Professor Shlomo Eckstein, an economist and former president of Bar-Ilan University who in addition to his work as an educator served in many advisory and philanthropic roles, passed away last week in Israel. He was 91 years old.

Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1929, he was raised in Mexico, where his family emigrated to before World War II.

In 1953, while serving as a Bnei Akiva youth group leader, Eckstein traveled to New York, where the group met with the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. Decades later, Eckstein recorded his memories of that meeting for JEM’s “My Encounter With the Rebbe” series, noting how it contained an insight that he carried with him for the rest of his life.

Eckstein went on to earn his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and after emigrating to Israel, he founded the Department of Economics at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan in 1960. He became the university’s president in 1992.

He served in many advisory and philanthropic positions, and for decades was chairman of the board of Retorno, a leading center for addiction rehabilitation in Israel.

He is survived by his wife, Leah, and three children.