Naim Dangoor dies aged 101
SIR NAIM Dangoor, the philanthropist who invested millions of pounds over the years into improving education in the UK, has died at the age of 101.
His death comes five months after the entrepreneur and self-appointed “Exilarch”, leader of Iraqi Jews living in Britain, was made a knight — the oldest Jew to be given the title.
His son David Dangoor said: “Dad passed away peacefully with his four sons at his side. He will forever be a great inspiration to all his family and to manyotherswhoseliveshehastouched for the good.
“He was a proud Jew who was keen to demonstrate the positive part that Jewish people bring to the wider communities in which they find themselves.”
Born in Baghdad in 1914, the grandson of the former Chief Rabbi of Iraq Ezra Dangoor, Sir Naim studied engineering in London in the 1930s, before returning to Iraq and running the country’s Co c a - C o l a franchise.
Th e r e he married Renée Dangoor, the former Miss Baghdad, who died in 2008, and had four sons. When it became too difficult for Jews to remain in Iraq in the 1960s, he sought asylum in the UK, bringing his family over in 1964.
He established a successful property development company and founded the Exilarch Foundation, which has helped to provide schooling for the neediest in society.
In 2004, it created the Dangoor scholarships, a fund of £1 million to help university applicants.
The foundation also set up the Eliahou Dangoor scholarships, sponsoring 4,000 students, and was responsible for supporting schools, universities and the development of academies. The emeritus spiritual head of the S and P Sephardi Community, Rabbi Abraham Levy, paid tribute to Sir Naim, saying his founding of a centre for Iraqi Jews in Britain over 40 years ago “did much to give Iraqi Jews the confidence to face their new lives in London”.
Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush said: “Sir Naim was a man of outstanding talents and versatility… Above all he was a fine and decent person.”
Sir Naim Dangoor