Andrea Bronfman: Three tributes [pg. 15]

A month after the passing of Andy Bronfman, three tributes to a much-loved woman of vision.

By JANET AVIAD, SONIA, HADAS ROSENBERG
February 21, 2006 22:12
3 minute read.

 
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I had the privilege of working with Andy Bronfman for more than 20 years, and of having that relationship turn into a deep friendship. Andy cared deeply, gave generously of her time and means, and was fully involved in the life of her own family and in the lives of her friends. Andy Bronfman was committed to the State of Israel. She wanted to be a part of the people in Israel, especially the children. Together with her beloved husband, Charles, she involved herself in enrichment education projects through Keren Karev. She visited schools in Bat Yam, Sakhnin, Ashdod, Eilat, in East and West Jerusalem and other towns throughout the country, expressing her love for the children and her desire to improve their lives. She founded a program for combat soldiers called Tarbut Yom Aleph. And she cultivated parks and the zoo in Jerusalem for the city's youngsters. Andy inherited a deep appreciation for the arts from her parents. Her passion for contemporary works in glass, and for the decorative arts generally, led her to develop a project in Israel in this field. Together with her friends Rivka Saker and Aviva Ben Sira she conceived of AIDA, the Association of Israeli Decorative Arts, aimed at bringing excellence in the decorative arts to the attention of an international audience. Andy and company interviewed artists, chose works and organized the financing of Israeli booths in international shows, gaining exposure and recognition for the artists. For her 60th birthday, Charles Bronfman established the Andy Prize, also in support of the Decorative Arts in Israel. Andy's vibrancy and dedication will be gravely missed. - Janet Aviad, Director, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies It is hard to imagine anything more cruel and unjust than the fatal injury that befell such a remarkable person as Andy. She was the love of your life. We too loved her and admired her deeply, and prayed for her well-being. I knew her as a young child, a beautiful flower that blossomed in the exquisite Morrison garden in London. She was different from all the others. Her behavior was distinctive, she was endowed with boundless curiosity and a refined charisma. No matter where she went she left the imprint of good taste, Zionist commitment and humane sensitivity. It seems that as far back as the cradle she was already aware that her personality could be fully expressed only in the new Jerusalem. And indeed, she turned her Jerusalem home into a warm haven, a base from where she could cultivate her inclination to help others, promote artists, and serve as a loyal and supporting partner in the Taglit initiative that encouraged the inflow of Jewish youngsters to Israel to fill what was already their birthright with new content. It was a delight to see Andy and her husband together always, to watch the exchange of loving and understanding glances between them and the joy around them. Jerusalem will miss her. We shall all yearn for her. And Charles, modest nobleman of the Jewish People, we shall embrace with much warmth. - Sonia and Shimon Peres I met Andy two years ago at my exhibition called Artificial Horizon at the Aharon Kahane House & Museum of Ceramic Art. I was very impressed by her personality. Her modesty allowed us to have a direct and interesting conversation. I felt I was speaking with a woman who truly appreciated and loved art and knew of the difficulties of the creative process. One of the most important aspects for an artist is the means to connecting art to those who view it: the exhibition space. The relative lack of good exhibition spaces and opportunities limits and frustrates local artists. Setting an exhibition date is often what gives the artist's creative process critical momentum. Andy understood that there was a shortage of exhibition spaces in Israel, particularly for artists in the area of design. As head of AIDA, which provided Israeli artists with opportunities to exhibit abroad, she introduced these artists to a wider audience and gave us hope. Her efforts breathed life into our artistic scene and encouraged positive and creative competition within Israel. I wish I could have thanked Andy for her great contribution, and confirmed that her original intuition regarding the choice of arts that needed strengthening was correct and necessary. She gave us the air we need to breath. The Andy Prize will be an incentive for new thinking in the development of design works, including those with abstract elements. I am sorry she will not be able to see the fruits of her vision. - Hadas Rosenberg, winner of the first Andy Prize The contributions excerpted here were collected by Yael Lotan of Lotan Communications and first appeared at www.prestige.co.il.

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