Passing of Isi Leibler AO CBE
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“The sudden passing of Isi Joseph Leibler AO CBE in Jerusalem, closes a chapter on one of the most remarkable and accomplished periods of Australian Jewish leadership”, said ECAJ president Jillian Segal AO.
“Isi successfully brought passion, intellect, learning and unflinching commitment to so many areas critical to Jewish life both in Australia and on the wider international stage, the likes of which we will probably never see again.”
Isi Leibler, an Honorary Life Member of the ECAJ, was its longest serving President, having held that position for a total of 11 years during the period from 1978 to 1995.
“He is best remembered for his pioneering work to free Soviet Jewry recounted in great and enthralling detail in the 2015 book “Let My People Go – The untold story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89”, co-authored by Sam Lipski and Suzanne Rutland” said Ms Segal.
“That book chronicled the unique Australian perspective of the heroic saga of the struggle for the rights of 3 million Soviet Jews, which had an important side effect by helping to redefine the manner in which the Australian Jewish community and its leadership discharged its role in matters of critical importance to Am Yisrael. Isi Leibler was foremost in that leadership.
“However, his work was much more extensive, and touched all of the critical aspects of Australian Jewish life over many decades and had great impact in the wider fields of politics and business. Suzanne Rutland’s just-published biography “Lone Voice” makes clear the wide range and influence of the many facets of Isi’s public life.
“Australian Jewry is greatly diminished by Isi’s passing. On behalf of the Australian Jewish community to which he gave so much, we convey out heartfelt condolences to Isi’s beloved wife Naomi, their children and grandchildren, Isi’s brothers Mark and Allan and their families, and to the whole Leibler family in Australia and Israel. May his memory be a blessing”