ADAM MILSTEIN PHILANTHROPIST WITH A DIFFERENCE
Philanthropist Adam Milstein was born in 1952 in Haifa, Israel, to a homemaker mother and a real estate developer father. During his childhood, the young Jewish nation was developing and growing. Today, Adam is a respected real estate investor in Los Angeles, and a managing partner of Hager Pacific Properties. And now his philanthropic work has made him famous across the world. Adam and his wife, Gila, run the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, which donates more than $ 1 million annually to organizations that advocate for the welfare of the Jewish people and Israel.
Adam spent his early years in Kiryat Motzkin. In 1971, the future philanthropist served in the Israeli Defense Forces. During the Yom Kippur War, he was part of the brigade commanded by then-future Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. After the war, Adam studied at the Technion, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Economics in 1978. He then married Gila Elgrably in 1974 and they moved to the United States in 1981.
A Life in the United States
Adam first honed his skills in the real estate industry at Hager Pacific Properties, where he worked as a sales agent for commercial real estate properties after graduating from the University of Southern California with a Master of Business Administration. Decades later, he is a managing partner of the company.
Adam says he was first introduced to philanthropy while working at Hager Pacific Properties. At the time, he frequently had in-depth conversations with a business partner about getting into philanthropy together. According to Adam, he wasn’t fully satisfied by making money. He wanted to build a legacy—to leave his mark and make a lasting impact with the money he earned.
After long discussions with his wife, Adam decided to dedicate most of his time to philanthropic work. Adam and Gila took their shared passion for the Jewish state, where they grew up, and founded the Adam and Gila Family Milstein Family Foundation to empower and support pro-Israel organizations and activities.
A Strategy for Philanthropic Success
Today, the Milstein Family Foundation works to strengthen Israel, the Jewish people, and the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. The non-profit educates young Jewish people about Judaism to strengthen their identity, and provides them with the tools to engage in advocacy to strengthen the State of Israel on campuses, in neighborhoods, at schools and with friends. The Milstein Family Foundation is guided by three unique principles: “Active Philanthropy,” “Life Path Impact,” and “Philanthropic Synergy.” Adam Milstein oversees these operations and by using these three pillars, he ensures that every organization his foundation donates to accomplishes the foundation’s mission.
The Milstein Family Foundation supports organizations and activities that help in fields ranging from health and medical services to community services for Israeli-Americans and Jews, as well as combating anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on college and university campuses. The Milstein Family Foundation supports programs for all age groups.
A Home for Israeli-Americans
As an active member of the Jewish community, Adam realized that people living in Israel and the United States lacked vibrant philanthropic organizations. In Israel, the state provides a lot of amenities that are free to the public. Because of this, it’s not common for Israelis to donate to charities. This sparked an idea: to build an organization that would inspire philanthropy, and strengthen U.S.-Israel ties, the State of Israel, and the Jewish people. This idea ultimately led Adam and other Israeli-American leaders to form the Israeli-American Council (IAC).
Adam Milstein today is chairman of the IAC, anon-profit that is the fastest-growing Jewish organization in the United States, serving more than half a million Israeli-Americans. Adam’s vision is fulfilled as the IAC engages Israeli-Americans in philanthropic work and has helped the Israeli-American community come together and forge an identity, rooted in their lives in the United States and a strong connection to Israel, the eternal homeland of the Jewish People. The IAC also helps the next generation of Israeli-Americans connect to their heritage and their Jewish identity through the Hebrew language, Israeli music and culture, and activities that celebrate Israel.. Through extensive programming and by engaging people across the country, the IAC and the Milstein Family Foundation have played a vital role in strengthening the relationship between the American people and Israel.
A Leader in Philanthropy
Besides running the Milstein Family Foundation and co-founding the IAC, Adam Milstein serves on the boards for multiple pro-Israel and Jewish organizations in the U.S. These include the Jewish Founders Network, Stand By Me, Hasbara Fellowships, and StandWithUs, among others. His vast wealth of experience and expertise in philanthropy allows him to provide guidance to these organizations and help them formulate policies.
Adam says he considers philanthropy to be one of the most gratifying things in his life. To him, helping people in need and giving back to society is necessary for a better world. A significant percentage of Adam’s time is spent in philanthropy. In fact, he says he spends at least 99 percent of his time doing charitable activities: It is a full-time job. You might wonder how Adam Milstein manages to be a leader in the philanthropic world and still help manage a thriving business. Adam says that working so many hours in the day isn’t difficult for him, because he doesn’t consider his work with non-profits to be work. He firmly believes that philanthropy should not feel like work: it should be something that one does from the heart. He says philanthropic involvement should not be a struggle, but a passion.
Adam is committed to being actively involved in his organization’s activities and partner organizations. He says charity does not end at donating alone. For all the organizations that are partners of the Milstein Family Foundation, Adam attends meetings, gets involved in activities, and offers ideas. He also says the successful philanthropists don’t spread themselves too thin: They stay focused and identify a particular issue they are passionate about.
A Role Model
Adam has been recognized and celebrated as a leading figure in philanthropy in the world. In April 2017, Adam was recognized as one of the 200 Most Influential Do-Gooders in the world. His social media influence was recognized for the impact it had on philanthropy across the world.
As an active philanthropist, Adam Milstein loves and enjoys what he does. He is a role model to many who aspire to join philanthropy, and an inspiration to the next generation of philanthropists and communal leaders. He is indeed a true leader in philanthropy.