AZRIELI, DAVID (1922– ), architect, property developer, philanthropist. Azrieli was born in Makow, Poland. In 1939 he escaped the Nazi invasion of Poland, journeying east into Central Asia before arriving in British Mandate Palestine. Azrieli began architectural studies at the Technion in Haifa but left the program to fight in Israel's 1948 War of Independence.
In 1954 he moved to Montreal. Encouraged by Canada's postwar construction boom, in 1958 Azrieli built four duplexes in suburban Montreal. Thus began what grew into a major development company, Canpro Investments, with commercial holdings across North America and Israel. Azrieli revolutionized shopping in Israel by building Israel's first North American-style mall and transformed urban skylines with state-ofthe-art skyscrapers, including Tel Aviv's Azrieli Center and a commercial development in *Modi'in, a planned community between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
At 73 Azrieli returned to university, earning a master's degree in architecture from Ottawa's Carlton University. Azrieli extended his philanthropic support to architectural and Jewish studies in North America and Israel. Concordia University, Carlton University, Yeshiva University, the Technion, and Tel Aviv University have all benefited from Azrieli's generosity. He was honored with Israel's Jubilee Award and the Order of Canada, the highest award Canada can bestow upon a citizen.
D. Azrieli, One Step Ahead (2001).
[Harold Troper (2nd ed.)]