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Lord Sieff, Philanthropist, Zionist, Leading Businessman, Dies at 83

February 15, 1972
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Lord Sieff of Brimpton, a leading businessman, philanthropist, Jewish scholar and one of Dr. Chaim Weizmann’s intimate Zionist circle before the Balfour Declaration, died here this afternoon at the age of 83. At the time of his death. Lord Sieff was honorary president of the British Zionist Federation, vice president of the World Jewish Congress and president of Marks a Spencer, a major retail establishment.

During his long career he rendered distinguished service on both the Jewish and general levels serving at various times as the vice chairman, chairman and president of political and economic planning and as a member of the House of Lords. Born Moses Sieff in Manchester, the son of a well-to-do businessman from Lithuania, Lord Sieff was educated at the Manchester Grammar School and the University of Manchester.

Lord Sieff was acknowledged to have been one of the most effective members of Dr. Weizmann’s intimate circle in the early days of political Zionism. In 1918 he was a member of the Zionist Commission that visited Palestine to survey the prospects for implementation of the Balfour Declaration which called for the establishment of a Jewish national home. Lord Sieff continued his Zionist activities up to the time of his death and was responsible for large-scale philanthropic work on behalf of Jewish development in Palestine and later in Israel.

He and his wife, the former Rebecca Marks, founded the Daniel Sieff Institute at Rehovoth which subsequently developed into the Weizmann Institute of Science and is today a component part of the Weizmann Institute. Lord Sieff was an honorary fellow of the Institute and a member of its Board of Governors. He also devoted years of service to the World Jewish Congress as a vice-president and as chairman of its European executive. He was instrumental in transferring the Institute of Jewish Affairs from New York to London and its development here as an important Jewish institution of research and publication.

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