(1931 - )
Charles Rosner Bronfman, PC , CC (born June 27, 1931 in Montreal) is a Canadian business man and philanthropist.
He is the fifth richest person in Canada, with a net worth of US$2.2 billion (according to Forbes ). His fortune comes from the family liquor business. He was the majority owner of the Montreal Expos franchise in Major League Baseball from the team's formation in 1968 until 1990.
He is the son of Samuel and Saidye Bronfman; his siblings are Minda, architecture maven Phyllis, and Edgar. He is the uncle of Edgar Bronfman, Jr.
Bronfman was educated at Selwyn House School in Montreal, Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, and McGill University.
He and Michael Steinhardt, co-founded Birthright Israel, a program which provides an educational travel experience to Israel for young Jewish adults aged 18 to 26. Bronfman is Chairman of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies Inc., a family of charitable foundations operating in Israel, the U.S.A. and Canada.
Since November 1997 Bronfman has been the Chairman of the Board of Koor Industries Ltd., one of Israel's largest investment holding companies. He is the co-chairman of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. From 1999 to 2001, Bronfman was the first Chairman of the United Jewish Communities, the merged North American organization comprising United Jewish Appeal, the Council of Jewish Federations and United Israel Appeal. He is a former Co-Chairman of the Seagram Company Ltd.
He is married to Andrea Morrison, and between them, have 5 children and 4 grandchildren.
In 2002 his children, Stephen and Ellen, launched the Charles Bronfman Prize, which awards money to those doing most to advance Jewish causes.
In today’s world, Charles Bronfman is probably best known for his role as Co-Chairman of birthright Israel international. This highly successful program, created as a gift from one generation to the next, provides an educational travel experience to Israel for young Jewish adults aged 18 to 26. He is Chairman of Koor Industries Ltd., one of Israel's largest industrial holding companies. Prior to the December 2000 formation of Vivendi Universal, he was Co-Chairman of The Seagram Company Ltd. and had served as Chairman of the Executive Committee since 1975. In addition, he was Chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos Baseball Club from 1968 to 1990.
As Chairman of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies Inc., Mr. Bronfman oversees a family of charitable foundations. Through ACBP in the USA, Keren Karev in Israel, and The CRB Foundation in Canada, all demonstrate their commitment to young people by supporting programs that help them strengthen their knowledge and appreciation of their history, heritage and cultural identity. In the United States and Israel, the programs funded by the Bronfman Philanthropies support the unity of the Jewish people, whose soul is in Jerusalem.
In Canada, efforts to encourage a stronger sense of national identity are encompassed through major support of two organizations: The McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, which he Co-Chairs, and Historica, an organization created in 1998 dedicated to Canadian history education, of which he is Founding Co-Chair. The latter was formed with a significant grant from The CRB Foundation that was matched well ahead of schedule by other Canadian funders.
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. At noon the next day, in Ottawa, he became a Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and later that evening was inducted as a Companion of the Order of Canada. Mr. Bronfman has been awarded five honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Canada, the United States, and Israel.
In 2002, Mr. and Mrs. Bronfman were awarded Honorary Citizenship of Jerusalem. They were the second and third North Americans ever to receive this honor. Until then, there had only been forty-four recipients, mainly former Prime Ministers, Presidents and major academic figures of the State of Israel.
From 1999 to 2001, he served as the first Chairman of the United Jewish Communities, the merged North American entity comprised of United Jewish Appeal, the Council of Jewish Federations and United Israel Appeal. He is Honorary President, United Israel Appeal of Canada, and Honorary Chairman of CLAL - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He serves as Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada; is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York; and Brandeis University. Mr. Bronfman also sits on the Board of Directors of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Palm Beach and has been a member of the International Advisory Council of Power Corporation of Canada since 1988.