JEWISHCARE has described a bequest it received from the late Jewish philanthropist Julie Lowy as “one of the largest bequests our community has seen”.
Lowy, who passed away in August 2019, aged 97, has left a whopping $25 million to the organisation. Her legacy changed many lives as well as the cultural landscape of Sydney.
“We are honoured to have received this bequest,” JewishCare president Jason Sandler said.
“It will enable JewishCare to continue to fulfil its role as the major service provider in the community while greatly reducing the organisation’s annual allocation from JCA.
“The JewishCare Foundation Trust was formed in 2011 with the aim of making JewishCare more self-reliant, and Julie’s generosity will help this to become a reality.”
JewishCare CEO Gary Groves added, “The financial generosity of people like Julie, as well as our 500 volunteers and 300 dedicated staff, enables us to provide a wide range of high-quality services now and into the future, of which our community can be very proud.”
Born Julianna Szilas in Budapest, Hungary, in September 1922, Lowy and her family were victims of two extreme political systems – the Nazis and then Hungary’s communist regime.
She married Pista (Stephen) in January 1949 and they immigrated to Sydney in 1957.
After arriving, the couple established the Rhapsody Cafe in Kings Cross followed by the Cosmopolitan in Double Bay, helping to establish the area as an epicentre of the Hungarian community.
They also opened the Glenview Hotel on the North Shore together with Ervin and Lotte Vidor, its Bellevue Restaurant becoming well known for its high-quality European food and musical evenings with Hungarian Gypsy players.
Despite their commercial success the couple chose to live a comfortable but never extravagant life.
In the 1970s she became involved with the Liberal Party.
Former prime minister John Howard said, “Julie Lowy was a generous and enthusiastic supporter of the Liberal Party.
“She and her husband were great examples of people who put the horror and persecution of wartime Europe behind them and built impressive and happy lives in Australia.”
She received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2001 for service to the Jewish community, and to the support of charitable organisations.
“Julianna had a beautiful and undemanding presence and a sincere kindness,” JewishCare immediate past president Allan Vidor said.
“She touched so many lives and was always concerned with the welfare of others, always avoiding any focus on herself.
“Not only will her bequest help JewishCare to help people in need, but equally importantly, it demonstrates the faith and trust that the community has in JewishCare.”