|Rabbi Philip Berg (center)|
The founder of the Kabbalah Centre has died, according to a statement released on the center’s website.
Rabbi Philip Berg, 86, who was the founder of Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre, has died.
Berg, also known as Rav to his followers, had been ill since suffering a stroke in 2004.
Among Berg’s famous devotees are Madonna and Demi Moore.
"The Kabbalah Centre is deeply saddened to announce the death of our teacher, Rav Berg," a statement on its website said.
The center, which was founded in 1965, has been criticized for the way it presented ancient Jewish mysticism.
However, the center said that Berg had created a path for millions to learn and live Kabbalah. Berg has left us with incredible knowledge through thousands of hours of teachings, examples of courage we will never forget, and a Kabbalah Centre we can all call home, according to the statement.
The first Kabbalah Centre was founded in 1922 by Rabbi Yehuda Anschlag and the organization now has a presence in over 40 cities around the world.
In addition to Madonna, celebrity fans include actor Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears.
Berg is survived by his wife Karen, who will continue his work and vision for the center," the website states.