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In Gratitude: Luiz Jayme Zaborowsky

2012 Yakir Award recipient

São Paulo, Brazil

On June 18, 2012, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, our dear friend Luiz brazil.pngJayme Zaborowsky was awarded the 2012 Yakir Keren Hayesod Award by President Shimon Peres and KH leadership

Zaborowsky with peres

Mr. and Mrs. Zaborowsky with President Peres, at the Yakir Ceremony

Raised in a very Zionist family – his father founded the Magbit in Sao Paulo in 1948 – Luiz Jayme Zaborowsky has been an activist for decades, before becoming Campaign Chairman in 1998. Together with his wife, Sara, he imbued his sons and grandsons with dedication to Israel and the Jewish people. They, too, are today KH/Fundo Communitario activists, providing an impressive example of Jewish continuity.

Luiz Jayme Zaborowsky

Luiz Jayme Zaborowsky with the Yakir Award and from left to right: Greg Masel, KH Director general; Julia Koschitzky, KH Honorary President ; Moodi Sandberg, KH World Chairman and Yohanna Arbib-Perugia – Chair, KH World Board of Trustees

For close to 50 years, Luiz Jayme Zaborowsky has been working non-stop for Keren Hayesod, Israel and the Jewish people. In São Paulo he is known as “the fireman”, because every time there has been any kind of problem over the years, Luiz has come and solved it, with seeming effortlessness. His specialty is making peace, no matter what the situation.

His father, Marcos Zaborowsky z”l, a proud Polish-born Jew, immigrated to Brazil in 1929 at the age of 25. In 1948, he founded, together with several friends, Magbit São Paulo. This small group of pioneers did important work on behalf of the newborn State of Israel and built one of the oldest and most important Campaigns in the world.

Luiz was born in 1936 in São Paulo. He grew up in the Jewish neighborhood of Bom Retiro and studied at the Jewish school, the Talmud Torah. He was very active in the Betar youth movement. He completed his university degree in economics and qualified as an accountant, becoming a very important and well-known businessman in the textile industry.

Luiz married Sara in 1957. She has been constantly at his side, everywhere and in any new challenge. They have four children: Mauro, Gilberto, Ligia and Rosanne, and 12 grandchildren.

Luiz remembers the years 1965 to 1980, which was a period of rampant anti-Semitism in Brazil. He and other young friends became involved in “Bitachon”; he remembers nostalgically how they would patrol synagogues and Jewish schools to ensure the safety of the community.

Luiz visited Israel for the first of what would be many times in 1972. In 1998, as President of Fundo Comunitario Keren Hayesod São Paulo, he came to Israel specifically to honor his friend Henrique Rosset, co-founder of Magbit São Paulo, upon receiving the Yakir Prize. He served as president of Magbit São Paulo from 1998 to 2000, doing an excellent job and achieving outstanding results.

Zaborowsky

Mr. Zaborowsky addresses the audience at the Yakir Ceremony

In 2008, “Zabo”, as he is called affectionately by all, was very proud to lead the March of the Living in Poland as part of a group of 85 leaders from Brazil. Afterwards, they celebrated Israel’s 60th anniversary in Jerusalem, on a special Keren Hayesod mission. He has met with many Israeli leaders, among them Moshe Sharett, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres and is always present at every Keren Hayesod event, whether in Israel, Punta del Este or elsewhere.

Perhaps most notable in a life dedicated to Jewish causes is the fact that not only was his father the founder of the Keren Hayesod in São Paulo, but that his children and grandchildren have also become askanim (activists) on behalf of Israel. A few months ago, his grandson Marcos held a reception for a Dor Hemshech (Young Leadership) group at his home. As we say in Hebrew, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

For his leadership, generosity and unswerving devotion to Israel and its people, Luiz Jayme Zaborowsky is most deserving of being a Yakir Keren Hayesod Award recipient.