Kabbalah Center Founder Rabbi Philip Berg Dies

Rabbi Philip Berg, the founder of the Kabbalah Center, which attracted a host of celebrity members including Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, has died.

The Los Angeles-based organisation announced the death of Berg on Monday (16Sep13), stating he had battled ill health since suffering a stroke in 2004.

 The rabbi, who has been praised by colleagues for popularising the religious discipline - an ancient Jewish teaching - opened the non-profit organisation in 1964 after he was condemned by Orthodox leaders for reportedly teaching an inauthentic brand of kabbalah.

A statement published by the center reads, "Today we believe the Rav has begun to share with us from above, and we will all happily remain connected to and inspired by the Rav's soul and his vision."

 According to centre bosses, the rabbi was aged 86, but editors at the Los Angeles Times have cited public records stating he was 84. (-CM)