KURT AND EDITH Rothschild with David Koschitzky (center), the chairman of the Canadian Jewish community’s central advocacy organization – the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) – and the center’s CEO, Shimon K. Fogel (Photo: Philip Touito)
By Greer Fay Cashman, The Jerusalem Post, Friday February 15, 2013
AMONG THE many well-known personalities who were in the Jerusalem audience to listen to Rabbi Sacks of England this week was World Mizrahi President Kurt Rothschild, who made aliya with his wife, Edith, a year ago. Rothschild, who was long regarded as the elder statesman of the Canadian Jewish community, is a generous philanthropist who sits on the boards of Bar-Ilan University, Yeshiva University and Shaare Zedek Medical Center. He has been president of the Canadian Zionist Federation and has been active in the field of Jewish education in Canada, the United States and Israel. He has also been closely involved with the establishment of religious settlements in the Negev.
He and his wife were honored this week by the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs when 20 members of the CIJA board of directors came to Jerusalem for three days of concentrated meetings with leaders of all Israeli political parties, key representatives of the defense establishment, academic experts and leaders of settlements and other communities. Among the prominent Israelis who met with the CIJA leadership were MKs Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett, Yair Shamir, Moshe “Bogi” Ya’alon, Yuval Steinitz, Yuli Edelstein and Avi Dichter and Isaac Herzog, and Natan Sharansky, Yaacov Amidror, Ron Dermer, Prof. Yedidia Stern and Rabbi David Stav of Tzohar.
The CIJA board, at its opening dinner, paid to tribute the Rothschilds for their many decades of community service and philanthropic leadership and also enjoyed a spirited debate between Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Steve Linde and his Haaretz counterpart, Aluf Benn. Speakers throughout the evening were effusive in their praise of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government’s staunch and principled support for Israel.