The Azrieli family continues to oversee the real estate empire patriarch David Azrieli built prior to his death in 2014. Today, two of his daughters hold the reins: Naomi Azrieli is chair of CanPro Investments, the family’s Montreal real estate development company, as well as CEO of the non-profit Azrieli Foundation; Danna Azrieli is chair of Tel Aviv–based Azrieli Group, which owns, among other things, 15 shopping malls across Israel. The company’s IPO was the largest in Israel’s history when it began trading publicly in 2010.
David Azrieli built his vast real estate empire out of nothing after fleeing Nazi persecution in his native Poland. Settling in Montreal in the 1950s, he went into real estate and excelled at it, building such landmarks as the luxury Sofitel Hotel. He was interested in doing more than just owning buildings; he graduated from Carleton University’s School of Architecture in 1997, at the age of 75, and later donated $5.5 million to the program. His Azrieli Foundation focuses on Holocaust education and Jewish cultural preservation, and has also begun funding research into neurodevelopmental disorders and health care in general. In September, the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal opened a cutting edge, multidisciplinary heart centre, thanks to a $26 million donation from the Azrielis—the single largest donation in the hospital’s history.
Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017