Senior Jewish representatives from Britain and Israel paid tribute to former UJIA chairman Brian Kerner at a Jerusalem memorial event this week.
Kerner, who passed away in January, established some of the British Jewish community’s foremost initiatives, helping to set up both the Jewish Leadership Council and the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM).
In Jerusalem this week, guests included former Israeli ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor and Jewish Agency chair Isaac Herzog, who recalled how Kerner was once on the Board of Governors of the organisation he now leads.
Kerner’s widow Sylvia and son Stefan also attended to hear tributes to his “warmth, humour and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people” from former friends and colleagues.
UJIA chair Louise Jacobs said an under-construction auditorium at the School of Nursing in Tzfat would be named in Kerner’s honour.
“Brian was a giant of our community,” she said. “He set the standard for Jewish leadership. He did so much for UJIA and while we miss him and mourn him, it is impossible not to smile when we remember him. His humour and warmth were infectious.”
She added: “Brian’s name will remain a byword for passion, dedication and love for the people of Israel.”
A further memorial event will be taking place later this month at the Emirates Stadium, because Kerner was an avowed Arsenal fan.