Jewish philanthropist Shmuel "Sami" Rohr has died in South Florida at age 86, Chabad Lubavitch officials said Monday.
In a release posted on its world headquarters Web site, the Orthodox Jewish organization said Rohr passed away Sunday. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Through his Rohr Family Foundation, Rohr helped finance a wide array of community projects and educational programs worldwide aimed at enhancing Jewish culture.
Raised in Berlin where his father was a leading real estate businessman, Rohr fled with his family as the Nazis ramped up their efforts to wipe out the country's Jewish population. Eventually, he, too, made a fortune in real estate in Bogota, Colombia, and eventually moved to Bal Harbour, Fla.
It was that experience that informed his philanthropy, he said in a 2006 interview with Lubavitch.com
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Chabad's educational arm, said Rohr's death was "not only a loss for his friends and family, but for all of world Jewry."
"His unending dedication and vision were pivotal to Jewish growth and education to communities and individuals around the world." Kotlarsky said. "The seeds he planted and watched blossom in his lifetime will continue to bear fruit for generations to come."
Rohr was preceded in death by his wife Charlotte, and is survived by their three children, and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Rohr is to be buried next to his wife in Jerusalem Tuesday.