JULES KRONIS, z”l
(1943 – 2023)
On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, Canadian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem lost their long-serving President, Jules Kronis, z”l
He was the beloved husband of Frances Kronis for 50 years. He was the loving father and father-in-law to Tamara Kronis and Martin Traub-Werner, Jennifer and Jeremy Simon, and Dr. Sarah Kronis and Yaacov Artom. Jules was Zaidy to Sam and Joel, Av and Maya, and Avishai, Judah and Nadav. He took enormous pride in the accomplishments of his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. He was also son-in-law of Rae Tobias and the late Albert Tobias z”l.
Jules led an incredible life that constantly amazed and delighted him. Despite his many successes and the influential business and high ranking political leaders he knew, and who sought his guidance and counsel, Jules remained a humble man. He appreciated everything he had and he knew the value and importance of giving back to those less fortunate.
He was the only child of Sam and Anne Kronis, z”l. He grew up on College Street in Toronto with his parents and his grandmother Fanny Finklestone. His maternal grandmother came to Canada alone with an eight year old and a 14 year old. His paternal grandparents were also immigrants who settled in the ‘Junction’ in Toronto. He had a large family with many cousins who he always described as the sisters and brothers he never had.
Because of the economic insecurities of his youth, he was driven to achieve financial success. He got his first job at the age of 11 selling programs at Maple Leaf Gardens which he did for 16 years. Jules knew that education was the key to a better life for his family. He graduated from Harbord Collegiate, then obtained both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1969. Jules was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1981. He was a founding partner of the law firm Kronis, Rotsztain, Margles, Cappel LLP (KRMC). He was also involved in the Toronto legal community and he served as legal counsel to various synagogues, charities and non-profit organizations.
Jules received many awards, and he was particularly proud of being both a King’s Counsel and a Queen Scout.
Jules was very active in politics for over 50 years. He threw his energy into numerous local, provincial and national campaigns for the Conservative Party.
Giving back to the community was an integral part of Jules’ life. He was an advocate for the Jewish community in Canada and beyond. Jules worked tirelessly for many, many causes and charities. Over the years he was involved with AZA of BBYO, B’nai Brith, Hillel, State of Israel Bonds, B’nai Brith Canada, Toronto Board of the Jewish National Fund, Canadian Jewish Congress, Toronto Board of Jewish Education, Magen David Adom, Nishma, Adath Israel Synagogue and Knesseth Israel Synagogue (Junction Shul).
There was one organization, however, that in Jules’ own words was “dear to my heart” and that was Canadian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem. Education was always something that Jules valued. He knew that education was the key that unlocked his own success. He was a boy with a limited background who – because of education — became a young man with unlimited opportunities.
Since its founding in 1948, Boys Town Jerusalem has pursued that mission – turning young boys from limited backgrounds into young men with limitless futures. From Junior High through the college level, the three part curriculum at Boys Town – academic, technological and Torah – is designed to turn otherwise disadvantaged Israeli youth into productive citizens of tomorrow. Today, Boys Town Jerusalem is one of Israel’s premier institutions for educating the country’s next generation of leaders in the fields of technology, commerce, education, the military and public service.
The campus, located on 18 acres in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem, is a home away from home for its more than 960 students. At the school they are provided not only with an education but also accommodation, meals, physical activities and emotional support. This year, Boys Town celebrates its 75th anniversary. Since its founding, there have been more than 7,500 graduates who now hold key positions throughout Israeli society and beyond.
For almost 20 years, Canadian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem was so very honoured, fortunate and grateful to have Jules as its leader. The organization benefitted from his generosity, his time, his guidance and his kindness.
He will be fondly remembered by the entire Boys Town Family and his legacy will live on in the accomplishments of the students in which he took great pride and satisfaction.