Sep 29, 2014
Tamir Sapir, 67, OBM
Photos: Meir Dahan

Tamir Sapir, ranked on Forbes Magazine's list of billionaires and a donor to Chabad, passed away on Rosh Hashana.

By COLlive reporter

Tamir Sapir, ranked 721st on the Forbes Magazine list of billionaires in 2010 and a noted philanthropist to Jewish causes and Chabad, passed away on Thursday, the first day of Rosh Hashana 5775.

He was 67.

Born Temur Sepiashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sapir left the Soviet Union in 1973 in a wave of Jewish emigration, first settling in Israel. He helped many with their immigration documentation to escape the Iron Curtain.

After the Yom Kippur War, he moved to Italy, Germany and later in the United States, where he worked as a driver for the elderly and a taxi driver in New York City.

Mortgaging his taxi medallion gave him money to invest in opening a wholesale electronics store on lower Fifth Avenue, which became an enclave for visiting Soviet dignitaries and trade delegations seeking to purchase state-of-the-art electronics.

He made millions bartering fertilizer and oil with the Soviets in the 1980s, which he later invested in New York real estate.

Since 2008, he was ranked on the 400 Richest Americans list with a net worth of 1.9 billion dollars. In March 2010, he ranked 721st on the Forbes Magazine list of billionaires, with a net worth 1.4 billion dollars.

Sapir has been active in the Jewish Russian and Georgian communities, where he gained a reputation for his generosity.

He built the Congregation of Georgian Jews synagogue in Rego Park, Queens, which is led by Rabbi Avraham Ashville and Rabbi Aharon Chein, and supported the Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO), a coordinating body for Jewish emigres from the former Soviet Union.

In 2008, he joined his billionaire friend Lev Leviev for a tour at the Ohr Avner Chabad school in Berlin and the Judisches Bildungszentrum - Rohr Chabad Center.

When a grandson was born to Sapir's daughter Zina and son-in-law, Rotem Rosen, a bris milah ceremony and celebration was held at Ohel Chabad Lubavitch in Queens, near the Rebbe's Ohel, attended by Chabad Shluchim and activists.

Since 2006, his son Alex Sapir has been running the Sapir Organization, and in 2014 he purchased EGRE Ltd, aka ASRR Capital, an Israel-based holding company that invests in real estate activities.

"My father was the pioneer of the family and an inspiration to us all," Alex said. "He loved to help and give and especially loved the State of Israel and the Jewish people."


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Sapir (2nd from right) in Berlin with Rabbi Yehuda Teichtel, Lev Leviev, Rabbi Dovid Mundshein and R' Shlomo Peles
Sapir (2nd from right) in Berlin with Rabbi Yehuda Teichtel, Lev Leviev, Rabbi Dovid Mundshein and R' Shlomo Peles






Sapir (right) at the bris of his grandson. Mohel Yisroel Heler is in the center
Sapir (right) at the bris of his grandson. Mohel Yisroel Heler is in the center
Sapir (center) with Rabbi Aharon Chein of Congregation of Georgian Jews
Sapir (center) with Rabbi Aharon Chein of Congregation of Georgian Jews
Sapir (center) with Rabbi Elyakim Wolf of Morristown and Rabbi Benny Wolf of Crown Heights
Sapir (center) with Rabbi Elyakim Wolf of Morristown and Rabbi Benny Wolf of Crown Heights


Opinions and Comments
1
Meir
BS"D
a great man and yet let me share my thoughts on this especially the youth of our community- his billions he could not take with him, so why the overpowering and overwhelming impact on ones lives does this attempt take over at cost of all else - what he could take was the Torah, Mitzvohs and Tzedakah he did. Wake up while there is a chance-" This day to do them ".May we all learn from his ways
(9/29/2014 10:50:03 AM)
2
Putting on Teffelin
Looks like Levi Stone putting on teffelin with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(9/29/2014 11:10:50 AM)
3
8979
you can see what an eidel and erlich mensch he was.
my nechoma sent to the mishpacha, may they thrive in the knowledge that this was true yichus, a man who was Ohev Yisroel, and much more. I had never heard of him before but it was a wonderful article about him and his family.
(9/29/2014 12:31:27 PM)
4
Boruch N. Hoffinger 'HaKohaine ' BS"D
COLlive.com...'todah' for the story & photos. I still do not know which is the image of Tamir Sapir. Not clear.
(9/29/2014 12:41:51 PM)
5
I'll give you a hint to #4
Look at the last picture and pick out the guy that looks just a bit different than the other 2. He looks to be in his 60's, no?
(9/29/2014 6:09:58 PM)
6
Boruch N. Hoffinger
Yes # 5..but look at picture 2...I wasn't 100% certain.
(9/29/2014 10:23:42 PM)
7
a question
was his wife a Math teacher in Tel Aviv high school, for a while?
(9/29/2014 11:25:09 PM)
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