We are deeply saddened over the passing of Arthur Obermayer, a devoted advocate and partner in building a more open and inclusive Israel. While his professional career was in the fields of chemistry and biotechnology, Arthur was a leader in promoting progressive Jewish causes. He was a co-founder of Meretz USA (now Partners for Progressive Israel) and in 2000, he co-founded the Obermayer German-Jewish History Awards, which recognizes non-Jewish Germans who have worked to document their town’s Jewish past. In 2007, Arthur was the recipient of Germany’s highest honor, the Cross of the Order of Merit, for creating his award; and in 2015, he, along with his wife Judith, was inducted into the White House’s Small Business Innovation Research Hall of Fame.
Arthur was an early and generous backer of NIF, and remained involved in many Israeli and Palestinian peace and coexistence efforts, both political and social, over the years. Jonathan Cohen, co-founder of NIF, cherished his close relationship with Arthur and remembered him with these words: “Arthur loved Israel — and the New Israel Fund and, with his death, we have lost a dear friend and supporter. Arthur was not only a keen and unwavering supporter, but a mensch; his passion for social justice made him a generous and tireless board member, advocate and colleague. We will miss his compassion, his unique wisdom, his kindness and sensibility.”
May his memory be a blessing.