipped me to understand some of the complexities facing our country and the world. It also ingrained in me the notion that in every person’s   life an opportunity will come along that will require a decision to stand up and say “Here I am. How can I help?”

I am sixty-nine years old and I am a candidate for the United States Senate from the State of NJ. I recognize that this is quit a leap from anything else I have done thus far but our country is in real trouble and I think some one outside the normal political system has to stand up and say “Here I am.”