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KADOORIE, family with large business interests in the Far East, known for its philanthropy. The founder of the family, ṢĀLIḤ KADOORIE (d. 1876), was a well-known philanthropist in *Baghdad. His sons, SIR ELLIS (1865–1922) and SIR ELLY SILAS (1867–1944), were born in Baghdad. At the end of the 19th century they settled in *Hong Kong, developing their business in *Shanghai and other cities. Sir Ellis endowed a chair in physics at Hong Kong University and bequeathed funds for the building of two agricultural schools for Jews and Arabs in Mesopotamia. He also contributed generously to the Anglo-Jewish Association for education. He and his brother also established schools in Baghdad and Bombay. Sir Elly, an active Zionist from 1900, was president of the Palestine Foundation Fund in Shanghai and established agricultural schools in Palestine, as well as contributing a large sum toward the construction of the Hebrew University. In Baghdad in 1911 he established a school in honor of his wife Laura Kadoorie, as well as a girls' sewing school in 1922, also named after her; he set up an ophthalmic hospital in 1924 which was named after his mother Rima, with a trust for its maintenance. In 1935 he built a training school for the blind and in 1926 a club for women. In both *Basra and Mosul he founded separate schools for boys and girls, as well as a girls' sewing school. In 1934 he established in Kirkuk a school for boys and two schools for girls. He was knighted in 1926. His sons, BARON LAWRENCE (see next entry) (1899–1993) and SIR HORACE (1902–1995), continued their father's widespread business activities in Hong Kong. In 1951 they established the Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund, which has assisted over 300,000 Chinese refugees. They also gave substantial support to the small Hong Kong Jewish community. A knighthood was conferred on Lawrence in the 1974 New Year Honours List for his manifold civic and philanthropic services in Hong Kong, and in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours he was made a life peer.


Simmonds, in: Le Judaïsme Sephardi (Jan. 1965), 1274, 1276 (Eng.); A. Ben-Jacob, Yehudei Bavel (1965), 179–81.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.