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Profiles in Leadership

Jonathan Lewis: Investing in Israel Bonds is the answer to BDS

Since visiting Israel for the first time in 1967 with his family, Jonathan Lewis instantly developed a strong connection with the country. Amidst the upheavals of the Six‑Day War, witnessing Jordanian soldiers standing guard at the division of Jerusalem, as a young boy, he acutely recognized the dire need to protect and defend Israel’s borders and people.

The London-based real estate lawyerwho is a partner at CMS, cites the conflict as having a major impact on his life, leading him to deepen his desire to stand for Israel’s independence and encourage support whilst as a student with the Union of Jewish Students and as an adult. Jonathan explains, “I went on my first organized tour of Israel when I was 16 and then became heavily involved upon returning from a gap year at the Hebrew University,” continuing that the experience inspired him to take a stance as an “activist and advocate for Israel as a student on UK campuses in the 1970s.”

Jonathan Lewis outside of the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem

Although he frequently travels to Israel and has a home in Herzliya, Jonathandescribes his visits to Israel with the Bonds delegations as a privilege, explaining, “It is fascinating to see the enthusiasm for Israel from so many people from around the world.”

Mr. Lewis with cousinNurit Perez at Ashdod Port

A member of the international board of Israel Bonds, Jonathan perceives the UK Jewish community has recently shifted their appreciation for the Bonds movement in an increasingly positive direction. He acknowledges the importance of fundraising through individual charitable causes, yet illustrates the unique offering presented by Israel bonds. Jonathan elaborates, “When the biggest challenges we face in the UK are the BDS movement and anti-semitism, now is the time when these are best answered by investing in Israel though Israel Bonds, which is the opposite of divesting.”

Firmly committed to the Bonds mission, he further attests, “Bonds present an attractive investment in their own right and people need to understand that this is an investment and not some other form of charitable giving. Once this is understood, I believe that both the Jewish community and institutional investors in the UK will invest significantly in Israel bonds, and this is what I am ambitious to achieve.”

Photos: Jonathan Lewis