ofer brothers_311 reuters.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Yehuda “Yuli” Ofer, one of Israel’s wealthiest businessmen and co-founder of one
of the world’s largest private shipping companies, passed away late Sunday night
at his home in Herzliya at the age of 87.
Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu on Monday expressed sorrow at his passing.
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“Ofer was among the
senior members of the Israeli business community. He built with his late brother
Sammy a global shipping business, whose roots were planted deep in Israel, but
was even more a people person than a man of business. Wherever he sailed boats,
generosity followed in their wake,” said the prime minister.
was considered one of the best and most successful managers in Israel. For
decades, he dedicated his energy and finances to widespread activities in Israel
for the needy, and for Israeli society and its institutions,” the family said in
“Yuli was a people person. He loved them and invested
in them, and they loved him and invested in him. Yuli was sensitive to every
private and public stirring, and he was endowed with an infinite capacity to
give to his family, his friends, and his surroundings. Yuli is survived
by his wife, Ruth; his daughter, Liora; and his son, Doron, as well as
grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. May his memory be a
Born in Romania, Yuli Ofer moved with his family to British
Mandate-era Palestine in 1924 when he was six months old. He later served as an
infantry soldier in the War of Independence and rose to the rank of
Ofer began his business career by supplying equipment to shipping
companies, before establishing his own company in the 1950s with his older
brother Sammy, who passed away in June. The company went from strength to
strength, and in the 1970s, the brothers expanded their business interests,
mainly into the field of real estate.
Yuli oversaw all of the Ofer
family’s business in Israel through the ensuing decades, including several
public companies – among them Ofer Brothers, Cvalim and Melisron.
family also owns Ofer Shipping, Ofer Real Estate, and Ofer Brothers
Recently, he was involved in a dispute with his son, Doron,
because of the latter’s refusal to separate Ofer Holdings Group’s non-financial
holdings, such as malls and hotels, from the financial holdings, such as Bank
Mizrahi-Tefahot, so that the Ofer family could provide minimal capital to
maintain the stability of the bank. However, Doron refused, and the dispute
continued, despite the Bank of Israel’s ultimatum, which gave both sides a month
to reach an arrangement.
He was also at the center of a major controversy
in June when the US slapped sanctions on Ofer Holdings Group, claiming the group
indirectly sold an oil tanker to Iran via a Singaporean subsidiary.
will be laid to rest at Moshav Bnei Zion at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.Jerusalem
Post staff and Globes contributed to this report.