Mortimer Propp, a philanthropist who was the last living founder of the United Jewish Appeal, died on April 24. A resident of Mamaroneck and Manhattan, he was 95.
Mr. Propp, a supporter of several local and national Jewish causes, was the chairman of early campaigns to rescue endangered Yemenite Jews, a decade before Israel’s Operation Magic Carpet brought the historic Jewish community to safety in 1949-50. The Yemenite Jewish Federation of America honored Mr. Propp’s activities at a gala dinner in 1999. He also helped many Jews leave Nazi Germany prior to World War II and the founding of UJA.
A native of New York City, he founded at age 16 the Interscholastic League of Jewish Youth (Habonim), which was a forerunner of the Orthodox
Union’s NCSY organization.
Later he studied at Columbia University and served in the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps during World War II. After the war, he joined his family’s real estate and manufacturing business.
A founder of the Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck, he served as president of the advisory council of the New York Board of Rabbis and was an active member of several Jewish institutions, including Yeshiva University and American Friends of Bar-Ilan University. He served on the board of directors of UJA-Federation of New York.
“The Propp family embraced a philanthropic tradition for decades that continues with the next generation,” a death notice by UJA-Federation stated. “The commitment and generosity of Mortimer and his dear wife, Enia, strengthened our ability to serve those in need.”
Besides his wife, Eugenie, Mr. Propp is survived by a son, Morris; a daughter, Helen Heller; a grandson, Jack Heller; a granddaughter, Adrienne Propp; and a brother, Ephraim.