Joseph Hotung

Sir Joseph Hotung, an international private investor, is a member of the Governing Body of the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, and established the Sir Joseph Hotung  Programme for Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East at SOAS.  He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Sir Joseph donated the Joseph E. Hotung Gallery (Asia) at the British Museum,  and serves as a trustee, life fellow and member of the Metropolitan Museum of New York City and of the Visitors Committee of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He served as a trustee of the Asia Society and a director of the East Asian History of Science Foundation.

Sir Joseph received a B.A. Cum Laude from the Catholic University of America, an LLB from the University of London, an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Hong Kong University and an honorary Doctor of Science (Economics) degree from University of London.

Sir Joseph has been involved with many educational, cultural, governmental and charitable organizations in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Sir Joseph served as a director of HSBC Holdings plc from 1991 until 1998, as director of The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited from 1991 until 1996, as director of the Hong Kong Electric Holdings Ltd. from 1984 until 1997 and as director of China & Eastern Investment Company Ltd. from 1989 until 1998.

In Hong Kong, he served as a member of the Judicial Services Commission and the Inland Revenue Board of Review. As a member of Council of the University of Hong Kong, he chaired the Staff Terminal Benefit Scheme and also served as a member of the Finance Committee. He was a founding member of the Business School of the University of Hong Kong. Sir Joseph was also the first Chairman of the Arts Development Council in Hong Kong.

Sir Joseph was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1993.

General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

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Does America really ‘share values’ with today’s Israel?

In the late sixties or early seventies, when I served as the executive head of the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating body for certain social action and interreligious activities of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform national rabbinical and congregational organizations in the United States, I had a private conversation—one of many—with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who was considered the leader of modern Orthodoxy in the United States, if not the world.

Rabbi Soloveitchik had just completed a high-level seminar attended by a select group of rabbis and Christian ministers. I asked him if he would agree to lead another such a seminar on the Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the concept of “kedushat haaretz” (the holiness of the land), and how these are to be differentiated from concepts such as “blut und boden” (blood and land) at the heart of German fascism and other totalitarian regimes.

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