Dr. Leon Kronitz Memorial Fund Established at ATID
A scholarship fund, to help enable young educators to participate in the ATID Fellowship
program for personel and professional development has been established by family members
of the late Dr. Leon Kronitz. This is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life
to improving the state of Jewish education.
Leon Kronitz was born in Kletzk, Poland in 1917 where he studied at the Kletzker
Yeshiva with Rabbi Aaron Kotler. Rabbi Kotler recognized Dr. Kronitz's intellectual
strengths at an early age. Later, Dr. Kronitz received his teacher's diploma from the
Tarbut Teachers Seminary in Vilna. Immediately upon immigrating to Canada in 1938,
barely speaking English, Dr. Kronitz enrolled at McGill University receiving his B.A.
in 1944. His doctorate in education was received from The Jewish Theological Seminary.
A leading authority on Jewish day school education, Dr. Kronitz was the founding
principal of Herzliah High School in Montreal in 1945-1948, and later principal of
Shaare Zion Academy (later Solomon Schechter Academy) in 1955-1972. He was very active
in promoting the use of Hebrew among all elements of the Jewish community and helped
found Camp Massad, the first Hebrew-speaking camp in Canada, and served as its director.
He was active in attaining government funding for the Jewish day schools in Quebec and
was one of the first five Jewish representatives to be appointed by the Government of
Quebec to the Protestant School Board of Montreal. Dr. Kronitz founded the Canadian
Zionist Federation's Department of Education, the first such department with no split
between Orthodox and other streams of Judaism. Dr. Kronitz edited two children's books,
one on Haim Nachman Bialik, whose works Dr. Kronitz knew by heart.
Dr. Kronitz was one of the founders of the Canadian Zionist Federation, serving as its
first deputy president and in 1972 accepted the call of the World Chairman of the WZO
to serve as its executive vice president until his death in 1985. In addition, he was
editor of the Canadian Zionist, a monthly publication. His strong desire to see Jewish
unity led his pioneering and untiring efforts on behalf of the Zionist Federation.
A life long Zionist, Dr. Kronitz served as President of the Labor Zionist Organization
of Canada for three terms and established the well known journal Viewpoints, serving as
chairman of its editorial board. He was an active member of the Actions Committee of the
World Zionist Organization and attended many of the Zionist Congresses.
Among his many community positions, Dr. Kronitz was Chairman of the Canadian Jewish
Congress and Honorary Vice-President of the Jewish National Fund. On the international
level, Dr. Kronitz served as Chairman of the Cultural Commission of the World Jewish
Congress and a member of its Board of Governors. He was also a member of the inner
secretariat of the World Labor Zionist Movement. Dr. Kronitz was known for his wisdom
and served as an advisor and confidante of many of the Israeli leaders in their
relationship with the Diaspora. Dr. Kronitz was a gifted orator in Yiddish, Hebrew and
English and was a much sought after speaker at community events across Canada.
Notwithstanding his many community commitments and his drive to serve the Jewish people
and State, Dr. Kronitz was a dedicated family man who derived the greatest pleasure
from being together with family.