From a renewed interest in his Jewish “roots” after his father’s death in 1986, Bruce Block has become a firm supporter of JNF’s work in Israel.
Born in Mosman, Sydney in 1929, to Nellie and Abraham Block, Bruce has had a remarkable professional career spanning work as an accountant in Sydney to 23 years with the Royal Australian Air Force, leaving with the rank of Wing Commander. Bruce served with the RAAF in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia. Soon after, Bruce became Bursar of a private school in Canberra establishing a Foundation to help the school expand. At the same time, he brought a small cattle property beginning his “love affair” with the famous French cattle breed, Limousin.
After some years he relocated to a larger rather dilapidated property in country NSW where he has lived for the last 30 or so years and continues to live today. Attracted by its favourable climate, Bruce worked day and night to build the farm into a highly successful Limousin breeding operation. Today, Bruce’s farm is lush, immaculately kept and abundant with flora and fauna, including a lagoon with platypus and eels – a credit to his hard work and determination. He also concluded an agreement with the NSW state government reserving 50 acres as a Conservation area.
Bruce, aged 88, retired in 2015 from full time work and now enjoys having more time for his hobbies, in particular, model railroading. He has made models of railroads from all over the world which together occupy some 185 square metres! It was an absolute joy to see the incredible creations that Bruce has ingeniously laboured through years of dedication – his most recent masterpiece featuring Israeli State Railways on an agricultural kibbutz.
Bruce has many motivations for his support for Israel through the JNF. A visit to Israel in 1994 introduced Bruce to the work being done by the JNF to support local communities with afforestation and water reclamation projects. He has been a committed supporter of the JNF and other charities supporting Israel since that time. Bruce’s support for the JNF and other Jewish charities has also been motivated by his concern about the rise of anti-semitism in Australia.
Bruce Block believes in supporting worthwhile causes when help is needed. “I strongly believe in contributing to charities whilst alive. In doing this, I am able to gain valuable insight into their activities and needs and can distribute funds accordingly. As a retired grazier, I have sufficient funds to meet my own needs and the rest can be used for deserving causes. I believe this is an example that others should follow.”
In addition to the support that Bruce continues to give to the JNF and numerous other charities, Bruce has decided to leave a gift in his Will to the JNF. Thanks to supporters of JNF like Bruce, future generations in Israel will continue to receive valuable help for the many vital projects that develop and sustain their communities.