“There are countless additional untold stories of his warmth and generosity – efforts for which he never sought recognition or publicity and would only reply with a smile if asked about them.”
Republican megadonor and huge Israel ally Sheldon Adelson passed away at 87 Monday night.
Adelson worked his way from the ground up, the son of two immigrants. His father had Ukrainian and Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. His mother came from England.
His father drove a taxi and his mother owned a knitting shop.
Adelson founded the Sands Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The company’s press release said he was the first employee and enjoyed calling himself “Team Member Number One.”
It turns out Adelson did a lot for his employees during the pandemic:
When the pandemic disrupted daily routines and dramatically impacted his business, Mr. Adelson was adamant that our Team Members across the globe continue to receive full pay and health care benefits even while the buildings in which they worked were closed. There are countless additional untold stories of his warmth and generosity – efforts for which he never sought recognition or publicity and would only reply with a smile if asked about them.
While his business credentials – having started or been involved in more than 50 different enterprises – are unquestioned, his dedication to philanthropy and commitment to his family will truly be his legacy. He will be missed by people from all parts of the world who were touched by his generosity, kindness, intellect and wonderful sense of humor.
Adelson also donated millions to the GOP and advocated for Israel:
The super donor rarely spoke publicly but in a 2016 Washington Post column endorsing Trump, he defended his right to opine. “Despite being the grandson of a Welsh coal miner and the son of a Boston cab driver, I’ve had the remarkable experience of being part of almost 50 different businesses in my more than 70-year business career,” he wrote.
“So, tell me I’m not a conservative-enough Republican or I’m too hawkish on Israel or whatever else you may think, but I think I’ve earned the right to talk about success and leadership.”
The Times of Israel noted that the Adelson family “almost single-handedly bankrolled the group” that ran Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign.
They then switched to Mitt Romney.
Adelson supported President Donald Trump, even helping him move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. He caused a stir when he purchased the U.S. ambassador’s official residence in Tel Aviv, a move some thought would prevent future presidents from moving the embassy back to that city.
Adelson supported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He provided funds for the Israel Hayom paper, which is considered pro-Netanyahu.
His wife Miriam said:
Miriam Adelson says: “It is with unbearable pain that I announce the death of my husband, Sheldon G. Adelson, of complications from a long illness.”
“He was the proudest of Jews, who saw in the State of Israel not only the realization of an historical promise to a unique and deserving people, but also a gift from the Almighty to all of humanity,” she says.
Adelson donated $70 million to Birthright, an organization that “brings young Jewish adults from the Jewish world to Israel on free educational trips,” in 2018:
Birthright said that it would now be able to break its record number of visits by Jewish youth to Israel and reach 50,000 participants in the coming year. The organization has brought some 600,000 young Jewish adults from 66 countries to Israel since it was founded in 1999.
“Before the founding of the State of Israel, my father told me that he always dreamed about a state for Jews and wanted to go to the Land of Israel, but when the time came and I could help him get there he said he was too old and too ill,” Adelson said during his speech at the event.
“I think it is the right from birth of all Jews to go to Israel and I don’t want any young Jewish person in the world say that he is too old or sick to visit Israel.”
The couple formed the Adelson Family Foundation (AFF) in 2007 in connection with the Adelson Foundation. The other arm is the Adelson Medical Research Foundation (AMRF):
Together with his Israeli wife Miriam, who specializes in treating drug abuse, Adelson in 2007 established the Adelson Family Foundation, which is a branch of the Adelson Foundation – the other being the Adelson Medical Research Foundation. The AFF works to strengthen Israel and the Jewish people, while the AMRF is dedicated to healthcare.
The Adelson Foundation gives $200 million per year to Israel and Jewish causes, including to education programs for children with special needs and to the Maccabee Task Force which combats antisemitism on university and college campuses across the United States.