Paul Arieli Goldschmidt
Paul Goldschmidt was born in Cape Town on the 30th March, 1923. During the Second World War he served in the Special Signals Corps of the South African army in the Ivory Coast in West Africa and was seconded to the first Radar Station of the British Air Force.
After the war he studied Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town, and then, in keeping with his Zionistic ideals, he moved to Israel for the first time in 1948. He decided that the young country required specialist skills in concrete engineering which he started studying as his Master’s degree at UCLA. He married Dr. May Chait in 1951 in South Africa, returning with her to the USA to complete his Master’s degree. From there Paul and May came to Haifa in early 1952 to start their life in Israel together.
At the end of that year, 1952, their son Louis Ariel was born and the following years were devoted to his upbringing and to Paul’s development as a building contractor of excellent reputation in the Haifa area.
He was initiated into Reuben Lodge on 6th December,1952 and on 23th April,1956 became a founding member of the new English speaking lodge Mount Carmel No.44 here in Haifa.
In 1962 Bro. Paul became the 7th master of Mount Carmel Lodge.
My acquaintance with Paul started shortly after our arrival in Haifa at the beginning of 1967, during my visits to Mt Carmel Lodge, and subsequently, after moving into industry, I became well aware of the excellent reputation he had acquired as a building contractor of impeccable quality, reliability and integrity – a reputation borne out by his selection as a contactor to the building of part of the Bahai administrative complex in Haifa, where only the best were selected.
It was members like Paul and the late VW Bro. Berel (Dov) Herman who insisted on only the highest standards of working in Mt. Carmel Lodge, which brought the Lodge to the unprecedented reputation and level of working which it achieved in those days.
In early 1971 we were all shocked and the lives of Paul and May were shattered by the tragic death of their only son Louis Ariel in a car accident at the age of eighteen years old. The sadness which engulfed them, and the great void left in their lives were perhaps the defining elements which brought them so close together and characterized them for the remaining 40 years of their lives.
Paul was one of the main driving forces in the financing, design and construction of this beautiful Bet Knesset in Denia which he attended regularly and took much pride in.
Paul and May loved the city of Haifa, and when they eventually moved out to Protea Village near Tel Mond, they both commented often on their regret at having left the city they loved so much, and to which, eventually, after May’s death, Paul returned, to live out his final years.
While still living in Haifa Paul loved to attend Mt. Carmel Lodge when he could. He had also been an active member of Mount Carmel Chapter and served as First Principal in 1970 -71.
In 1999 R.W. Bro. Paul was made an Honorary Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel in recognition of all his Masonic work.
After their son’s death, in order to perpetuate his name, Paul and May changed their family name to Arieli, and contributed funds to the City of Haifa for the construction of the beautiful Louis Promenade in Panorama Road, overlooking the Haifa Bay and the Bahai Gardens. They were also major contributors to the reconstruction of the Haifa Zoo, and to the new Mechina Building at the Technion.
Paul will long be remembered as a leading and model South African philanthropist who displayed, by example, the principles of diligence, honesty and integrity, who lived his life both as a Zionist, as a traditionally observant Jew, and as a Freemason and who, in numerous incidents, not known to us all, contributed so generously for the benefit of his country, his city, and his People.
May his memory be blessed.