The Shalom Hartman Institute mourns the passing of longtime supporter and board member, Fred Lafer
, who passed away April 30, 2013. Mr Lafer was Chairman of the Executive Committee
of the Shalom Hartman Institute Board of Directors. Read more about Mr. Lafer
Yehuda Kurtzer, President of Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, said Mr. Lafer mentored him when he joined the Institute in 2010.
"I credit him entirely with the foundation we were able to lay in creating SHI North America as its own entity," Kurtzer said.
"I saw Fred last week in the hospital; he was saddened that his illness was holding him back from the incessantly active life he had led, which included long skiing vacations as recently as last year," Kurtzer said. "But he expressed with me his profound pride in what the Institute was achieving. He told me it was ‘beyond what any of us could have imagined.’ I will personally miss his honest friendship. Fred Lafer was truly a lover of Torah, Israel and the Jewish people."
Fred Lafer’s involvement with the Shalom Hartman Institute dated back more than 30 years. Kurtzer said that Mr. Lafer Fred first met Institute founder Rabbi Prof. David Hartman more than 30 years ago, having heard him speak at an event in which Rabbi Hartman told the audience that they should come to Israel – not to sightsee, but to study. "Fred showed up at David’s door not long afterwards, and thus began a long and deep relationship of study and friendship," Kurtzer said.
On July 1, 2010, the Shalom Hartman Institute honored Fred Lafer in Jerusalem by naming him an Honorary Fellow of the Institute. Speakers included Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, and Rabbi Prof. David Hartman. In this picture, Mr. Lafer (R) is standing with David Hartman on the night of the event. Mr. Lafer spoke about his first meeting with David Hartman and his many subsequent visits and study sessions. Watch the video.