Israel Policy Forum is deeply saddened by the passing of Sir James Wolfensohn. Sir James was a dear friend of Israel Policy Forum and was honored at our annual event in 2018 for his longstanding commitment to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, both in his personal and in his professional life.  

Wolfensohn served as President of the World Bank Group (1995-2005) and served as a special envoy for the Gaza disengagement for the Quartet on the Middle East (2005-2006). In her remarks at Israel Policy Forum’s Annual Event in 2018, Israel’s Former Leader of the Opposition Tzipi Livni recounted her time working with Wolfensohn during those years: “We spent hours and hours together during the disengagement from Gaza, it was a difficult time for Israel, lots of problems, sensitive issues, and you were there – thinking about both Israelis and Palestinians and trying to find solutions – so hopeful, investing time and money and being such a friend – I learned so much from you.”

Wolfensohn was also involved in other philanthropic activities. He was an active member of several boards, including Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Rothschild Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Sir James was the recipient of many national and international medals and awards in recognition of his public service and his support for the arts, including the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. We are deeply saddened by his loss and will continue to work towards fulfilling his hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace. We send our condolences and prayers to Sir James’s family at this difficult time.

Watch Sir James Wolfensohn address Israel Policy Forum's 2018 Annual Event: