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Swiss Jewish philanthropist, wife die in house fire

(JTA) – An elderly Jewish philanthropist from Switzerland and his wife died in a fire in their Zurich home.

Yosef Elbaum, 91, and his wife, Raizel, 74, died from smoke inhalation on March 7 after a fire broke out in their attic apartment on Richard Wagner Street in southern Zurich, the Volks Blatt local newspaper reported. Rescue forces found the couple dead in their bedroom.

Elbaum made his wealth in Switzerland’s banking industry and became a philanthropist, donating to Jewish institutions in his community and beyond, according to the Israel-based news website Behadrey Haredim.

The couple’s live-in caretaker required treatment for smoke inhalation. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Elbaum was close to the Spinka rebbe of Bnei Brak in Israel, according to Behadrey Haredim. The couple will be buried in Israel.

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