Leor Energy CEO Guma Aguiar, who has emerged in recent months as a major player in the Jewish philanthropy world, has given $500,000 over the past year to Chabad-Lubavitch for its rabbis to run free Passover Seders all over the world.
In recent months, Aguiar has also made contributions to Nefesh B’Nefesh ($8 million), The March of the Living ($500,000), and Chabad in South Florida ($500,000).
Here’s the release.
March 31, 2009
Thousands To Accept Classic Passover Invite:
"Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat"
Free Passover ‘Seder’ for Tens of Thousands Worldwide Through Major Gift of Guma Aguiar
(JERUSALEM)- Young backpackers, Jews in isolated communities, the poor and the elderly will have a meaningful Passover ‘Seder’ on April 8, through the efforts of Chabad. The Jewish outreach organization is dispatching nearly 600 rabbis around the globe to 285 destinations such as Cambodia, Peru, Vietnam and Equatorial Guinea to conduct the festive holiday meal in which the story of the Jews’ exodus from ancient Egypt is retold. A special Seder will be held in Mumbai, the site of terrorist attacks in November 2008 in which two Chabad emissaries to India were murdered.
The massive operation is made possible by a $500,000 gift from Guma and Jamie Aguiar. The Aguiars donated the same amount in 2008 for this purpose, although anonymously.
"Although I have contributed to many vital causes for years through the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation which I chair," the young energy entrepreneur explained, "The time has come to make these gifts public as a way of encouraging so many other caring Jews to step up to the plate during these extremely challenging economic times."
In addition to $1 million for the Passover campaign in the past 12 months, Aguiar also made contributions to: Nefesh B’Nefesh ($8 million) which assists North American Jews who move to Israel; The March of the Living ($500,000), a 10,000-strong gathering at former Nazi concentration camps in Poland which will this year protest the anti-Semitism occurring simultaneously in Geneva at the so-called Durban II conference; and Chabad in South Florida ($500,000) to a local Center in honor of the birth of the Aguiars’ third child.
"We are committed to fulfilling our leader’s call to enable every Jew in the world to participate at a Seder, and Chabad is the only organization in the world with an infrastructure capable of reaching so many far-flung people," said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice-chair of Chabad’s educational division, "It is mind-boggling to see 2,000 young Jews attending one of our heart-warming events in a place like Nepal."
Aguiar, founder of Leor Energy in 2003, was lauded worldwide for his stunning success in identifying one of the largest North American natural gas deposits discovered in decades. He was proclaimed by Oil and Gas Investor Magazine in 2008 as the “top executive in the world.” Since that time, he has devoted his resources to Jewish causes across the world.