FRANK Wolf has been remembered as an astute businessman, an important communal figure, a generous donor and a humble and kind family man.
More than 500 people attended the funeral of the community stalwart, who died after a battle with cancer at the age of 64 last Wednesday.
Wolf was a member of the JCA executive, had been chair of the organisation’s status, planning and allocations committees and, in 2012, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the community through a range of Jewish organisations.
He was also a board member and president of North Shore Temple Emanuel, a shule his parents helped establish, and a founder of Abacus, a leading publicly listed property group, in 1996.
His wife Karen said this week that Frank would have been surprised by everyone’s interest in his life. “He was a humble and modest man who never big-noted himself,” she told The AJN.
Despite his desire to remain anonymous within the wider community, Wolf played a pivotal role.
JCA president Stephen Chipkin said his death is a real loss to the JCA and the Jewish community at large.
“His modesty kept him below the radar and so many will be unaware of his huge contribution in leadership roles with JCA over the past 10 years,” Chipkin said.
“The power of Frank’s strategic thinking and his community heart – always working for the best interests of the community – have been of lasting influence and value to all of us.”
JCA CEO Bruce Goldsmith reflected on the fact that he’s only in the job because of Wolf.
“He rang me about 18 months ago and suggested we meet at his office. Pleasantries were over within about a minute and he (strongly) suggested to me that I put my name forward to be the next CEO of JCA,” Goldsmith said.
“Resistance to Frank’s urgings were generally fruitless. Six interviews and two calls from Frank later, I accepted the role.”
Wolf was remembered as an excellent student who completed his Ph.D in accounting and finance in only three years.
He became a partner at Touche Ross, later held senior management roles in the insurance and financial advisory industries, and in 1996 became founding member of Abacus and its managing director a decade later.
Wolf had planned to retire on July 1 this year, on what would have been his 65th birthday.