Music – for a better world
Ted Arison was born in 1924, the son of Vera and Meir Arison, grandson of Moshe and Sarah Arison, who immigrated to Israel in 1882 and settled in Zamarin (Zichron Ya’akov). Ted joined the British Army in the 1940s and fought with the Jewish Brigade in Italy. He later fought in Israel’s War of Independence.
After the war Ted settled in Tel Aviv, and in 1954, after moving the family’s residence to the United States, he began his shipping business. In 1991, Ted returned to Israel and established Arison Holdings, the platform used for the purchase of Bank Hapoalim and many other companies, including Shikun & Binui.
For Ted Arison, business success was not enough. Like his father and grandfather before him, he was committed to helping others and the community. His daughter Shari recalls that throughout his life, her father was guided by an inner voice which said that “a man must give back to the community in which he lives”. In 1981 Ted established the Arison Foundation in the United States, to manage his philanthropic activities. Together with his wife Lin he also established the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, dedicated to assist young artists during the critical time in their artistic studies. Then in 1987 they established the New World Symphony (NWS), designed to advance gifted musicians to leadership positions and lead performers in the world’s most prestigious orchestras and ensembles. After becoming Chairman of the American Committee for the Tel Aviv Foundation, Ted Arison donated the funds necessary to build the Conservatory’s auditorium, which carries his name.
“The secret of my success is based on one small word – excellence. In everything you do, strive to remember this small word. If you will yourself to do something that is less than excellent, know that it is just not enough. And lastly, be optimistic.” (Ted Arison, 1998)
Striving for excellence is the guiding principle of the Ted Arison Family Foundation’s philanthropic activity of throughout Israel. Shari Arison, who managed the Foundation from 1986 to 2007, perceives giving as a great privilege, “… helping others… and helping to make this a better world.”
Following the generous donation for the establishment of the Conservatory’s auditorium (in the 1980s) and the library (in the 1990s) Shari Arison agreed in 2007 to partner with the city of Tel Aviv and fund the establishment of the Conservatory’s new home, a modern facility constructed in compliance with the highest standards of international music houses.
Today Shari’s son Jason, grandson of Ted, serves as Chairman of the Family Foundation and is involved in the renewal of the Conservatory. As such, he continues the giving legacy of the Arison family.
Shari Arison at the opening ceremony of the Conservatory library, together with her father Ted and his wife Lin (1992)