The Third president – Avraham Lipschitz, of blessed memory

The Third president – Avraham Lipschitz, of blessed memory

President of the Diamond Exchange from 1958 to 1966

Honorary president of the Diamond Exchange from 1967

Avraham Lipschitz was born in 1907 in the Netherlands, the youngest of seven children.

His father, Chaim Shimon Lipschitz who was born in Cracow (then part of the Austro– Hungarian Empire) was a respected diamond merchant in Amsterdam and Scheveningen in the Netherlands.

Avraham's three elder brothers joined the family business and it was therefore a shock when young Avraham declared that he wasn't willing to undergo the professional training slated for him in Bombay, Rio de Janeiro and New York but rather intended to fulfill his Zionist - Mizrachi education to join the preparatory training and immigrate to Israel as a pioneer.

Avraham was the beloved youngest son and his family had expected that if he could not find his place in the family business – he would at least prove his academic talents and become a famous professor. Avraham's adolescent rebellion brought about an angry year of silence between father and son until the ice was broken and a solution found: Avraham would not immigrate to Israel as a simple laborer but would teach at a school for further education; the profession actually chosen was the dairy products industry.

In 1930, Avraham Lipschitz was granted one of the six immigration certificates awarded to Dutch Jewry and in 1931 he arrived in Israel with his wife.

At first he plowed the soil of Israel and then worked as a valley laborer at the Tnuva Jerusalem Company scathing his hands while washing glass "Kefir" bottles and glass leben (cultured milk) containers.

After leaving the Tnuva Dairies, Avraham opened his own dairy plants on Nahlat Yitzhak and Tchernichovsky Streets in Tel Aviv. The loss of a hand in a traffic accident, disrupted his pioneering dreams and he made his way back to the diamond industry.

In 1958, six hundred members of the Diamond Exchange – at that time situated in Achuzat Bayit Street in Tel Aviv - elected Avraham Lipschitz as third President of the Diamond Exchange.

Avraham Lipschitz founded the Diamond Exchange Aid Fund , dedicated to the memory of his late brother-in-law Pinchas Hollander who died in 1953; in 1961 he also established the Diamond (Insurance) Corporation.

On 24 January 1964, Avraham Lipschitz requested  temporary leave from the Diamond Exchange and Moshe Schnitzer, of blessed memory, replaced him as president for two years.

Avraham returned to the post of President. However, following the death of his brother, he informed the Presidium of the Diamond Exchange, on 28 December 1966, of his desire to resign from this position. Moshe Dankner's proposal to appoint Avraham Lipschitz a lifelong Honorary President was unanimously endorsed.

Avraham Lipschitz passed away in 1992. The Diamond Exchange has perpetuated his memory, naming the Diamond Exchange Trade Hall after him.

From the book "The Jewel in the Crown "by Shira Ami.