Published On: Fri, Dec 26th, 2014

Staunch Israel Supporter and Philanthropist Guilford Glazer Dies at 93

Guilford Glazer

Guilford Glazer, a strong supporter of Israel, leading Los Angeles philanthropist and real estate developer, died in his Beverly Hills home on Dec. 23, the Jewish Journal said.

Glazer, 93, was well known for his support of Israeli universities, including Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, among other causes, and for his friendships with prominent Israeli leaders, from Israeli Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, to Yitzhak Rabin and Benjamin Netanyahu, the report said.

Glazer was born in 1921 in Knoxville, Tenn. He was one of eight children, and he attributed his love of philanthropy to his parents, who taught him the value of giving despite the fact that the family was not wealthy, the Journal said.

Glazer’s devotion to philanthropy sprang from his success in the business world. John Fishel, a “friend of the Glazers who assisted with their philanthropic endeavors, ” said in an interview that he estimated that Glazer had donated “tens of millions of dollars” over the course of his lifetime.

“And he continued up until the day he passed away to be annually giving more to a variety of causes that he felt very passionate about, ” said Fishel, a former president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

“It was very clear when he gave his tzedakah he wanted to know it would actually make a difference. He thought out of the box about how he gave his philanthropy. It was a hands-on approach. He never just wrote a check. He wanted to know it would make a difference, ” Fishel said.

The Glazers co-founded the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University (TAU). Glazer also held an honorary doctorate from TAU and is the founder of American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU), which cultivates donor relations for TAU in the Diaspora, the Journal said.

He was also the principal supporter of the business school at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, which is known as the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management at Ben-Gurion University, the report said.

Additionally, several years ago, Glazer and his wife of 47 years, Diane Pregerson Glazer, created the Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute of Jewish Studies at Pepperdine University. Fishel said Glazer’s commitment to Pepperdine, a Christian school, stemmed from Glazer’s upbringing in the Bible Belt, where his family was a religious minority.

Meanwhile, his relationship with Israel dates back to the formation of the Jewish state. He even brought an Israeli delegation, including Meir, to inspect a water system in Knoxville, Tenn. He counted retired Israeli diplomat Avi Pazner among his close friends, according to the Journal.

Glazer is survived by his wife, Diane Pregerson Glazer, his two children, Emerson and Erika, and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 26 at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

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