Adam Milstein: All you need to know about his life, career, and his philanthropic work

Introduction

Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American philanthropist and activist who is a successful real estate investor in the United States. In 1981, Adam moved to the United States with his family, after his compulsory service in the Israel Defense Force and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree from the Technion in Israel. Then, he earned his MBA from USC in 1983. He served as a sales agent in a private commercial real estate firm, Hager Pacific Properties, where he worked his way up to become a managing partner. His philanthropic impulse was encouraged by a colleague and close friend, who encouraged him to help his community. His philanthropic work is centered on strengthening the State of Israel, the Israeli-American community, and the Jewish American community by helping to fund various organizations. He is well-known as a businessman, a philanthropist, a community leader, and a thought leader.

Education and Background

Adam Milstein was born in Haifa, Israel, in the early 1950s. The family moved to Kiryat Motzkin, where young Adam spent most of his childhood. In 1971, Adam joined the Israel Defense Forces and in 1973, he helped fight for his country in the Yom Kippur War. He enrolled at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, possibly the most prestigious university in Israel, where he later graduated with a degree in business and economics. Adam married Gila Elgrably in 1974, while they lived in Israel. He then helped his father expand their real estate construction and development business in Israel.

In 1981, he and Gila moved to the United States with their two daughters. He furthered his education at the prestigious University of Southern California, where he graduated with a Master in Business Administration in 1983. He then started working as a sales agent for a commercial real estate agent firm, Hager Pacific. Around this time, he and Gila then had a third daughter. The business has grown significantly since Adam started there, and Adam Milstein is currently among the most successful entrepreneurs in the U.S.

His Philanthropic Practices

Adam Milstein’s philanthropy grew from a simple observation: that Israeli citizens living in the United States needed to be empowered to understand their identity as Israeli-Americans. Because of this—and other issues facing the Jewish and Israeli-American communities—Adam and his wife Gila co-founded the Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation. The organization does many things. It sponsors programs that help students and young professionals to connect with the State of Israel and comprehensively understand their Jewish identity. Adam also co-founded Israel-American Council. His efforts have been hailed not only in his homeland of Israel, but also in the United States, where he is based. The Israeli-American Council is one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in the United States, according to a 2015 Forbes article.

Through the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, more than seventy-five grants have been distributed to various organizations. This includes pro-Israel groups on campuses that run fellowship programs aimed at helping students network, learn, and strengthen their passion for pro-Israel advocacy. The organization also supports “Students Supporting Israel,” a pro-Israel movement that was started by grassroots student organizers and has grown rapidly over the years. They have held several rallies across the United States to support the recognition of Israel’s legitimacy, which is threatened by the BDS movement.

In 2015, Adam, Haim Shaban, and Sheldon Adelson organized a first-of-its-kind event: “The Maccabee Campus Summit.” They brought together dozens of other organizations to discuss how to harnessing support to defeat hate groups that spread lies and anti-Semitism by demonizing Israel (the Jewish Nation) on college campuses in the United States.

This is one of many reasons why Adam, in 2016, was named among the top one hundred people positively influencing the lives of Jewish in the United States. Andrea Lavin, who works for an organization Milstein supports—Committee for Accuracy in the Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)—once described Adam as, “An astute philanthropist who is well-acquainted with issues affecting his people. He is an important leader in our fight to counter defamation against Israel.”

Adam is very sensitive to the struggles that his parents, ancestors, and fellow Jews have experienced throughout history, especially the mistreatment faced by Jews around the world before the establishment of the State of Israel. He recognizes that hatred of Jews today often mirrors the anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany, which led to the Holocaust and the murder of six million Jews, and across the Middle East and North Africa, where many Jews were forced into poverty, mistreated, and even murdered. For this reason, Adam Milstein champions Israel and works to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the United States.

A well-rounded philanthropist

As part of his work supporting organizations that strengthen Jewish identity and champion the legitimacy of Israel and its citizens, Milstein is on the committees or boards of several non-profits that operate in the United States. These include: the Jewish Founders Network, the AIPAC National Council, StandWithUs, the Los Angeles Board of Birthright Israel, and Hasbara Fellowships. His business, Hager Pacific Properties has thrived and he is a very successful entrepreneur. Adam Milstein is, and will continue to be, a very influential philanthropist who will leave a legacy of serving as a passionate protector of the Jewish community and the Jewish State.


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