Vivien Duffield

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Dame Vivien Louise Duffield, (née Clore; born 26 March 1946[1]) is an English philanthropist and Zionist, who regularly supports Zionist groups in the UK and in occupied Palestine, including supporting the infrastructure of settlement in the West Bank.

Life and career

Vivien Louise Clore was the daughter of millionaire businessman and philanthropist Sir Charles Clore and the heroine of the French resistance, the former Francine Halphen.[2]

She was educated at the Lycée Français, Heathfield School and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University where she read modern languages.[3] She has a brother, Alan Evelyn Clore.

Her marriage to British financier John Duffield produced two children, Arabella and George.[4] The marriage ended in divorce in 1976.[2] From 1973 until 2005, she was in a relationship with Sir Jocelyn Stevens, who was managing director of Express Newspapers and Chairman of English Heritage.[1]


After her father's death in 1979, Duffield assumed the Chairmanship of the Clore Foundations in the UK and in Israel. In the UK she also established her own Vivien Duffield Foundation in 1987, and the two foundations merged in 2000 to become the Clore Duffield Foundation.

Duffield's UK Foundation has supported a wide range of organisations including the Royal Opera House, Tate, the Royal Ballet, the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Southbank Centre and Eureka! The National Children's Museum. The Foundation has made a particular contribution to cultural education, having funded dozens of Clore Learning Centres across the UK, and to leadership training, having launched the Clore Leadership Programme for the cultural sector in 2003 and the Clore Social Leadership Programme in 2008.[5]

In addition to the Chairmanship of her Foundation, Duffield was a member of the Board of the Royal Opera House from 1990 to 2001 and is currently Chairman of the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund. She is a Director of the Southbank Centre board and a Governor of the Royal Ballet. From 2007 to 2010 she was Chair of The Campaign for Oxford, Oxford University. She is the founder of JW3, London's new Jewish Community Centre, which opened on the Finchley Road in October 2013.[6] She is Chairman of the Clore Foundation in Israel.

A 2005 London Evening Standard article estimated that she and the Foundations she controls had donated in excess of £176 million. In March 2011, amid heavy Government cuts on the arts, she donated £8.2 million for educational purposes to 11 leading arts institutions.[1] Following her departure from the board of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Duffield subsequently donated £1M to the re-development of the London Coliseum.[7]


Dame Vivien Duffield, one of Britain's most prominent donors to Israel, called the Jewish nation-state law "apartheid" and said that "my Israel has died" in an interview in Hebrew with Haaretz, published on Tuesday. Duffield, 72, is the chairman of the Clore Duffield Foundation in Israel, which has donated millions of British pounds since 1979 to build libraries, parks, shelters for battered women, houses for Israel's Association for Children with Disabilities, classrooms and clinics, among a long list of philanthropic efforts.
She also donates money to the Weizmann Institute of Science in the Israeli city of Rehovot and the Tower of David Museum in the citadel of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem. “To be honest, 'my' Israel has died. The Israel that I knew and loved is no more,” Duffield was quoted as saying. “I’m a very pragmatic person, but do I like what has been going on in Israel in the past few years? No. I hate what is going on there.” Duffield is well-known in the United Kingdom, where she is currently the chairman of the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund, the director of the Southbank Centre board and a governor of the Royal Ballet. Her foundation has supported famous art and cultural organisations in the UK such as the Tate Museum, the British Museum, and the Natural History Museum, to name a few. In 2011, Duffield estimated that she had donated 400m pounds ($515m) to causes she deemed worthy.
...Duffield told Haaretz that she visited Israel just after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war settled, and suggested investing in Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank, but Israelis laughed at her. "Today, the situation is getting worse, more and more settlements are being built. I think Israel won't survive in the end. Not the Israel that I knew. I honestly do not think that in 50 years Israel will exist as Israel. Look at the demography, how many Arabs will there be in another 50 years?" she asked. Duffield pointed the finger at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that every step he makes is a "catastrophe". Meanwhile, Duffield said her donations were contributing to the fight against attempts to erase Muslim and Christian cultures in the city, saying that "Jerusalem is not a Jewish city but a multicultural one".
Duffield said she was not influenced by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and that she had donated money to anti-BDS campaigns in the UK and Israel. The BDS movement has played a prominent role in raising international awareness of Israeli crimes against Palestinians, and has been successful in convincing artists not to perform in Israel. In July, it was a driving force behind the Irish Senate vote moving forward a bill that would halt imports of products from Israeli settlements, deemed illegal under international law. Duffield said that she strongly opposes Israel's policies and express her opinion to the Israelis, "but I would not dream of expressing it to Englishmen". "It is very difficult to defend Israel right now, to represent it in England or elsewhere."[8]


Political funding

Community Security Trust | WIZO | Anglo Israel Association | Countryside Alliance | International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation[10]

In 2007, 2015 and 2021 Duffield donated to the Jerusalem Foundation through the Clore Israel Foundation.[11][12][13]

Thatcher Day Centre

Duffield was behind the creation of the 'Margaret Thatcher Day Care Center' in Sderot in the Western Negev in the South of Israel. Her involvement was mentioned by Margaret Thatcher in a 1990 address to the WIZO:

May I also thank Vivien Duffield for the marvellous decision which she has just announced to endow a day centre in Sderot, and name it after me. That is a wonderful way to mark this occasion and I know that you will all want to join me in thanking her very warmly indeed for her generosity. And I look forward very much to visiting the centre one day.[14]

The centre was opened in 1992 and Thatcher attended the opening ceremony

Margaret Thatcher, who has likened herself to a tigress, says Golda Meir, the late Israeli leader, "had the heart of a lioness." The former British prime minister, in Israel on a private visit, spoke Monday at the dedication of The Margaret Thatcher Day Care Center in Sderot, Israel.She took the opportunity to praise Meir, "who in fact showed us that even at great times of trial and difficulty and danger a woman prime minister had the heart of a lioness."[15]


Community Security Trust - advisory board circa 2010. | WIZO | Clore Duffield Foundation

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Andrew Anthony Vivien Duffield: The woman who thinks it's better to give The Observer, 26 March 2011. Accessed 6 March 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tim Adams No sweet Charity, The Observer 28 May 2000, accessed 6 March 2018
  3. LMH, Oxford – Prominent Alumni, accessed 6 march 2018
  4. Elizabeth Grice Dame Vivien Duffield: 'You're lucky if you have one good relationship', The Daily Telegraph 29 May 2008, accessed 6 March 2018
  5. simon Tait Vivien Duffield: Funding is child's play The Independent 29 June 2004, accessed 6 March 2018
  6. Charlotte Edwardes Meet Dame Vivien Duffield, London's super-philanthropist – and step-granny to that 'wild beauty' Cara Delevingne London Evening Standard 10 July 2013, accessed 6 March 2016.
  7. Dan Glaister Lady bountiful, The Guardian 15 November 2011, accessed 6 March 2018.
  9. Companies House, Jerusalem Foundation Trustees Limited. Accessed 12 March 2018.
  10. Sources: Clore Duffield Foundation Annual Report and Accounts, 2012- 2016.
  14. Margaret Thatcher Speech at Women’s International Zionist Organisation Centenary Lunch, Margaret Thatcher Foundation, 2 May 1990.
  15. `TIGRESS' THATCHER SAYS MEIR WAS LIONHEARTED Deseret News Published: November 18, 1992 12:00 am.