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Wild to be honored by Israel Bonds
May 20th, 2005
Though Marquette University has been investing in State of Israel Bonds for approximately 15 years, when Robert A. Wild, S.J., became president of the university, he decided it was not only important to invest in Israel, but also to get involved with the local Jewish community.
“I started receiving invitations to [local events sponsored by Israel Bonds],” he said, “and I decided that this would be a good opportunity to meet a variety of people from the Jewish community, some of whom are alumni” of the university.
“I have been regularly attending,” he said, “and have made some really fine friends along the way.”
Wild, 65, will be presented with the “Map of Faith” award at the State of Israel Bonds 30th annual Tribute Award Dinner on Wednesday, June 8, at the Pfister Hotel.
State of Israel Bonds were first offered in 1951, when the Development Corporation for Israel/State of Israel Bonds began operating, according to their Web site. The corporation issued bonds in order bolster Israel’s then fledgling economy. The Israel Bonds program has generated more than $25 billion in development capital for the state.
“We are delighted that Father Robert Wild agreed to serve as this year’s honoree,” said Bonnie Jacobson, Israel Bonds executive director. “He is a man of integrity, talent and vision, a man truly deserving of our praise.”
Wild, who said Marquette purchases one $25,000 bond each year, said the university’s involvement with the bonds is important for several reasons.
“We have kept State of Israel Bonds in our portfolio for quite some time. I think it is a good investment,” he said.
In addition, “we have had many Jewish alumni, and each year we have Jewish students enroll here at Marquette,” he said.
Organized Jewish student involvement is important to Wild, he said. The university’s participation with the State of Israel bonds is “an extension of that” and also said it was a “privilege to be involved with the Milwaukee Jewish community with this cause.”
Moshe Katz, general chairman for State of Israel Bonds, said Wild was selected to be this year’s honoree because he has played a “significant role” in the investment of Israel bonds, and has played a “personal role” by attending “all of our events.”
“To have a Jesuit institution support the state of Israel is a great statement about what Israel is doing, and what Marquette is doing,” Katz said, adding that it demonstrates the “shared goals and values” between them.
According to Martin S. Matsoff, campaign chairman for Wisconsin State of Israel Bonds, non-Jewish universities, businesses, and financial institutions invest in Israel bonds for two main reasons.
They provide “a good rate of return on their investment,” he said, and they “support the only democracy in the Middle East at this time.”
“The participation in the Israel Bond investment program from Wisconsin’s business community is appreciated by all of us who are involved in providing Israel with needed dollars for economic development,” Jacobson said.
Wild, who began serving as the president of Marquette in 1996, was born in Chicago. He has a doctoral degree in New Testament and Christian origins from Harvard University, a master’s degree in classical languages, and a bachelor’s degree in Latin from Loyola University in Chicago.
He has visited Israel three times, once spending a month there during his doctoral studies at Harvard, where he served as an academic guide to a group of priests from Milwaukee.
Wild said he feels “very much honored” by being selected as this year’s honoree. He is “certainly looking forward to celebrating with the admiral people working for the long-term well-being and security of Israel.”
For more information about Israel Bonds or the event, call 414-351-1777 or 800-253-2779.