Reacting to the news of the death of Jewish philanthropist Andrea Bronfman Monday in New York, a number of Israeli politicians praised her wide contributions to Jewish and Israeli causes and expressed sorrow at her passing.
An aide to Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Olmert spoke with Andrea's husband Charles Bronfman on Monday night, shortly after he was notified of her death. The aide said Olmert and his wife Aliza are very close friends of the Bronfman family and that Andrea's passing was "a great loss to the Jewish people."
In a letter to Charles, Sonia and Shimon Peres paid homage to Andrea's "boundless curiosity and refined charisma" and wrote that "no matter where she went, she left the imprint of good taste, Zionist commitment and humane sensitivity."
Labor MK Yuli Tamir called Andrea "a wonderful woman." Since she always remembers her as being "so full of life," Tamir said, the news of her death was all the more shocking.
"She was always optimistic, full of good will," Tamir added. "The thing that stands out the most was her personable [nature]. She was warm. [The Bronfmans] were really part of the Israeli family."
Labor MK Isaac Herzog, who said the Bronfman family knew his parents and grandparents from back in the UK years ago, remembered Andrea's "strong and determined personality." Herzog also noted her "commitment to projects that dealt with Israeli Arabs, and with equality, and with her strong vision."
"We are deeply sorry for her loss," Herzog said. "All her friends here are mourning."
Sheera Claire Frenkel contributed to this report.