Sigmund Sternberg

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Sir Sigmund Sternberg, (born June 2, 1921, dies 18 October 2016), was a Hungarian-born British philanthropist, entrepreneur and Zionist, known for his interfaith work. [1]

Sternberg, the former Chairman of Isys plc, gave £100,000 to the Labour Party in May 2001. He has also given large donations in 1977 and 1979 and spent more than £5,000 on "tickets for dinners" in 1998.

Isys plc is a software company which includes IBM, NatWest, Halifax, Abbey National, National Power, GlaxoWellcome and BAE Systems among its clients. Sir Sigmund Sternberg is also the Chairman of Martin Slowe Estates Ltd (a property development company) and founder of the Commodities Research Unit (one of the largest commodity consultancies in the world). He is a fellow of the Institute of Directors and is Vice President of the Labour Finance and Industry Group (he was Deputy Chairman from 1972-93).[2]

In 2004, Sigmund Sternberg withdrew the Sternberg Interfaith Prize from being given to Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain. This was as a result of Sacranie's denunciation of Israeli policies as "ethnic cleansing". [3]


In July 2015, Sternberg donated £3,000 to support Andy Burnham's campaign to succeed Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party.[4]

Reform Judaism

Despite his Orthodox origins, Sternberg joined the then RSGB after his divorce. He was a congregant at Alyth Gardens Synagogue and later became President of the Movement for Reform Judaism. He was also the principal sponsor of the Sternberg Centre for Judaism, in Finchley, north London, the largest Jewish cultural centre in Europe.[5]

Interfaith Work

An obituary in the JC states:

In the late 1970s, he was directed towards the field of endeavour that was to play a leading role in his life, after being asked by the then president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews to “save” the Council of Christians and Jews.
Interfaith activities were to become his passion and the main source of his renown...
Sternberg had long believed that interfaith dialogue should be extended to include Muslims and in 1997 set up the Three Faiths Forum with Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi and the Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke, a cause to which he remained passionately committed.[5]



  1. Sir Sigmund Sternberg Encyclopedia Britannica, accessed 8 August 2013
  2. Taken from 'Sigmund Sternberg' available through search function on
  3. Dominic Casciani, UK Muslim loses top peace award, BBC News, 1 June 2004.
  4. The Register of Members' Financial Interests: Part 1(as at 13th July 2015) - Andy Burnham, accessed 21 July 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1