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Well-known local developer and philanthropist David Flaum has died

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Well-known local real estate developer and philanthropist David Flaum has died. A statement from the family on Thursday night said that Flaum, the CEO and founder of Flaum Management, has died at the age of 67.

Flaum built a diverse real estate portfolio and his family says that while he took pride in redeveloping undervalued and empty properties and transforming them into thriving commercial centers, it was also his philanthropic actions that defined his life.

The son of Holocaust survivors, he received three presidential appointments: two by George W. Bush as member of the Holocaust Memorial Museum Council, and one by Donald Trump as member of the governing body of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Flaum also served as National Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition.  He and his wife, Ilene, endowed the University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute. Flaum served on the Board of Trustees at the University of Rochester and at Syracuse University, his alma mater.

Sarah Mangelsdorf, president of the University of Rochester, released this statement on Friday:

“The University of Rochester and the City of Rochester have lost a great champion. David Flaum built relationships as much as he built buildings, and he leaves an indelible legacy in this community and well beyond.   We are saddened by David’s sudden passing, but are tremendously grateful for his many lasting contributions to the University as a trustee, medical center board member and philanthropist.”

David and Ilene Flaum were also very supportive of the work being done by public media, according to Norm Silverstein, President of WXXI Public Media. Silverstein said Flaum’s passing “is a loss to the entire community,” and he said both David and Ilene Flaum had previously served on WXXI’s Board of Trustees.

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David and Ilene Flaum recently received the 80th Rochester Rotary Club's Civic Award. His family says he was most proud of the award he received jointly with his wife, children and grandchildren, in 2015: the Multi-Generational Award for National Philanthropy Day given by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Genesee Valley Chapter.

“My father’s commitment to his family, his career, and his community has been a powerful force that has changed this world for the better, in the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam,” says Asher Flaum. “Even in this difficult moment, we will draw on this example to build on his legacy and honor his memory.”

A statement from the Republican Jewish Coalition said that there will be a small family funeral on Friday and a memorial event at a later date, when the COVID situation permits one. The coalition statement said that Flaum was the RJC’s longest-serving National Chairman, calling his death “a terrible loss” and said that Flaum was an inspirational leader and “a man of integrity and kindness, whose word was trusted and whose friendship was prized.”

On Facebook, 25th District Congressman Joe Morelle, a Democrat from Irondequoit, said that,"‪I am deeply saddened to learn of David Flaum’s passing. David worked tirelessly to better the community he loved and his contributions will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the entire Flaum family as they grieve his loss."  Morelle also told WXXI News that the fact Flaum was active in Republican circles didn't really have a bearing on their friendship or ability to work together.

“Obviously he was an active Republican but was very supportive of me and very supportive of my friends on our side of the aisle so I think we all thought of him as being  very, very bipartisan and I think was just interested in helping advance the efforts people he thought were contributing to the community that he loves," Morelle said.

Also on Facebook, Mayor Lovely Warren said that, "I know our entire city is grateful for Mr. Flaum's many civic and charitable contributions. And, I ask our community to join me in extending our thoughts and prayers to his family. May God comfort them during this difficult time."

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy released the following statement:

 “David Flaum was a giant in our community whose impact rippled throughout the state, the country, and the world. He was committed to improving Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region, he was passionate about philanthropy, and he embodied corporate social responsibility. I am so honored to have known David as a friend and colleague. On behalf of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and our business community, we send thoughts, love, and prayers to his entire family."

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.