Max Shnider
19/06/2012
​Melbourne, Australia
An example for all to follow
 

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 We meet Max Shnider at the KH World Headquarters on a hot June day, but it seems that nothing can suppress his energy and vigour.  Max is making his annual trip to Israel and we chat about his decades of leadership at UIA Victoria and UIA Australia in general. "I started working for Keren Hayesod in 1968", he recalls.  "Everybody was euphoric after the Six-Day War and the liberation of Jerusalem".  Max became a first-line leader in no time, was amongst the founders of Partnership 2000 and established the partnership between UIA  Australia and Central Arava, which is still active and producing impressive results.


Max has very deep roots in Israel:  his father's family settled here in the 19th century, and his mother's ancestors came already in the 18th. His parents relocated to Australia when he was a baby, but as he puts it: "Every trip to Israel is like coming home".


To Max, the issue of Jewish continuity is central. "For my generation, supporting Israel was as natural as breathing. For my children and grandchildren, it's also natural, because of my connection to Israel. They have visited the country and are in close contact with their family here. The younger generations, however, are acculturated and the dichotomy between their nationality, the country they live in, and their responsibility to Israel becomes ever more apparent.  You see that very strongly in the USA, for instance". Max says that he is "afraid that without some concrete way of tying the new generations to Israel, they will lose their personal connection to the Jewish state".  This is exactly where Keren Hayesod steps in, however. "Keren Hayesod has all those important projects about aliyah and Jewish continuity. Once you stabilize that bond, things will keep going on a steady basis".

The long relationship between Max Shnider and Keren Hayesod is very strong: "Personally, I've had an enormous amount of satisfaction working for KH, and not only as a donor; it's a very rewarding feeling to know that you've been doing something useful with your life. KH has kept me young, mentally alert, and with a good reason to get out of my bed in the morning".


Max was awarded the Yakir Keren Hayesod Award in 2000. A honourary life Governor of UIA Australia, he is still at the forefront of support for Israel. The worldwide family of Keren Hayesod thanks him for decades of generosity, leadership and vision and wishes him many more years of continuing all his endeavours in good health!