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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘obituary’

Canadian Israeli Philanthropist David Azrieli, 92

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Far from the flying missiles and mortar shells, Canadian Israeli philanthropist David Azrieli has passed away at the age of 92.

Best known in the Jewish State for the landmark three geometric-looking towers in Tel Aviv that bear his name, Azrieli died in Montreal at his country home.

A man with a lifelong love affair with the Zionist State, Azrieli was a member of the Forbes’ billionaires’ list, with a net worth of $2.9 billion.

But he spent millions on tzedaka – charity – and his family donated $100 million in various funds over the past 23 years alone. The Azrieli family has pledged to match that in the coming five years.

Born in 1922 in Poland, Azrieli was 17 when he fled the Nazis, moving east to join the Polish “Anders” Army in Bukhara. Together with his new host “family” he moved into Iran and then to Baghdad, where two Hagana agents – Moshe Dayan and Enzo Sereni — persuaded him to switch allegiance and move to Palestine.

Azrieli fought in Israel’s War of Independence with the Seventh Brigade, later going on to attend the Technion and then years later the University of Montreal when he moved to Canada in 1954.

He married his wife Stephanie Lefcort there, and the two had four children together; Rafael, Sharon, Naomi and Danna. It was there in Canada that Azrieli also started Canpro, a real estate firm. But 20 years later he was back in Israel to build a new mall in Ramat Gan, following that with more malls throughout the country.

Owner of more than a dozen shopping malls in Israel, the Azrieli Group also owns 20 percent of the Leumi Card firm, as well as 4.8 percent in in Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. The group also owns the Sonol, Supergas and GES energy and environmental firms.

Last Thursday, his daughter Danna Azrieli succeeded him as chairman of the Group.

Former IDF Chief Rabbi (Maj.-Gen.) Mordechai Piron, 93

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The second man to serve as Israel’s chief military rabbi, has passed away at the age of 93. Former IDF Chief Rabbi Maj.-Gen. Mordechai Piron succeeded Rabbi Shlomo Goren in the position which he created upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Born Egon Pisk, an only child to his parents in Vienna, Austria in 1921, Rabbi Piron came with the Youth Aliyah movement to Palestine on October 28, 1938 and joined its agricultural school, Mikveh Yisrael. Eighteen months later he enrolled in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook and studied under Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, later settling in Jerusalem after marrying his wife Ahuva Gardi in 1946, and gaining ordination as rabbi in 1952.

Rabbi Piron enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces in 1948 and later served as IDF chief rabbi from 1969 to 1980 with the rank of general. Upon his retirement he relocated to Zurich to serve as rabbi of the largest Jewish congregation in Switzerland until 1992.

The rabbi will be laid to rest this afternoon, (Jerusalem Day) at the Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem.

Former Head of 92nd Street Y Commits Suicide

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The former executive director of the famed 92nd Street Y died last Friday after hanging himself in his home in Seagate, an oceanfront community in Brooklyn, New York.

Sol Adler, 60, was found shortly before 11 a.m. by his wife Debbie, police told reporters on Saturday.

In 2012, Adler had been fired from his position after an anonymous letter sent to the board of directors accused him of a long-term relationship with his personal assistant.

At the time of his dismissal, after 20 years of leading the Y, Adler’s salary was $430,000 per year. His son-in-law, an ex-convict and a director of facilities at the Y, was also fired under suspicion of taking kickbacks from vendors. A number of other employees also were purged as well “for engaging in and failing to report suspected in appropriate behavior,” according to a letter to staff written by the board at the time.

The 92nd Street Y doubled its programs and brought in more than $80 million during Adler’s tenure as executive director. Police said there was no question of homicide in his death.

Rivka Haut, Women of the Wall Co-Founder and Agunot Advocate, Dies

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Rivka Haut, a foremost advocate for agunot, Orthodox women who have been refused a religious divorce and also a founder of the Women of the Wall founder was buried this week after she succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 71.

At the Women of the Wall prayer service on Tuesday, the worshipers recited Kaddish, the mourner’s prayer, in memory of Haut.

She led a group of women in a prayer service with a Torah scroll at the Western Wall 26 years ago and later helped found Women of the Wall, which continues to hold a monthly morning prayer service at the Kotel.

Haut also was a founder of the Women’s Tefillah Network.

She was the co-author of four books, “Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue,” with Rabbi Susan Grossman; “Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site,” with Phyllis Chesler; “Shaarei Simcha: Gates of Joy,” with Adena Berkowitz; and a forthcoming book about agunot with Susan Aranoff.

Berkowitz in a Facebook post wrote of an encounter she had leaving Haut’s funeral, “I was stopped by an older woman with a sheitel. … With an ache in her voice and soul she said to me, ‘Who will now be there for all the agunot? Rivka is irreplaceable.’”

