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October 2, 2013 5:19 pm

Israeli-Born Billionaire Idan Ofer Donates £25 Million to London Business School

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Idan and the late Sammy Ofer.

Israeli-born billionaire Idan Ofer donated £25 million to the London Business School, the largest single donation ever made to a UK business school, to be named The Sammy Ofer Centre, in honor of Ofer’s late father, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported.

The high-profile donation from a family known for making large public donations comes a month after South African Jewish billionaire Nathan Kirsh donated £10 million to the LBS.

Ofer, 57, graduated from the LBS with an MBA in the 1980s and went on to build his fortune — today estimated at over £4 billion — in shipping and energy. Ofer and brother Eyal co-own Sammy Ofer Group Monaco, the family business, which boasts the largest fleet of British-flagged ships in the world.

The donation to the LBS was made through the Idan and Batia Ofer Foundation and will fund the redevelopment of the Old Marylebone Town Hall, in central London, acquired in 2012 to become a campus building. Construction work at the site begins next month and it’s expected to be complete by 2016. The building will increase teaching space at the LBS by 70 per cent.

In a statement, Ofer said: “My father considered investment in education to have the highest return for the company. He invested heavily in education at the individual and institutional level, and I am proud to continue this tradition. One of the goals is to ensure the next generation of Israeli entrepreneurs is equipped to cope with the challenges of globalisation. The LBS is at the forefront of helping to meet these challenges. The Foundation hopes in this small way to contribute to economic growth in the region, ultimately improving the prospects for peace and stability.”

Ofer’s brother Eyal made headlines when he donated £10 million to London’s Tate Modern Museum, through the Eyal Ofer Family Foundation, this year, the Jewish Chronicle said, adding that there is a wing at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich named after Sammy Ofer, who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, after his £20 million donation in 2008.

Ofer, who was the richest man in Israel before moving to London this year with his wife Batia, sparked a debate on tax evasion in Israel when he moved away.

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  • he has done well indeed. he need to be praise. I want him to sponsor my feather education in London for me, by the way I am a Ghanaian.

  • RMM

    It really doesn’t matter how much the Arabs contribute to school, hospitals, libraries, etc. Does anyone NOT know who are the “people of the book?”

    Welcome, Arabs, to the world of the book. It has been waiting for you a long, long time. Start reading – from the beginning. You have a lot of reading waiting for you.

    Wait till you get to the part where you find out that Arabs, like Jews, are SEMITES.

  • What a waste. He should fund Middle East Chairs in Universities round the world to counteract Saudi’s donations in this realm. This is why many academics and students support BDS of Israel. This guy is like a Soros.

  • H Fragman

    Dan makes an excellent point. Jews keep funding buildings that will bear their names. The Arabs have spread their false narrative by funding departments and chairs which gives them direct access to students.

  • a great big bit ! less is more. !

  • BethesdaDog

    Why such a small donation? It is a pittance compared to the donation to the Technion by the Hong Kong businessman?

    Israel is where the action is when it comes to entrepreneurship and innovation, not London.

  • Steven

    Will the students here be marching through the streets exclaiming “we are all Israelis now” as they do for Hezbollah? Doubt it

  • mhloutsidebeltway

    This donation is typical of most charitable contributions by wealthy Jews – they give primarily if not only to non-Jewish/non-Israeli causes. It was bad enough that the Ofers became yordim and absconded to London to avoid paying Israeli taxes. Now they had to add fuel to the fire by making a huge contribution to an incredibly wealthy school that serves neither the interests of Jews or Israel. Please in the future spare us any news of the Ofers.

    • A school should serve only the interest of its students… not those of a power, foreign or domestic.

  • Dan

    Any stipulations on what they teach? Perhaps a bit less anti-Israel content in the curricula?