Another Bronfman Makes His Mark

By Nathaniel Popper

Published April 15, 2005, issue of April 15, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Adam Bronfman is not the only Bronfman busy making a name for himself these days. In the past three months, Adam’s older brother, Matthew, has acquired two major Israeli businesses, joined the leadership of the World Jewish Congress and gotten married.

The biggest headlines have been grabbed by Matthew’s successful bid for the Israeli franchise of the furniture store Ikea and his purchase of a 26% stake in Israel Discount Bank, Israel’s third largest bank, which was being sold as part of the Israeli government’s privatization plans.

Matthew teamed up with an ultra-Orthodox partner, Shalom Fischer, to buy the 75% share in Ikea’s Israeli franchise for $37 million — a deal that closed in late March. Currently there is one Ikea in Israel, with more on the way. For the stake in Discount Bank, he led a group that paid $300 million in January. According to the Israeli newspaper Globes, the Bronfman stake in Discount Bank is jointly owned by Matthew, Adam, their sister Holly and their father, Edgar Bronfman Sr.

The negotiations over the bank had to be delayed briefly for Matthew’s wedding in January to Stacey Kaye. After the purchases, The Jerusalem Post wrote that he “seems to be on an empire-building crusade in recent months.”

In the philanthropic world, Matthew, who lives in New York, is the past president of the 92nd Street Y. But his entry into the World Jewish Congress is his first major move into his father’s philanthropic territory. Edgar Bronfman Sr. has been president of the WJC for decades. Matthew joined the organization only in the last year. Matthew’s entry came as critics were blasting the WJC over a controversial bank account, and for being controlled too narrowly by Edgar Sr. and his deputy, Israel Singer. In the midst of a cleanup effort, Matthew was named to a newly formed finance committee in January.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.