Mitchell Dayan was a co-chair of Davidic Dynasty’s ‘Eternal House of David Family Reunion’ and remains an active member of the Dynasty’s committee. He is a member of the Dayan Rabbinic family from Aleppo, Syria and the 87th generation in a ‘ben acher ben’ direct line from King David. Mitchell was born in Chicago on June 5, 1954 to Erwin (Yitzhak Shlomo) and Pearl Sasson Dayan and is one of 5 siblings (four brothers and a sister). He and his late wife, Bonnie Saltzman Dayan (1957 – 2007), have three sons, Isaac (Yitzhak) married Talia Stechler, Max (Meir) married Mariya Kossover and Stanley (Shlomo). He remarried in 2009 to Elizabeth Richman. She has a son Sam and a daughter Ariel.
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Industrial Psychology, Mitchell went into the family business, Dayan’s Department Store. Founded by his father in 1955, the store was located in the Evans Fur Building on the famous State Street (that great street) in Chicago. In 1967, the store relocated to 5546 West Belmont and in 1987, Mitchell became President of the corporation. The store closed in 2005. Mitchell is now a real estate developer.
Mr. Dayan was President of the Belmont Central Chamber of Commerce for 22 years and a Founder and Acting Commissioner of ‘Special Service Area #2′. He is a past Chairman of the Chicago regional chapter of the American Cancer Society and currently serves on its nominating committee. He is also a past Chairman of the Board and past President of the Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation in Lincolnwood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He will receive the Crown Leadership award at the 2012 Ida Crown Jewish Academy scholarship dinner.
In 1983, Mr. Dayan became interested in his Davidic roots when, during the shiva for his brother Stanley, he was introduced to ‘The Book’, Yashir Moshe. This book, written in 1864 by Rabbi Moshe Dayan, was a commentary on King Solomon’s Shir Hashirim ( Song of Songs). The hidden gem in this book is the genealogy found between the introduction and the commentary. Here, Rabbi Dayan traces the Dayan family lineage straight back to King David. At that point Mitchell Dayan began his research into his “Davidic Roots from Aleppo“. This manuscript documents his personal journey into his ancestry and his findings thereof, culminating in 2003 with the completion of the Dayan of Aleppo Family Tree.