Moshe Ronen is a Toronto-based lawyer, international business advisor and prominent community leader. Mr. Ronen is Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress, National Chair of the Canada-Israel Committee and head of its special Missions Committee. By age 20, he was a well-known human rights activist, and later was the youngest president the Canadian Jewish Congress ever elected.
Mr. Ronen was educated at Toronto’s Associated Hebrew School and The Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto. He obtained a degree in political science and economics from York University and a law degree from the University of Windsor.
Mr. Ronen began his volunteer communal work in the 1970s when elected head of the Jewish Students’ Network, a national activist campus movement which represented students across Canada and the U.S. He later joined the World Jewish Congress Executive. In the interests of world Jewry and human rights, he has traveled to the former Soviet Union, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Latvia and India.
He advocated with Avital Sharansky for the release of her husband, Natan, and other prisoners of Zion and was active most notably at the first American-Russian super-summit, between Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in the 1980s. In conjunction with Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, he led an international student protest to then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s 1985 visit to Bitburg, Germany’s cemetery which contained Nazi SS graves.
He has worked closely on public advocacy for Israel with a number of the country’s prime ministers, cabinet ministers and opposition leaders. He also has organized missions to Israel with Canadian government (federal, provincial and municipal), business, labour and ethnocultural community leaders.
Mr. Ronen is a charismatic public speaker, noted debater and media commentator on Middle East issues and public affairs. In 1996 Moshe was recognized by the Jewish National Fund with its prestigious Jerusalem of Gold Award for his outstanding communal service. Two years later, the Government of Ontario recognized him with a Volunteer Service Award, presented to that province’s most outstanding community leaders.
In early 1999, as President of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Mr. Ronen, a child of Holocaust survivors, together with his father, Mordechai, accompanied Canada’s Prime Minister on an official visit to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. Later, under Mr. Ronen’s leadership, Holocaust memorialization in Canada achieved a major success when each Canadian province officially legislated and recognized Yom Hashoah as the day to remember and educate about the Holocaust.
Mr. Ronen is a member of the Board of Directors of two leading schools, the North York General Hospital, and several other major charities and institutions.
Mr. Ronen is a director of First Capital Realty Corporation, a growth-oriented publicly traded Canadian real estate developer and holding company with a growing shopping centre portfolio as well as a member of the Advisory Board of Skylink Aviation Group of Companies Inc., which specializes in emergency relief operations for the United Nations and many governments.
Mr. Ronen is an advisor to philanthropists Gerald Schwartz, Chairman and CEO of Onex Inc., and Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books and Music Inc., and is their Managing Director for Canada-Israel affairs.
Mr. Ronen is married to Dara, and the couple has two children, Sari and Shye.