A businessman's outlook, dedication to advancing the common
welfare, and the considerablet importance that he attached to the
acquisition of knowledge, were the underlying factors that led Moshe
Schnitzer to establish a foundation for research on the Israeli
economy and society at Bar-Ilan University. This decision was made
with the active support and continuing encouragement of his late
Moshe Schnitzer was born in Chernovitz, Romania in 1921
and immigrated to Israel at the age of 13. In 1942, when he was
20 years old, circumstances forced him to discontinue his studies
in history and philosophy at the Hebrew University and he began
to work as a sawer in the newly developing diamond industry, which
had just been established in Palestine. His progress in the sector
was rapid. Before long he had become works manager and subsequently
was elected chairman of the Union of Mangers and Clerks. In 1967,
Moshe Schnitzer became President of the Israel Diamond Exchange,
a post to which he was elected repeatedly, until his retirement
in 1993. In the course of his long period as president, the exchange
developed from a relatively marginal organization in the international
market, to the world's largest, most modern and leading exchange.
Moshe Schnitzer served as the president of the World Federation
of Diamond Bourses, which plays a central role in leading the
diamond exchanges throughout the world.
The widespread recognition of Moshe Schnitzer is to be
seen in the many public positions he has held and honors received.
Moshe Schnitzer has served as chairman of the Harry Oppenheimer
Diamond Museum, life-time honorary president of the Israel Diamond
Exchange, life-time honorary president of the World Federation
of Diamond Bourses and a director of Bank Leumi (1988-1998). He
was awarded an honorary doctorate from Bar-Ilan University, in
appreciation of the diamond industry's contribution to the Israeli
economy and to increasing exports. He was decorated with the Order
of Leopold I, one of the leading royal orders in Belgium, in recognition
of his activities for the promotion of the diamond industry in
Israel and in Belgium; he received a special award for his life
work from the US diamond industry. In 2004 Mr Moshe Schnitzer
was awarded the
Israel Prize for lifetime achievement in recognition of his
contribution to Israeli society and the state.
He passed away in August 2007, at the age of 86.