In addition to Lauder, the Assembly, comprised of delegates from over 70 Jewish communities from around the world, also elected Chella Safra from Brazil to serve as WJC treasurer; David de Rothschild from France as the organization’s chairman of the governing board; Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, as policy council chairman; and Mervyn Smith from South Africa as Policy Council Co-Chair.
“I see this as the top assignment for the Jewish people and I am excited to serve as president of the World Jewish Congress for another four years,” said Lauder.
Lauder has held the position of president since 2007. He has established philanthropic organizations such as the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, an organization dedicated to rebuild Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe.
He has also been actively involved in numerous civic organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish National Fund, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Brandeis University and the Abraham Fund.
From 1986 to 1987, Lauder served as US ambassador to Austria.
David de Rothschild, born Baron David René James de Rothschild, 70, is chairman of Rothschild Continuation Holdings, parent company for all Rothschild banking companies, which are global and currently serve as the world’s 31st oldest bank.
David was born in New York City as a result of his parents escaping the Nazis during the German occupation of France in World War II. His family moved back to France following the liberation where David ultimately took over the family banking business that was able to flourish after Socialists lost power in France.
In 1974, David married the Italian Princess Olimpia Anna Aldobrandini and they currently have four children and live in Normandy.
Chella Safra, 62, was born in Beirut and currently resides in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She has been a leader of the Jewish community in Brazil for the past 40 years and has been involved in Karen Ha’yesod, the Safra Foundation and many other Jewish and non-Jewish philanthropic organizations.
Safra is a member of the Executive Board and the Consulting Board of Karen Ha’yesod of Sao Paolo. She also founded the Women’s Division for the foundation in 1986 and has served as its honorary president since then. Safra was the representative of Brazil at the Jewish Agency in Israel for Karen Ha’yesod and also editor-in-chief of Kol News, a Jewish magazine in Brazil. She was also the president of the Women’s Committee for Social Welfare at the Beit Yaacov Congregation in Sao Paolo.
In addition, Safra also volunteered at B’nai B’rith in Brazil dealing with issues of social welfare. She co-founded Americas Amicas, an NGO dedicated to provide mammograms to help women from disadvantaged backgrounds receive testing for breast cancer.
Chella is married to Moise Safra and have five children and 12 grandchildren. Together they support art museums in Israel and Brazil, in addition to a plethora of other Jewish and non-Jewish philanthropic initiatives.
The WJC Plenary Assembly played host to over 600 delegates and observers from their affiliated Jewish communities and organizations in over 100 countries. It was held in Budapest amid growing anti-Semitism concerns in the country.