In the beginning of 1992, not long after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Mr. Sami Rohr seized upon the emerging business opportunies in the Baltic States, which had just gained their independence. As he began investing in the region, he wrote to the Rebbe, of righteous memory, offering his support for a shliach to Riga, Latvia.

When my husband and I accepted this shlichus, we did not realize that we were getting not only a one-time sponsor but a lifelong friend and partner in our shlichus.

On one of his trips to Riga, a few months after we arrived, Mr. Rohr visited us in our small apartment. He asked us many questions about how we were adjusting, whether life was not too difficult. And then he asked me with concern, ”Mrs. Glazman, do you have any friends?” I can still hear his voice and see his kind face, as he waited for my answer. This was a man who genuinely cared.

Mr. Rohr encouraged us to promote bris milah b’zmanah (to conduct ritual circumcision at the prescribed time, at eight days old) in those early years, offering full funding to import a Mohel from abroad each time. After so many years under communism, this mitzvah had been almost completely neglected and local Jews were completely ignorant about its importance. I remember once, in the early 90’s, when my husband spoke to him about an upcoming bris, Mr. Rohr asked us to please buy a present for the family in his name.

With Mr. Rohr’s help, we were able to acquire a building in 1995 and opened the Ohel Menachem Kindergarten and Day School. He visited the school a few times during his trips to Riga and showed interest in all the details. Tears of joy spilled from his eyes when saw the children davening and learning. He often called and asked how things are developing and how the school is growing. Knowing the importance also of a top secular education, he encouraged us to hire the best teachers for math, chemistry and English. He also paid for bussing, so that every Jewish child from even from the farthest areas in Riga and its outskirts could attend a Jewish school.

All of a sudden the phone rang and it was Mr. Rohr. He spoke so warmly and asked how I was. Overcome with emotion, I couldn’t answer.

Mr. Rohr used to quote Rabbi Sharabani, the Sephardic rabbi in Bogota, "’In everything you need mazel, also in charity.’ And, baruch Hashem,” he’d say, ”here in Riga I had mazel.”

Many years ago, when Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm started his school in Zhitomir, Ukraine, and needed a large sum of money for desks and other vital items, my husband called Mr. Rohr and explained the situation. He said that although he has plans to help shluchim all over the Former Soviet Union, unfortunately, right now he is unable to.

A few minutes later, he called back and said, "The kids in Zhitomir don’t have to suffer! How much does he need?" He dispatched the funds that very same day! And he certainly did make his plans a reality, later supporting hundreds of shluchim across the former USSR.

Once, I was sitting with my husband and discussing some of the very significant challenges we were living through. All of a sudden the phone rang and it was Mr. Rohr. He spoke so warmly and asked how I was. Overcome with emotion, I couldn’t answer. And he insisted, "Mrs Glazman, you have a friend who wants to help you, tell me. Tell me what's wrong.” I still couldn’t talk and simply handed the phone to my husband, tears streaming down my face. Since, then each time he spoke to my husband, during all these years, he made sure to ask how I am doing. And whenever I met him or heard his voice, it filled me with strength, knowing that no matter what is going on in my shlichus, there is someone who really cares and will do what he can so that we can succeed.

We were priveleged to be invited personally by Mr. Rohr to the dedication and inauguration of the Feldinger Chabad Center in Basel in April, 2012, when he returned to his youthful haven. He put us up in the best hotel and truly gave us royal treatment! As I sat and talked with him, I was awed. What a great man, with such great accomplishments in his life. And yet he made me feel like I was the hero – as a shluchah of the Rebbe on the frontlines.

Mr. Rohr certainly enjoyed mazel in Riga. More importantly, though, as thousands of Jewish children who received an education thanks to him would confirm, he brought mazel to Riga ­­– and through his legacy, he continues to do so a full year after his passing.