LONDON, June 14 (JTA) — Sir Sidney Hamburger, a leading British Zionist who was known as “Mr. Manchester Jewry,” died June 7 at the age of 86.
Britain’s Orthodox Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, described Hamburger as “one of the best loved and most admired figures within the Anglo-Jewish community.”
He was also widely respected in the non-Jewish world.
A political leader with a particular interest in health care and the aged, Hamburger was a key figure in efforts to rebuild the city of Manchester after World War II.
The Manchester Evening News said Hamburger was instrumental in “the city’s struggle to free itself from the stranglehold of 19th-century ugliness.”
Hamburger was active in organizations such as the Manchester Jewish Homes for the Aged and Manchester’s branch of the Joint Israel Appeal.
Starting in 1979, he was a governor of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev for more than 20 years.
The child of immigrants from czarist Russia, Hamburger was active in the Manchester Council for Soviet Jewry in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Manchester Friends of Lithuanian Jewry from 1997 until his death.
He is survived by his wife, Lady Gertrude, three sons and daughters-in-law and several grandchildren.