LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Rabbi Philip Berg, the founder of the Kabbalah Centre, whose teachings of ancient Jewish mysticism attracted a slew of celebrities, has died.

“The Kabbalah Centre is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our teacher, Rav Berg,” the Los Angeles-based spiritual organization said on its website.

Berg had been in ill health since 2004 when he suffered a stroke,according to the Los Angeles Times. The center said he was 86, but public records cited by the Times indicate he was 84.

The center praised Berg for popularizing Kabbalah, saying he “created a path for millions to learn and live” in a field of study previously reserved for orthodox Jewish men.

Berg set up a synagogue in an old church on Robertson Boulevard, according to The Times, and began drawing celebrities, including Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears and his most famous follower, Madonna, whose embrace of Kabbalah made the center famous around the world.