Steinberg dies at Ritz

A WELL-respected member of Manchester’s Jewish community has died in a London hotel room.

The Jewish Community Online reports that Lord Leonard Steinberg died at the Ritz Hotel, where he had been staying before attending the House of Lords.

The politician-cum-entrepreneur was 73 when he died suddenly in the room in which he was stopping.

Manchester Chevra Kadisha escorted Lord Steinberg’s body back to Hale, where he had lived for some years.

His funeral took place at Dunham Lawn Cemetery on Thursday 5 November 2009.

Leonard Steinberg, who was born in Belfast, was the president of the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel (NIFI) and a Tory life peer.

He became a successful businessman in Northern Ireland thanks to the gambling trade, founding Stanley Leisure.

In 1977 he moved to Liverpool after the IRA shot him for refusing to pay them for protection.

Lord Steinberg sold his business to William Hill and the Genting Group in 2005. The Sunday Times ‘Rich List’ estimated in 2009 that his fortune was worth £90m.

He was not only a successful businessman but also a pillar of the community, presiding over the Jewish Federation, the UJIA’s Manchester branch and Lancashire County Cricket Club. He was also chairman at his local synagogue in Hale.

“Leonard was a popular and active member of the House of Lords, and a good friend to the Conservative Party,” David Cameron, Tory leader, told The Jewish Community Online.

“He regularly offered me his sage advice and words of wisdom, which were always gratefully received.

“My thoughts and prayers – and the condolences of the whole party – go out to Beryl and Leonard’s family at this very difficult and sad time.”

Steven Jaffe, NIFI co-chair, said: “Lord Steinberg was amongst the first to offer us his support when we put together our initial plans for NIFI and he came to Belfast to preside at our launch at Stormont in March.

“Everyone present that night could see his obvious pride in outlining the many historical connections between Northern Ireland and Israel. We were honoured that he agreed to become our president.

“Although he left Belfast to live in England many years ago Lord Steinberg remained a Northern Irish Jew. He said that NIFI brought together two of the most important strands of his life – love of his native Northern Ireland and love of Israel.”

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