Donate Now

In Gratitude: Robert Dorfman

2015 Yakir Keren Hayesod Award recipient

Hong Kong

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at a festive ceremony held in Jerusalem, the Yakir Keren Hayesod award was bestowed upon Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal Hong Kong Campaign Chairman, Robert Dorfman. During this moving evening, a short video clip produced in his honor was screened, with Amb. Reuven Merhav, former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who served also as Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong, saying warm words of praise about him. Robert and the three other 2015 Yakir KH Award recipients were personally congratulated by both President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom they met earlier that day.

Robert’s great grandparents travelled the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Russia to Harbin, Manchuria where three of his grandparents were born. Robert’s parents were both born in China and attended the Tientsin Jewish School. They remained in China throughout World War II, living under Japanese occupation. After the Communist takeover in 1949, the family left China for Tokyo, as Japan which was quickly becoming the business centre of Asia following the US occupation.
Robert was born in Tokyo in October, 1954 and the family moved to Hong Kong in early 1956. Robert’s primary and secondary schooling was in Hong Kong. He later attended the University of Washington in Seattle receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Relations in 1976.

He then returned to Hong Kong to join the family business. Today, Herald Holdings Ltd
is a public listed company quoted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company has four business units engaged in the manufacture and global distribution of toys, timepieces, housewares and computer components. Although publicly listed, Robert’s family and a Hong Kong Chinese family who have been their partners for almost 60 years, remain the controlling shareholders.

Robert became involved in the UIA Hong Kong Campaign in 1983 under the leadership of the late Eric Beare. Eric was Robert’s mentor in his early Jewish community involvement and Robert credits him in “reawakening the Jewish flame that burns within me”. In the late 1980s, after having served in a number of Jewish community leadership positions, the late Lord Kadoorie invited Robert to become a Trustee of the Ohel Leah Synagogue Charity.

In addition to his Jewish community and business involvement, Robert served for 10 years (1999-2009) as Chairman of the Vision 2047 Foundation, a group of longterm Hong Kong residents who promote Hong Kong as Asia’s regional business centre. The group regularly meets with visiting business leaders, academics, journalists and politicians to brief them on developments in Hong Kong and China. Robert has also been a very active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (“YPO”)
and has served in local, regional and international leadership. In addition to serving twice on YPO’s International Board of Directors, he has also served as Chairman of WPO, the graduate organization of YPO. For his services to YPO, in 2010 he was the recipient of the Hickok Award, the Organization’s highest honour. Robert is married to Sheri, an American from Philadelphia who came to Hong Kong as an exchange student in the 1970s and has been active in journalism and theatre. They have two children, Carly (29) and Justin (27). Carly is a teacher at Carmel School, Hong Kong’s Jewish day school and has a Master’s degree in Special and Inclusive Education.
Justin, who recently got married, lives in San Francisco and is an investor and employee of Traackr, a social media analytics start-up.

Robert says he is grateful for the opportunity to live a full life and has yet to meet anyone who is more optimistic than he is.
The worldwide family of Keren Hayesod-UIA sends its congratulations to Robert upon receiving the 2015 Yakir Keren Hayesod Award.
Thanks again for all that you have achieved until now, dear Robert, and best wishes for many more years of good health and happiness with your loved ones, as well as continued activity on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people!

For his vision, his extraordinary leadership and his unwavering dedication, Robert Dorfman is a worthy recipient of the Yakir Keren Hayesod Award.

Robert Dorfman

Proudly showing the Yakir Award, as KH leadership and Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Danny Danon, show their appreciation. From left to right: KH-UIA Director-General, Greg Masel; KH-UIA World Board of Trustees Chairman,  David KoschitzkyMinister Danon;  KH-UIA Honorary President, Julia Koschitzky; KH-UIA World Chairman, Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg and Robert Dorfman 


Robert Dorfman

Robert Dorfman addresses the audience.