Madam Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of and express sadness over the passing of an extraordinary man, Daniel D. Cantor.

Mr. Cantor set the bar for what it means to be a true community leader through his philanthropy, friendship, and loyalty.  

He loved children, loved the Jewish community, and loved Broward County.  It was his fervent desire to give whatever he could, whenever he could to help.

Mr. Cantor grew up in Middle Village, New York, earned his law degree from New York University, and served in the Navy stateside during World War II.  He started practicing law after the war but his attention quickly turned to real estate, where he made his fortune buying, selling and building garden apartments for returning veterans.  He made his first $1 million by age 31.

When Mr. Cantor retired to Tamarac in 1980, South Florida became a prime recipient of his charity work.  By 1996, in only an eight-year period, Mr. Cantor donated over $22 million to the non-profit community and was recognized by the United States Congress for his efforts.

His contributions went to the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Institute for Geriatric Care, a program to teach Yiddish in Jewish day schools, including one in Hollywood, and a lecture hall for a university in Israel. Mr. Cantor donated to scholarship funds, medical research, and housing for the elderly in New York, Florida and Israel.  He gave money to resettle Soviet Jews and to fly Ethiopian Jews to Israel.  Locally he also gave to the Jewish Federation of Broward County, David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Plantation and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

Of course, he is probably best known through the Daniel D. Cantor Senior Center in Sunrise, which provides adult day care and other programs for the elderly, many of which are constituents of mine.

Madam Speaker, Daniel Cantor was a unique man with a great sense of humor.  He served the community with everything he had and this is something I aspire to do every day of my life.  He will always be a role model to all who follow Mahatma Ghandi’s mantra: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

One Jewish leader in my district said it right: “It’s the end of an era losing a man of that stature.”

I am grateful for Mr. Cantor’s contributions and dedication to Broward County, the greater United States, and Israel.  He will be missed.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and to the greater community during this difficult time.

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