Jewish 100, 2015: Ronald Lauder – Philanthropy
President of the World Jewish Congress
The outspoken leader of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, has been instrumental in securing the restitution of Nazi-looted art. In 2015, the philanthropist and art collector received increased attention for his efforts as a result of the film “Woman in Gold,” starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, whose aunt is the subject of the Gustav Klimt work, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which was looted during World War II.
Lauder eventually bought the painting from Altmann and her family for $135 million; it now is the centerpiece of his Neue Galerie in New York, dedicated to German and Austrian art from the early 20th century.
He continues to be involved in other aspects of Jewish life, including rebuilding Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe through the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation.