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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Wealthy Argentine Chabadnik Set to Take over Israel’s Giant IDB

We don’t pretend to know how and why God works, but it can be speculated that the financial disaster of Israel’s giant IDB was the way for a Chabad Jew to enter Israel’s secular Big Business elite.
Black kippahed Eduardo Elztain is set to be part of a consortium that will control one of Israel's largest conglomerates.

Black kippahed Eduardo Elztain is set to be part of a consortium that will control one of Israel's largest conglomerates.

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Eduardo Elsztain, Argentina’s richest man and a follower of Lubavitch-Chabad, along with Israeli entrepreneur Motti Ben-Moshe, is set to take control of 75 percent of Israel’s giant and debt-ridden IDB Holding conglomerate that has its fingers in supermarkets, paper, mobile phone, insurance and cement companies.

Credit holders have overwhelming voted for Elsztain and Ben Moshe to enter and take control from Nochi Dankner, who says he will put up a fight against the buy-out.

Israel’s Big Business elite, approximately seven companies that control more than half of the manufacturing in the country, is dominated by Israel’s richest families, almost all of them left-leaning and secular, a term that does not necessarily mean anti-religious and often includes men like Dankner who observe traditions and are respectful of Judaism.

The entry of a Haredi could be a sign of something spiritual happening, or it could not.

The facts are that Elztain’s representative in Israel has been Shlomo Lapidus, a Haredi businessman and also from one of the wealthiest families in Buenos Aires. A textile company founded by his father is translated into English as “With G-d’s Help.”

Elsztain is president of Chabad, has served as treasurer of the World Jewish Congress, founded Hillel in Argentina and is a big investor in the Taglit-Birthright program.

Big Bucks execs like to jet around the world and visit expensive hotels, but Elsztain does not let that keep him from visiting the graves of righteous Jews when he visits Israel.

This may not be a new trend, but it bears watching.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a chain of markets in Israel welcoming buyers with an image of the Rebbe?

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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3 Responses to “Wealthy Argentine Chabadnik Set to Take over Israel’s Giant IDB”

  1. Rina Gray says:

    Maybe now this conglomerat start to work without debt.

  2. I would absolutely love to see an chain of food stores that were run and stocked by Jewish person ,whom quality mattered.

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