In the early 1980s, David Azrieli decided to bring what he had learned about construction, design and development to Israel. In 1985, he opened Israel’s first enclosed shopping centre in Ramat Gan – the Canion Ayalon – setting off a revolution in the finance and retailing industry in the country. From there he continued until he forever changed the Tel Aviv skyline in 1998 when he opened the Azrieli Center – an iconic and striking landmark that is the largest mixed-use commercial complex in the Middle East.
Today, his creativity in building and design can be seen in imaginative office towers, hotels and shopping centres in Canada, the United States and Israel.
David Azrieli’s unparalleled professional success in both Canada and Israel mirrored his deep love and devotion to both countries. “I have two homelands,” he once said, “two places I love and where I have been blessed to do what I love best. My opportunity to express myself professionally started in Canada and eventually let me fulfill my dream of making a contribution to my other homeland, Israel. The two have always been entwined.”
Personally and through the Azrieli Foundation (Canada-Israel), David Azrieli generously supported numerous initiatives, most notably in the fields of education, architecture and design, Holocaust education, developmental disabilities, scientific and medical research and the arts.
On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, David Azrieli, a member of the Order of Canada, l’Ordre national du Québec and Ne’eman Yealshal, died at the age of 92.
Today, the Azrieli Foundation continues and expands on his legacy.