BLOCH, ROLF (1930– ), Swiss Jewish community leader. Born into a family of Alsatian origin in Berne, he studied law. His father, Camille Bloch, had built up a chocolate firm in Courtelary, which also produced kosher chocolate.
Rolf Bloch was president of the Berne community between 1975 and 1985. Between 1992 and 2000 he served as president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities. As a moderate figure, he mediated in the clash between American-Jewish organizations and Swiss bankers and politicians in the furor surrounding the assets of Nazi victims. He headed a private foundation endowed by the banks and Swiss industry, distributing 296 million Swiss francs to the victims, 90% of them Jewish. As an able administrator and conciliatory personality he became a popular public figure. The Catholic Faculty of the University of Berne awarded him an honorary Ph.D. for his promotion of Christian-Jewish understanding in Switzerland.
Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz, 2, 496.
[Uri Kaufmann (2nd ed.)]