Friday, February 26, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
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Sheldon Adelson redefined love of Israel

 Israel Hayom  01-14-2021

Sheldon Adelson’s passing has left us shocked and pained. He was his generation’s most singular man, and this is a tremendous loss for the people of Israel and the Jewish world. His was a marvelous life story of an entrepreneur through and through, a man of vision, action, and giving. Together with his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, they became the greatest Jewish philanthropists of our time, and redefined giving, humility, and love of Israel.

It was Sheldon who recognized the great potential of the Israeli American Council, an ambitious, local initiative of Israeli-Americans in Los Angeles. One night, together with a thousand Israelis and American Jews that had come to celebrate the community and Israel, Sheldon envisioned the role the Israeli-American community could have in writing the next chapter of Jewish world history.

He saw the community’s love and unwavering support for Israel that transcended political lines and wanted to instill it across the United States. He believed that a connection to Israel was necessary for the identity and continuity of the younger generation of American Jews. He also believed that the large community in Israel’s unwavering support was a strategic asset for Israel, the US, and the Jewish people.

Just as he decided to make a trip to Israel accessible to every young Jew through the Taglit-Birthright project, so too did he want to see every young Jew across the US have the ability to connect to Israel throughout their lives. Thanks to his and Dr. Miriam’s tremendous support, the IAC quickly grew, opening branches across the US that bring love of Israel to the heart of dozens of communities and over 90 college campuses across America. This is a community that both connects Jews to Israeli identity, language, and culture and is actively engaged in the war on anti-Semitism and Israel hatred.

On a personal note, every minute spent with Sheldon was a great privilege. Anyone who had the honor of spending time with him carries the wisdom, understanding, clarity, and determination that emanated from his eyes in their heart. He had a unique ability to discern in a fraction of a second even the tiniest detail, as well as think on orders of magnitude far beyond our own dimensions. We recall his ability to discern what is and isn’t important, his humanity, his warm heart, his sense of caring and his humor, the combination of tremendous giving and rare humility, and the great love and the spark in his eyes whenever he spoke of his wife Miriam.

You gave us the power to dream and to change reality. Your spirit will continue to accompany us in our work for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Rest in peace, Sheldon. We love and cherish you.

Shoham Nicolet is the founder and CEO of the Israeli-American Council.

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