The Late Bruce Rappaport
Founder and Visionary
Born in 1922 to a family of immigrants from Ukraine, Bruce (Baruch) Rappaport served in the British army and the Israel Defense Forces and was one of the founders of the Israeli Military Police. In his capacity as a lawyer, he helped found the Israeli Military Advocate General and even served as a military judge. After graduating from law school in 1953, he went into business, first founding a small company, Inter-Maritime (International Maritime Supplies), which initially traded in ships’ supplies and later expanded to the leasing of ships. His big break in business came when he won tender to ship oil from Indonesia, leasing a fleet of 20 tankers. From that point, his business crossed an increasing number of borders into Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and more. He later expanded his business into banking, as well as oil exploration and manufacture.
Bruce, together with his wife Ruth, had a unique ability to combine his tremendous success in business with a love for culture and art and with a strong sense of social responsibility. With these great attributes, they devoted themselves to the promotion of culture, science, health and education for the betterment of humanity.
He is famously quoted as saying, "I am God’s treasurer," reflecting his benevolence and deep commitment to the pursuit of improving the human condition.
In 1979, Bruce Rappaport provided the capital required to establish the Technion’s Faculty of Medicine building, adjacent to the Rambam Hospital campus. He later founded the Rappaport Institute for Research at the Technion and stood alongside Professor Avram Hershko and Professor Aaron Ciechanover when they were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2004. He established the Rappaport Center for Culture and Art in Haifa, the Rappaport Center for the Research of Assimilation at Bar Ilan University, and the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Sculpture Gallery at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and subsequently contributed to the expansion of the Museum.
Along with his contributions to Jewish and Israeli institutions, he also supported golf and tennis tournaments throughout the world, and in the 1980s, he funded the building of the National Archives of the State of Antigua and Barbuda.
Bruce passed away in 2010, at the age of 88, and is survived by his wife Ruth, four daughters and their families, all of whom are continuing his legacy and the philanthropic foundation, The Bruce and Ruth Rappaport Foundation, which lives on to disseminate his philosophy.