Murray Greenfield was born September 11 1926, raised, and educated in New York City. During World War II, he served in the merchant marines, and by late 1946, he heard about the 'Aliyah Bet' - or illegal immigration - as the British termed the rescue of Jews who survived the Holocaust. Greenfield was one of 240 American volunteers who sailed on rust buckets and ultimately helped rescue and relocate 40 of the Holocaust survivors to Palestine. After spending time in a British prison on the isle of Cyprus, Greenfield eventually moved to Palestine. It is said that these ships launched a state as the British could not accept the embarrassment they received from these survivors who were impassioned and empowered after their internment.
Murray Greenfield was only twenty one years old when he arrived in Israel. To this very day, he continues to volunteer for various public service organizations. He is a member of the board for the following organizations: Friends of the Diaspora Museum; Z.O.A. House (community center which caters to some 50,000 persons monthly); and Dick Siegel Marketing Fund at Tel Aviv University. Greenfield was a founder of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (A.A.C.I.) and Balatchin - The Center for the Preservation of Ethiopian Culture.
In the early days of the State of Israel, he worked as an investment counselor with the Palestinian Economic Corporation, and was Executive Director of the A.A.C.I. - where he created housing and loan programs for North American olim (immigrants). He and his late wife Hana (Czech born survivor) ran the Murray S. Greenfield, Israel Art Gallery in Tel Aviv and New York - from where they created the Israel Art traveling shows. Murray is presently active in the Czech Torah Scrolls project and in educational programs to inform the young and adults of what happened during the War, how the survivors made it to Palestine, and where they can volunteer for Israeli projects. In 1981 Greenfield founded Gefen Publishing House (Jerusalem / New York), which has since evolved into Israel's largest publisher of diverse English-language titles in Israel. Murray is the author of two books: How To Be an Oleh - Or Things the Jewish Agency Never Told You, (1970) an out of print best seller; and he is the author of The Jews' Secret Fleet (Gefen Publishing House Ltd. 1996 and 2010, (introduction by Sir Martin Gilbert) - the untold story of North American participation in smashing the British blockade which led to the founding of the State. In addition, he the author of numerous articles, essays, and letters to the editor in publications around the world.
Beyond his organizational commitments, Murray Greenfield is also an active participant and speaker for a number of contemporary issues affecting the State of Israel, including: the role and rights of non-Orthodox Judaism - where he was an early leader and innovator; the Israeli political landscape and its problems; the realities of Oslo and the peace process; and ordinary life in Israel. Murray and Hana had three children, Dror who passed away in 2003, Meira and Ilan. He has 10 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren with more on the way.