News

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.

An Intellectual
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.

Leading Educator
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.

Zionist Leader
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.

Community Activist
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.

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