Haut had master’s degrees in English literature from Brooklyn College and in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Republican Jewish Coalition Co-Founder Gordon Zacks Dies

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Gordon Zacks, a founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition and an unofficial adviser to George H.W. Bush, has died.

Zacks, a businessman who also was chairman of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School named for his mother, died Saturday at home in the Columbus, Ohio, area following a brief illness. He was 80.

He was among the co-founders of the RJC in 1985.

“We are deeply saddened by Gordy”s passing. He was a great friend,” RJC National Chairman David Flaum said. “As one of the early leaders of the RJC, Gordy helped to establish the organization as a big tent, where Jewish Republicans from across the Republican spectrum could engage in building, on a national scale, a respected and effective Jewish Republican presence in our party and in our community.”

For Bush, as vice president and president, Zacks served as an unofficial adviser and confidant on Israel-U.S. relations, the Middle East peace process, Soviet and Ethiopian Jewry, as well as the political landscape of the American Jewish community.

Bush said in a statement, “Barbara and I were deeply saddened to learn that our dear friend Gordon Zacks has passed. We are saddened because he was one of my staunchest and earliest political supporters, and both a trusted and respected advisor on our critically important relationship with the State of Israel. I leaned on Gordy frequently, and valued his advice.”

Zacks traveled to more than 100 countries and made over 100 trips to Israel and the Middle East.

The Melton schools provide pluralistic adult Jewish education in more than 60 cities in four countries have over 30,000 graduates.

Zacks was board chairman and CEO of his family’s business, R.G. Barry Corp., for 25 years until 2004, after which he was named the company’s non-executive board chairman. He held the latter post until his death.

Sharon Eulogized as Some Show Up to Pay Respects

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Ariel Sharon was one of Israel’s “most outstanding leaders and most daring commanders,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following a moment of silence in Sharon’s memory.

Netanyahu eulogized Sharon at the start of Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, less than a day after Sharon died at the age of 85, after eight years in a coma following a massive stroke.

“Arik was, first and foremost, a warrior and a commander, among the Jewish People’s greatest generals in the current era and throughout its history,” Netanyahu said. “In all of his positions – defense minister, housing minister, infrastructures minister and foreign minister – Arik contributed to the State of Israel, as he also did as prime minister. I think that he represents the generation of Jewish warriors that arose for our people upon the resumption of our independence.”

Netanyahu added: “He was tied to the land; he knew that it had to be defended. He understood that above everything, our revival is our ability to defend ourselves by ourselves. I believe that he will be remembered in the heart of the Jewish People’s forever as one of our most outstanding leaders and most daring commanders.”

Sharon’s coffin was placed in the Knesset Plaza on Sunday, where his body will lie in state for visits from the public. A thin trickle of Israelis had lined up Sunday afternoon to pay their respects. The funeral is set for Monday, and leaders from around the world are expected to attend, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

He will be buried on the grounds of his Negev ranch, next to his wife, Lily.

“That’s it. He’s gone. He went when he decided to go,” Sharon’s son Gilad announced Saturday afternoon. The official cause of death was heart failure, though for the last week Sharon had been in renal failure without receiving dialysis, multi-organ failure and suffered from a blood infection.

“My dear friend, Arik Sharon, lost his final battle today. Arik was a brave soldier and a daring leader who loved his nation and his nation loved him. He was one of Israel’s great protectors and most important architects, who knew no fear and certainly never feared vision,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said following Sharon’s death.

“For his entire life Arik stood in the line of fire – in the place where Israel’s destiny is determined,” said former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who succeeded Sharon as head of the Kadima Party and as prime minister after Sharon fell into the coma from which he never awoke, “Arik’s life story is fascinating, extraordinary and unique, imbued with courage, human kindness, vision, and leadership.”

The ‘Chicken Lady’ Who Helped the Poor Dies at Age 90

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Bracha Kapach, wife of a scholarly rabbi from Yemen and more widely known as the “Chicken Lady,” died Tuesday morning in Jerusalem at the age of 90.

She earned her nickname because of her individual charity effort to make sure that poor Jews would have chicken and other foods for the Shabbat and holidays. The charity fund drew support from many contributors who did not know the true identity of the “chicken lady,” who was married since the age of 11 to Yemenite Rabbi Yosef Kapach, who died in 2000.

They moved to Israel in 1941 and became the only couple to have been individually won the Israel Price. Rabbi Kapach was awarded in 1969 for his scholarly work on Jewish thought, and his wife Bracha won the prize in 1999 for her charity efforts.

Shortly after the re-establishment of the State of Israel, she founded a textile firm that gave employment to dozens of women. Besides her providing food for the poor, working out of her home in Jerusalem’s Nahalot neighborhood near Mahane Yehuda, she also arranged summer camps for underprivileged children.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-chicken-lady-who-helped-the-poor-dies-at-age-90/2013/11/26/

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