Telfed, the South African Zionist Federation (Israel), will honor philanthropist and venture capitalist Morris Kahn and Harold “Smoky” Simon, one of the founders of the Israel Air Force, with lifetime achievement awards on Tuesday, celebrating their contributions to the State of Israel. Both are South African immigrants.
Worth $1b. according to Forbes, Kahn is one of the country’s richest men and an initial investor in Amdocs, an Israeli business software company. Since the company went public in the late ’90s, Kahn has moved on to a career in venture capital and philanthropy. Simon was a member of the initial group of foreign volunteer Mahal pilots who formed the core of the nascent IAF and served as the air force’s chief of air operations during the War of Independence.
In 1950 he moved back to South Africa, returning 12 years later to establish what would be come the young country’s largest life insurance and pension brokerage firm. He is also a founding member of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation.