Will Rohr’s Passing Challenge Chabad’s Fundraising Prowess?
Rohr’s contributions to Chabad can be felt today in many of the organization’s outreach efforts, including its Rohr Jewish Learning Institute for adult education programs and centers at university campuses in cities around the world.
from The Forward:
Sami Rohr, Philanthropist Who ‘Invested’ Millions in the Jewish People
Over the course of his life, Rohr donated at least $250 million to Jewish causes, according to newswire reports, and was a major supporter of Chabad-Lubavitch, particularly of its efforts in the Former Soviet Union. Although his name was on the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, a $100,000 award for emerging writers and one of the largest literary prizes in the world, he was a man whom many describe as modest and self-effacing.
“[The Rohrs] didn’t build buildings so much as they invested in what they thought of as religious and cultural institutions,” said Samuel Heilman, sociology professor at Queens College of the City University of New York and co-author of “The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson.” “They understood and continue to understand the value of giving money to activities rather than buildings and physical things. They don’t have the edifice complex.”
… According [Rabbi Berel] Lazar [the Lubavitch chief rabbi of Russia] Rohr was especially passionate about restoring synagogues that had been seized during the Soviet period, and he contributed to everything from building campaigns to providing hot food after synagogue services. Most notably, he committed himself to pay the salaries of rabbis in cities that otherwise could not support them.