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Lionel Black

Birthplace: Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Death: April 2016 (95)
Place of Burial: Dunham Lawn Cemetery
Immediate Family:

Son of Ben Black and Hetty Rubens
Husband of Private
Father of Private and Private
Brother of Private and Muriel Rubens

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Lionel Black


A LIFE president of UJIA has died after a long illness.

Lionel Black, 94, first became involved with Israel at the beginning of the Six-Day War.

He left his office for three weeks and organised the management of money which was pouring into Mamlock House — the then home of Manchester Zionism.

Mr Black went on to become a chairman of JIA, which later became UJIA, for more than 10 years.

“He felt it was a tremendous responsibility for Jews to support and engage with Israel,” said son Keith Black, who followed in his father’s footsteps in becoming Manchester UJIA chairman.

“He was an active canvasser and had a great partnership with Norman Feingold (a well-known Manchester Zionist activist).

“My dad would welcome Israeli dignitaries into our home when they came to Manchester, people such as Abba Eban, Shimon Peres and Moshe Dayan.

“He also led lots of missions to Israel, including one straight after the Yom Kippur War, in 1973. My father was the dominant leader of UJIA in Manchester.”

Mr Feingold, who now lives in Netanya, described him as “simply one of God’s gentleman”.

He told the Jewish Telegraph: “Lionel was a clever and decisive man. He was a positive thinker and a great worker for Israel — Lionel was fantastic.

“I was campaigns chairman for JIA and we worked and canvassed together.”

Mr Black, who was born in Cheetham Hill in 1921, went to the Manchester Grammar School.

After studying accountancy, he was drafted into General Bernard Montgomery’s Eighth Army and fought in El Alamein and Tobruk in North Africa as a Desert Rat.

He then joined the Allies in Italy, but caught malaria and yellow fever and spent several months in hospital in Rome.

Mr Black ended up being invalided back to the UK, where he joined his father Benson’s raincoat manufacturers.

After a few years, he turned it into a brand called Dhobi and imported the first washable raincoat to the UK.

Mr Black married Hillary (nee Sutton) at Manchester Reform Synagogue (Jackson’s Row) in 1954. They had two children, Keith and Joanne Young.

Mr Black and his wife honeymooned in Israel, where they met president David Ben-Gurion while staying at his favourite hotel.

Mr Black went on to float his company on the London Stock Exchange and sold his business, but stayed on to run it for 10 years.

In 1977, he brought Risol Products, a small wholesale business in Chadderton which he turned into an importing business

It became known as Regatta, the group his son runs today.

“My father had a great capacity for building an organisation and knew how to develop it,” said Keith.

“He was always courteous, able and determined — and a deeply genuine person.

“Everybody had huge respect for him — he was a strong leader with a clear sense of responsibility. He saw Israel as a haven for the Jewish people.

“My father had fought the Germans in the war and saw the Jews’ vulnerability.”

Mr Black also served on the Board of Guardians, which later became The Fed.

Joshua Rowe, also a past Manchester UJIA chairman, described him as a “towering figure among Israel supporters and UJIA”.

The King David Schools’ chairman of governors said: “Lionel was a tremendous and lovely person. He was the guiding light of UJIA for many years.”

The funeral took place at Dunham Lawn Cemetery and was conducted by Hale Synagogue’s Rabbi Joel Portnoy.

Source: Jewish Telegraph 15 April 2016

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Lionel Black's Timeline

Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
April 2016
Age 95
Dunham Lawn Cemetery