About Us / Founders
Charles Bronfman takes a year to decide
Charles Bronfman – Chairman
As Chairman of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, Mr. Bronfman oversees a family of charitable foundations in Israel, Canada and the United States. He is the Co-Founder of Birthright Israel, a highly regarded program created as a gift from one generation to the next, providing an educational travel experience to Israel for young Jewish adults.
Mr. Bronfman has spent much of his life as an active businessman. Following a 50-year career with The Seagram Company Limited, he retired in 2001 as Co-Chairman. For 22 years he was the Chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos, the first Major League Baseball club to exist outside of the United States, which was subsequently sold in 1991.
Over a memorable 24-hour period in 1992, he was honored by making the ceremonial first pitch at the World Series in Toronto, the first such contest ever to be played outside the United States. The following afternoon at the Governor General’s residence, he became a Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and later that evening was elevated to Companion of the Order of Canada, that country’s highest civilian honor.
Mr. Bronfman holds honorary degrees from universities located in Canada, the U.S. and Israel. In 1999, he was appointed the first Chairman of United Jewish Communities, now the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Mr. Bronfman currently sits on the boards of trustees of Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York), the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (Montreal), and Historica Canada (Toronto). He is also a member of the board of directors of the Israel Policy Forum, and chairs its Advisory Council.
Andrea M. Bronfman
Andrea (Andy) M. Bronfman, z"l, co-chair of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies (ACBP), passed away Monday, January 23, 2006 as the result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Through her leadership at ACBP and numerous other philanthropic endeavors, she was a shaping force in initiatives aimed at strengthening Jewish identity worldwide, with a focus on Jewish youth, the arts and education. In 2003, she and her husband, Charles, were named honorary citizens of Jerusalem, the first North American Jews and the first couple to receive this historic honor. Andrea Bronfman was 60 years old.
Known to friends and colleagues as Andy, Mrs. Bronfman also served as Founder and Deputy Chairman of The Gift of New York, a non-profit initiative which provided admission to New York City’s cultural, arts, entertainment and sports venues, without charge, to the bereaved families of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The program, intended to give solace to the grieving families, ran through the spring of 2003 and served 12,000 families.
In 2003, she founded AIDA: The Association for Israel’s Decorative Arts, a vehicle designed to expose Israeli artists to North American galleries and collectors, as well as to educate North Americans about decorative arts in Israel. Charles Bronfman established The Andrea M. Bronfman Prize for the Arts (“The Andy”) to honor his wife’s life-long passion for and support of the arts, and to create a showcase for Israeli decorative artists.
Andrea M. Bronfman inherited her love of Israel from her parents and her love of art from her mother. Her father, Hyam, was, for many years, a leader of the United Joint Israel Appeal of Great Britain. Her mother, Doris, was the founder of the British Friends of the Museums of Israel. Andrea Bronfman devoted much of her energies to fostering their interest in Jewish identity, community and meaning, both in North America and in Israel.
She and Charles Bronfman were co-founders of birthright israel, a program offering 18-26 year-olds their first Jewish living and learning experience in Israel. In just 6 years, almost 100,000 participants have benefited from this program.
“There was an undeniable force that seemed to emanate from Andy and make good things happen for many, many people,” said Jeffrey Solomon, President of ACBP. “She derived much of that energy from the young people whom she made it her purpose to serve.”
Mrs. Bronfman was on the Board of Directors of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc., New York; The Jewish Museum, New York. In her capacity as National Co-Chair of the Canadian Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth, Andy Bronfman created and directed a national cultural project, “A Coat of Many Colours: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada,” a major traveling exhibition with a companion book and film. Her commitment to human rights and fundamental freedom led her to found the “Group of 35” – Montreal Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry. The “35s” played an active role in alerting both the Canadian government and the public at large to the plight of Soviet Jewry.
Born in London in 1945, Andy Bronfman moved to Canada as a young bride where she lived until 1998, when she and her husband, Charles, moved to New York City. In May of 2000, she was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy, Honoris Causa, from Tel Aviv University.
Andrea Bronfman is survived by her husband, Charles; her son Jeremy Cohen and his wife Marci, and their children, Danielle, Scott, and Talia; her daughter Pippa Cohen; her son Tony Cohen and his wife Moira; her beloved stepchildren Stephen Bronfman and his wife Claudine, and their children Alexandra, Sam, Olivia, and Isabella; and Ellen Bronfman and her husband Andrew Hauptman, and their children Lila and Zack; and her sister Marcia (Kappy) Flanders.