Synagogue in England
Synagogue in England iStock

The UK Jewish community has lost a leading voice with the passing of Rudi Leavor on Tuesday.

Leavor, a Holocaust survivor, died at the age of 95, his family confirmed to British media.

In 2017, Leavor was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) by the Queen for his services to the Jewish community in Bradford, UK and his commitment to interfaith dialogue.

Born in Berlin, Leavor and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1937. The year before, his parents were arrested by the Gestapo but upon being released were able to secure visas to escape to the UK, where he and his parents and younger sister settled in Yorkshire.

He eventually went to dental school and became a dentist, like his father.

He also met his late wife Marianne, a Jewish refugee from Breslau, in Bradford. They had four children, eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, reported the Yorkshire Post.

In 1975, Leavor became chair of the Bradford Synagogue.

During his tenure, the Bradford synagogue came to the attention of the media for its groundbreaking work on interfaith relations with local communities.

“It is with profound regret that I have to advise you that we lost our dear father in the early hours of this morning. He died peacefully in his sleep,” said Leavor’s family in a statement. "He was the greatest husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather ever.”

On Tuesday, the Board of Deputies called Leavor a “steadfast champion of interfaith relations.”

The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre stated, "It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Rudi Leavor BEM. Rudi was a child Holocaust refugee who settled in Bradford and dedicated his life to interfaith work. He will be missed by all those who knew him."