Conference of Jewish Affairs expresses its deep sadness on the passing of Sheldon Adelson, a titan in the Jewish community and America at large. Sheldon Adelson was a trailblazer in so many areas of life, be it in business, be in philanthropy, and, most of all, in the area of courage and commitment.
Before it was “kosher” for a member of the Jewish community to publicly support Republican candidates, Mr. Adelson boldly did so. I remember one occasion where we shared a Shabbat experience with Mr. Adelson at his Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, where he was hosting a very establishment-oriented convention of Jewish federations. As host, he invited some very prominent Republicans – and he did so knowing that there would be resistance from many of the delegates and leaders assembled. But as I heard him forthrightly announce: “We need to recognize those members of Congress friendly to Israel and those on the Republican side who stands for so many of the principles that have brought success to America.”
There is no doubt that his longtime relationship with President Trump contributed mightily to the wonderful steps taken by the President to enshrine Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, to recognize Israel’s survival need to be sovereign over the Golan Heights, and the Administration’s warning to radicals that America would no longer fund the PLO and other organizations dedicated to the murder of Jews. On the different occasions that I met Mr. Adelson, I found him to be a humble man. The Jewish community, indeed America, will be sorely deficient with the passing of a man who represented generosity, commitment, forthrightness, and perhaps most of all, ingenuity and business acumen that provided jobs and benefits for thousands.