Brazil honours Samuel Malamud zl


15 August 2008 Brazil honours Samuel Malamud zl The enormous contribution of Samuel Malamud a co-founder of ORT Brazil and former vice-president of World ORT to the Jewish community has been remembered at a ceremony in the ORT High School of Rio de Janeiro. Mr Malamud, an iconic figure in Brazils Jewish community, was Vice-President of World ORT from 1980 to 1990 and an Honorary Vice-President from 1990 to 2000. He died at the age of 92 with his passport in his pocket in preparation for his journey to Jerusalem for the World ORT General Assembly, said ORT Brazil Director Hugo Malajovich. Addressing the ceremony marking the centenary of Mr Malamuds birth, in Ukraine, Mr Malajovich said: In more than 128 years of existence, World ORT has come through wars, persecutions and the Holocaust. This achievement is not simply the result of a survival instinct, it is a model of continuity, a tribute to the dedication of generations of leaders such as Samuel Malamud who believed human progress would be achieved through improving education. After arriving in Brazil as a teenager, Mr Malamud completed his education and developed parallel careers in the law and journalism. In 1943 he co-founded ORT Brazil to help Jewish refugees acquire the sought after skills that would bring them financial security in their new home. He remained President of ORT Brazil until his death, except for a period when he was Israels first honorary consul in Brazil. Another speaker, Israel Klabin, remembered Mr Malamuds contribution to the foundation of the State of Israel not least his skilful lobbying of the Brazilian government to support the United Nations partition of the British Mandate. Historian Paulo Geiger told the ceremony of the symbiotic relationship between his Brazilian and Jewish identities. Mr Malamud was, he said, A Brazilian, a Jew and a Zionist Brazilian. Mr Malajovich, who worked with Mr Malamud for 25 years, remembered accompanying him on many meetings with government ministers and other VIPs and being struck by the brilliance with which he handled the discussions. Fluent in Hebrew, English, Portuguese, Russian, French and Spanish, Mr Malamud cut a distinguished figure, his trademark white suits topped by a head of white hair. At the World ORT centenary in Jerusalem in 1980, we were waiting for then Prime Minister Menachem Begin to arrive, Mr Malajovich recalled. While we were waiting, Samuel asked to speak and made a very moving address in Yiddish. He noted how ORT had grown out of a Yiddish-speaking culture and called on the organisation not to forget the significance of the mama loshen. Many people, in particular older ladies, were in tears. He knew when to speak and how to speak. As a member of the generation which, particularly during and soon after the war, set up all the communal organisations operating in Brazils Jewish community, Mr Malamuds centenary commemoration was organised not only by ORT Brazil but also by the Jewish Federation, the Jewish Museum and WIZO, as well his family. Jewish Museum President Max Nahmia, WIZO President Silene Balassiano, Jewish Federation President Sergio Niskier, ORT Brazil President Armando Klabin, and Mr Malamuds daughter, Ilana Strozenberg, also participated in the ceremony. In a goodwill message sent to participants, World ORT President Dr Jean de Gunzburg said: It is indeed a mitzvah to organise a ceremony to honour such a wonderful and great person.