The legacy of Isi Leibler

April 19, 2021 by Steven Lowy
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A fearless and uncompromising leader, dedicated to freeing Soviet Jewry and safeguarding their Jewish identities, Isi Leibler AO, of blessed memory, was an outspoken ambassador of the Jewish people and has now left behind an important legacy.

Isi Leibler

For decades, Isi Leibler, served as a dominant Jewish lay leader in Australia and among global Jewry, devoting his time and resources to enhancing the wellbeing of Jewish communities in Australia, as well as playing a leading role in the global campaign on behalf of Soviet Jewry.

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Isi Leibler moved to Australia with his parents before the outbreak of World War II, where he would go on to live in Melbourne, Australia, and later Israel, and assumed various leadership roles within the Australian Jewish community and the global Jewish community.

Isi Leibler led a public campaign, which motivated  Australia to become the first country to raise the issue of the Soviet Jewry movement at the United Nations, while also involving Australia to discuss the human rights issues of Soviet Jewry.

While not directly involved with Keren Hayesod – UIA, Isi Leibler’s work was directly intertwined into the mission and values of Keren Hayesod – UIA. From raising funds to support Israel’s top priorities, such as facilitating rescue operations and Aliyah from the Former Soviet Union, to ensuring that the Jewish people and the Jewish state were always a priority, Isi Leibler demonstrated unwavering support for the most critical areas of Jewish life, the foundation of all of Keren Hayesod-UIA’s work.

Steven Lowy

With a lifetime of Jewish leadership, Isi Leibler instilled within many, particularly those in the Australian Jewish community, a passion and understanding for the importance of working as a network, a community in order to be advocates for communities in need, while inspiring Jewish communities to have a lasting impact on Jewish life and the people of Israel.

Like Isi, his younger brother Mark Leibler is an ardent supporter of the Jewish State, committed to social justice and the betterment of the people of Israel. Mark Leibler currently serves on Keren Hayesod’s Board of Directors and  World Board of Trustees and is a past Chair of Keren Hayesod’s World Board of Trustees.

Isi Leibler and his brother Mark serve as powerful examples of what it means to be “a light unto the nations”. Isi Leibler was an extraordinary leader with unflinching commitments to the Jewish people.

All at Keren Hayesod-UIA wish the Leibler families long life a strength at this most difficult time.

Steven Lowy is the Chairman, Keren Hayesod-UIA World Board of Trustees


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