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Thursday, June 19, 2014 | return to: news & features, obituaries


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Moise Safra, billionaire philanthropist, dies at 79

Moise Safra, a billionaire banker and philanthropist, died June 15 in Brazil. He was 79.

Safra died at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo two days after suffering a heart attack, according to Reuters. He reportedly had struggled with Parkinson’s disease for several years.

Safra and his brothers, Joseph and Edmond, were scions of a Syrian Jewish banking family with roots in Aleppo, where Safra was born in 1935. In the mid-1950s, Safra settled in Brazil and co-founded the Safra Group of Banks with his brothers. In 2006, Safra sold his portion of the family business to brother Joseph for a reported $2 billion, according to Forbes.

Bloomberg News reported that at the time of his death, Safra’s net worth was an estimated $3.4 billion.

Safra also was a major donor to international Jewish charities, including the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital. His wife, Chella, is the treasurer of the World Jewish Congress. — jta

 

Head of Chabad-Lubavitch in U.K. dies at 78

Rabbi Nachman Sudak, the chief emissary for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in the United Kingdom, died June 15 in London. He was 78.

Directed personally by the Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to move to London in 1959, Sudak lived there for the rest of his life, according to Chabad.org, developing and overseeing a network of Chabad-led institutions throughout the country that now includes 11 campus centers, 25 Chabad houses and 14 schools.

“Rabbi Nachman Sudak guided the destiny of Chabad in Britain for more than 50 years, turning it from a marginal presence to one that affected tens of thousands of lives and changed the entire tone of Anglo-Jewry,” said Emeritus Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Sudak was born in the USSR and then immigrated with his family to British Mandate Palestine, moving in 1954 to Brooklyn, according to Chabad. In 1959, he was married in London to Fradel Shemtov, whose father oversaw the Chabad network in the United Kingdom at the time.

In 2001, Queen Elizabeth conferred on Sudak the Order of the British Empire. Sudak, in turn, presented the queen with a mezuzah.

Sudak also served on the boards of several major governing bodies of Chabad, including its umbrella organization, Agudas Chassidei Chabad, and its educational arm.

Sudak is survived by his wife and nine children, including his son Rabbi Bentzi Suda, the chief executive of Chabad Lubavitch U.K. — jta


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