Josef Buchmann, Patron
In January, 2008, Mr. Josef Buchmann flew 90 students of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University to the United Nations in New York City. There, under the baton of Zubin Mehta, the young musicians performed a concert marking the UN International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust.
For Mr. Buchmann the event brought him full circle. From a young orphan liberated from the Bergen-Belsen death camp in 1945, Buchmann stood on the world stage, the proud sponsor of a project symbolizing Jewish continuity, Israeli cultural impact, and educational excellence.
Buchmann’s Jewish and social commitment, and his drive to simply help people, define an extraordinary life as international businessman and philanthropist. He was born in Lodz, Poland, the fifth child of Eliezer and Haya Sara Buchmann. Most of his family was killed by the Nazis, but he survived the concentration camps to become a successful real estate developer.
Buchmann has supported numerous medical, welfare, educational and arts-related organizations in Europe and Israel for decades. He has been a longtime benefactor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and his close friendship with Zubin Mehta led to the establishment of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University in cooperation with the IPO. He contributed the Josef Buchmann Children’s Hospital in Frankfurt and the Buchmann Gynecology and Maternity Center, Sheba Medical Center, and Buchmann Wing, Sourasky Medical Center, in Israel. Among his other causes are Jewish museums, Soviet aliyah and soldier welfare in Israel, as well as education and daily hot meals for children in Tel Aviv.
In August 2009, Mr. Buchmann was decorated with the “Commanders Cross with Star” of the Polish Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, as part of the Survivors Park celebrations on the 65th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto. Buchmann spearheaded the renewal of the cemetery of the Lodz Ghetto, partnered in the Lodz Ghetto Memorial at Radegast Station, and provided day-to-day care for elderly Jewish survivors.
At Tel Aviv University, in addition to establishing the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Buchmann founded the Josef Buchmann Doctoral Fellowship Fund; co-sponsored the European Documentation Center; and dedicated the Buchmann Faculty of Law in memory of his parents who perished in the Holocaust. His latest project at TAU is the establishment of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music International Program for Outstanding Foreign Music Students.
Josef Buchmann serves as Vice Chairman of the Tel Aviv University Board of Governors. Among his many accolades, he was awarded a TAU honorary doctorate in 2002, and was recognized by Prime Ministers Itzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon for his contributions to the State of Israel. For his extraordinary devotion to Israel and achievements, he was given a special prize by the late President Ezer Weizman on the occasion of the state’s 50th jubilee, and was again acknowledged by President Shimon Peres during the country’s 60th anniversary celebrations.