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IDI releases biography of Moshe Schnitzer
Schnitzer was fondly referred to as Mr. Diamond
By: Diamond World News Service
Mar 20 2009 12:54PM
Reference: 3644  


The Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies recently published the biography of Moshe Schnitzer, in Tel Aviv, to mark the first anniversary of his passing. The event was well-attended by members of Israel's diamond industry and family and friends of Moshe Schnitzer, who were treated to an exhibition of photos from the recently published biography entitled, “The Diamantaire – Moshe Schnitzer, Founding Father of the Israeli Diamond Industry”. The book has been written by Merav Halperin and published by Yediot Achronot, and is published in Hebrew. It narrates the story of the life and career of the man who was known in Israel and around the world as “Mr. Diamond.” Moti Ganz, IDI Chairman and President of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association, addressed the gathering saying “I made a commitment to commemorate the life and legacy of Moshe Schnitzer. Since he was a man of books and wrote the first book about the diamond industry in 1946, I felt it was fitting to memorialise him in this way.”

The book reveals many little known facts about the diamantaire. From his humble career beginnings in the diamond industry, to his journey in becoming the Deputy Managing Director of the exchange, thus beginning his public career in the Israeli Diamond Industry. In 1967 Schnitzer was first elected President of the Israel Diamond Exchange and served in this position for 25 years. Through his vision, the Israeli diamond center became the largest diamond complex in the world. His eternal optimism enabled him to lead the Israeli Diamond Industry through the many ups and downs experienced by the diamond world during his lifetime.

In 1968 Schnitzer was elected President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and in 1982 became Honorary President. In 2003 he was awarded his country’s highest honor, the Israel Prize, for his life’s work. The book reveals that Schnitzer was a confidant man of many public figures in Israel and around the world, and was sometimes called upon to use his international ties to help Israel’s leaders in sensitive diplomatic matters. Both Yitzhak Rabin and Golda Meir used Schnitzer to transmit messages to the Soviet Union, partly under the guise of diamond transactions.

Schnitzer’s daughter Hanna Gertler, noted her father’s optimism which was such an important element in his leadership, and which is particularly appropriate to these times. She quoted him as saying, “There are highs and lows in this industry, but after the hard times always come better times.”

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