Special Issue #403

Issue #403 – 9 February 2011 / 5 Adar I 5771



As the World Union opens its 35th biennial convention, Connections 2011, in San Francisco, it mourns the death of Raymond Burton, a generous and long-time benefactor, who died on February 5 at  his home in Cape Town. He was 93.

“In his many years of support for the World Union, Raymond's accomplishments include his endowment, together with his twin brother Arnold, of the Hugo Gryn Conference Level at Mercaz Shimshon-Beit Shmuel in Jerusalem. He was also personally involved in founding and securing a building for Congregation Shaarei Shalom in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“A devoted member of the West London Synagogue and a regular worshipper there, Raymond built the synagogue library and was the congregation’s honorary life vice president.

“After a long business career spent leading Burton's and founding the British conglomerate Arcadia, Raymond retired in 1982 to devote the rest of his life to his family and his philanthropic activities. Apart from his devotion to Progressive Judaism, he established libraries and endowed professorships, especially in his native York. The Jewish Museum in London is housed in Raymond Burton House, a tribute to his leadership and generosity to the museum.

“In addition to his wife Diana, Raymond is survived by two daughters from his marriage to his late first wife, Pam – Lady Harriet Milmes-Coates and Jane Ingham, both of York and London – and by many devoted grandchildren.  Also surviving him is Arnold, of York.

“Privileged to have been his rabbi and personal friend, I join the wide circle of Raymond's mourners who experienced his love, his vision, his exuberant optimism, and his blessed generosity during the long course of his life. The memory of this righteous man will forever
be a blessing.”

Rabbi Mark L. Winer
Senior Scholar, West London Synagogue of British Jews
Vice Chairman, World Union for Progressive Judaism

"Raymond Burton was a beloved benefactor of our projects in Israel and the FSU. He fulfilled in his lifetime the biblical dictum: ‘Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do with all your might’ (Ecclesiastes).

“He was a person of self effacing modesty and profound commitment to Jewish values. Yehi zichrono baruch – may his memory be for a blessing."

Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch
Honorary Life President, World Union for Progressive Judaism 


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