Lord Leonard Wolfson dies in London

By
May 23, 2010 05:59

Wolfson, a great philanthropist and contributor to Israel, dies at 82.

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london 224 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Lord Leonard Wolfson, among the great philanthropists and contributors to Israel, died on Thursday night in London at the age of 82. A donor who established 21 laboratory buildings, research centers and chairs in scientific fields in six Israeli universities, the Wolfson Family Foundation also gave scholarships and research grants to immigrant and young Israeli-born scientists. Wolfson gave a total of $300 million to Israel, and the worth of the foundation totals $1 billion.

Prof. Haim Ben-Shahar, former Tel Aviv University president and currently chairman of the advisory board of the foundation, told The Jerusalem Post that Wolfson – son of the late Sir Isaac Wolfson – not only built labs, but also renovated and upgraded existing ones in universities and hospitals and supported social welfare and cultural institutions. In recent years, the foundation has focused on water, solar energy and genetic research.


“He also assisted Yad Sarah, the Israel Museum, special education needs and donated instruments to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for Russian immigrant musicians,” said Ben-Shahar, who noted that Wolfson “felt very Jewish and Zionist. In 1948, as a young man, he came to Israel during the War of Independence by ship so that he could be with the young country at a crucial moment.”

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Until 10 years ago, Wolfson was president and CEO of Great Universal Stores. He had many Israeli leaders among his friends, including President Shimon Peres and the late president Chaim Herzog. He leaves behind his second wife, Estelle, and four daughters. The funeral will be held on Sunday in London.


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