Mark Leibler, his ‘lobby’ and their legacy

In the morning of a warm late summer’s day last year, Mark Leibler is getting­ ready to travel to Israel. We are sitting at a small table in his office, but he is oblivious to the sweeping views of the city that shimmers in the sunlight.

This trip is the first of three visit­s to Israel Leibler will make in 2019 — this first one in summer, another in midwinter and the last one in spring. He has made these visits for 25 years, ever since he was elected to the two major inter­national Jewish organisa­tions that help determine how the substantial sums of money raised in diaspora communities will be spent on projects in Israel and, increasingl­y, in diaspora Jewish communities, especially the six-million-strong US community.

Even when he is in Israel, when his days are packed with meetings, he will be in constant touch with his office at Arnold Bloch Leibler, where he has been a partner for almost 50 years. He will take and make calls at any time of the day and night, talking to Jewish­ community leaders and Indigenous leaders who regularly seek him out for advice. Leibler is a man of many parts and he has learnt to move across these parts — from lawyer to Jewish leader to activist on behalf of Indigenous causes — so that each part enriches the others.

Read the article by Michael Gawenda in The Australian.

[This is an edited extract of The Powerbroker by Michael Gawenda, published by Monash University Publishing, out today. The book will be launched at 6pm on Monday by Julia Gillard and Noel Pearson.]