Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 23 APR 2014
10:18 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Jewish philanthropist, Seagram executive Edgar Bronfman dies
Agence France Presse
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 1983 file photo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, and Edgar Bronfman, center, president of the World Jewish Congress, meet with American Jewish leaders in Washington. Bronfman, a Canadian born billionaire and longtime World Jewish Congress president died Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in New York, at the age of 84. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 1983 file photo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, and Edgar Bronfman, center, president of the World Jewish Congress, meet with American Jewish leaders in Washington. Bronfman, a Canadian born billionaire and longtime World Jewish Congress president died Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in New York, at the age of 84. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma, File)
A+ A-

NEW YORK: Edgar Bronfman Sr., the former Seagram liquor company executive and ex-World Jewish Congress head who helped obtain restitution for Holocaust victims from Swiss banks, has died, the family foundation said.

The 84-year-old Bronfman, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, died of natural causes at his home in New York on Saturday, the Samuel Bronfman Foundation said.

As the head of the WJC between 1979 and 2007, Bronfman obtained more than one billion dollars in restitution for Holocaust victims and their heirs from Swiss banks.

Bronfman "was an ardent campaigner against anti-Semitism and all forms of racism" who "advocated for a better understanding between different faiths and peoples," said WJC President Ronald Lauder.

For decades "Edgar was Diaspora Jewry's undisputed leader. He was a household name wherever he went," Lauder said in a statement.

Bronfman was the son of Samuel Bronfman, a Jew who fled the pogroms of eastern Europe to Canada and made a fortune producing liquor at distilleries across the border during the US prohibition era.

The Bronfmans bought the Seagram distillery, and Edgar Bronfman was a company senior executive in the 1950s and 1960s, and became chairman when his father died in 1971.

Under his leadership Seagram made millions by expanding its investments into other companies such as oil and gas giant Conoco and chemical giant Du Pont.

Seagram was later sold off to buyers that included French group Vivendi in 2000.

Bronfman's interest in Judaism was bolstered by a 1970 trip he took to the Soviet Union as part of a delegation advocating for greater rights for Soviet Jews.

Bronfman was "a titan of industry that dedicated himself fully to advocating, advancing and encouraging the Jewish people," wrote Dana Raucher, executive director of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation.

He was "a giant among Jewish leaders" who was "deeply committed to making Judaism relevant to all those who were seeking it. He sought to build a big tent, open for vigorous debate, impassioned questioning, and full of joy."

 
Home International
 
     
 
United States of America
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS