Ronald S. Lauder: Combat antisemitism through education, enforcement

#9: Ronald S. Lauder

Ronald Lauder (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ronald Lauder
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), has been known to say that while his feet are firmly planted in New York, his heart and soul reside permanently in Israel and with the greater Jewish community around the world. Over the past two decades, Lauder has made it his life’s work to support Jewish communities both in Israel and the Diaspora.
Lauder takes it upon himself as president to stand tall at the front lines of the fight against global antisemitism. In his frequent meetings with presidents, heads of state, parliament members and international policy-makers, Lauder advocates for an uncompromising agenda that acknowledges antisemitism as an urgent threat. He encourages that antisemitism be combated through both education and the enforcement of punishment against antisemitic acts of violence and hate crimes everywhere.
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Lauder believes these issues aren’t only a fundamental problem for Jews, but for the international community as a whole. As the movement to boycott Israel grows globally, he has been vocal in opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
As the former US ambassador to Austria, as well as an informal ambassador for the Israeli government to the Middle East and the US, Lauder has worked tirelessly to promote Israel’s interests through dialogues with prominent world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
While advocacy has been a cornerstone of Lauder’s career, he is also a big believer in education as an agent of change. He personally established 35 schools across Central and Eastern Europe, providing education to 40,000 Jewish children.
Lauder also seeks to improve the lives of Israelis. His vision for the Jewish state’s future includes the development and expansion of roads and public transportation systems to connect the Negev and the North to the rest of the country. He has materialized this vision by establishing the Lauder Employment Center, in collaboration with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Lauder is also looking to open a similar employment center in the Galilee to serve local residents.
The center functions as a dynamic and vibrant home for thousands of Jewish and Arab-Israeli citizens, and seeks to create employment opportunities for people in the surrounding areas. Leading by example, Lauder is currently building a home of his own in the center of Beersheba.
With all of his initiatives supporting Israel’s prosperity and defending the global Jewish community, Lauder’s ultimate dream is a peaceful Middle East – led by the region’s progressive, moderate nations, with Israel at the center.
As Lauder continues working toward his vision for the Jewish world, the Middle East and the State of Israel, he plans to devote himself relentlessly to the fulfillment of that dream for many years to come.