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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Sheldon Adelson’

Adelson to Host Jeb Bush at Jewish Republican Event

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Sheldon Adelson will host a dinner featuring former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on the eve of a conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Adelson, the casino magnate seen as a kingmaker in the Republican Party because of his willingness to spend tens of millions of dollars in an election, will host the dinner Thursday night in Las Vegas, where he is headquartered.

Bush, the brother of President George W. Bush and the son of President George H. W. Bush, is said to be considering a presidential run in 2016.

Other likely contenders appearing at the RJC Spring Leadership Meeting include governors Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio.

The RJC event in 2010 was among the first stops for Mitt Romney after he launched his successful bid for the GOP 2012 nomination.

Larry Ellison Still World’s Wealthiest Jew

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Oracle’s Larry Ellison remains the world’s wealthiest Jew, placing fifth on Forbes magazine’s annual world billionaires list for 2014.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (ranked at No. 21) was the “biggest dollar gainer” on the list, with his fortune jumping $15.2 billion, to $28.5 billion.

Ellison (with a net worth of $48 billion) and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson (No. 8, with $38 billion) were the only Jews in the top 10 on the list released Monday.

Eighteen Israelis (up from 17 last year) were among the 1,645 billionaires, a number that is 219 more than in 2013. In addition, several of the list’s 268 newcomers — including Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Jan Koum of WhatsApp (which was just sold to Facebook) and sisters Aerin and Jane Lauder, heirs to the Estee Lauder cosmetics firm and daughters of World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder — are Jewish.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates topped this year’s list, with a fortune of $76 billion.

Adelson Casino Website Back after Hack

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The websites of the casino operation owned by Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson went back online, a week after they were hacked by unidentified vandals who criticized his support for Israel.

The hackers on Feb. 11 took over the home page of websites run by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world’s largest casino operator, which is owned by Adelson. In addition to criticizing Adelson over comments he made in October about Iran and its nuclear program, the hackers also posted personal information about employees, including email addresses and Social Security numbers, according to reports.

The company email system also was not working, but was restored on Feb. 14, and the Sands’ corporate website and the sites of its resorts in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore did not function.

During the hacking incident, the homepage of the website of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., showed a photo of Adelson standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and dialogue saying “Damn A, don’t let your tongue cut your throat. Encouraging the use of weapons of mass destruction, under any condition, is a crime.” It was signed by the Anti-WMD team, according to The Morning Call.

The page also showed a map of the world with flames where Sands has casinos in the United States.

Adelson Casino Website Hacked

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The website of the casino operation owned by Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson was hacked by unidentified vandals who criticized his support for Israel.

The hackers on Tuesday took over the home page of websites run by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world’s largest casino operator, which is owned by Adelson. In addition to criticizing Adelson over comments he made in October about Iran and its nuclear program, the hackers also posted personal information about employees, including email addresses and Social Security numbers, according to The Morning Call newspaper based in Allentown, Pa.

The company email system also reportedly was not working, and the Sands’ corporate website and the sites of its resorts in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore did not function.

The Las Vegas Sands websites were down on Wednesday, with messages saying they were undergoing maintenance.

During the hacking incident, the homepage of the website of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., showed a photo of Adelson standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and dialogue saying “Damn A, don’t let your tongue cut your throat. Encouraging the use of weapons of mass destruction, under any condition, is a crime.” It was signed by the Anti-WMD team, according to The Morning Call.

The page also showed a map of the world with flames where Sands has casinos in the United States.

Four of Top Ten Net Worth Gainers Are Jewish

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Jews make up four of the 10 biggest gainers in net worth in 2013, as listed by Forbes. Among the Jews are Google co-founder Larry Page, whose mother was  Jewish, who was raised without religion and who intermarried.

The biggest jump in bank accounts was that of gambling casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, whose net worth jumped $15 billion this past year to $37, making him America’s 11th richest person. Forbes noted that in day-to-day terms, Adelson earned $41 million daily, not bad for a day’s work.

The second biggest jump in “wages” was for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook’s stock offering helped his net worth more than double, to $26 million.

Next in line is Amazon’s Jewish CEO Jeff Bezos, who net worth grew by  $13.3 billion to $36.9 billion.

The fourth Jew is Page, who came in ninth place with an increase of $9.4 million and a net worth of $30.5 billion

The remainder is non-Jews, including four members of the Walton family of the Wal-Mart company, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

Ailing Spanish King Honors Keren Hayesod Members

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

The king of Spain, who is recovering from hip surgery, left his residence for the first time since the operation to greet a delegation of Jews led by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

King Juan Carlos left the Palace of Zarzuela to greet Adelson and other activists with the Keren Hayesod–United Israel Appeal philanthropic body on Wednesday, during the appeal’s biennial meeting in Madrid.

The 75-year-old king, who was operated on in September and is scheduled to undergo more surgery this month, used a cane to stand up and greet Adelson and a dozen of the appeal’s volunteers at the Royal Palace of El Pardo, according to a report in the news site hola.com.

The 181 appeal executives who visited Madrid also entered the former synagogue in Toledo. In protest of the visit, representatives of the Izquierda Unida de Toledo, a local radical left party, placed a Palestinian flag near the municipality building.

During the gathering, appeal representatives presented Alexander Machkevitch, a philanthropist who was born in what is now Kyrgyzstan, with Keren Hayesod’s Isaiah Award for his contribution to interfaith dialogue and Jewish life in post-communist republics.

The Growing Extremism of Reform Leader Eric Yoffie

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Rabbi Eric Yoffie is one of those courageous souls, prepared to throw stones while living in a glass house. Not content to criticize the Chabad movement as offering feel-good, commitment-free, money-chasing Judaism (“Reform rabbis tell me of Chabad rabbis who come into their communities and spend most of their time cultivating a handful of very wealthy people”), the former head of American Reform Judaism has now turned his sites on Sheldon Adelson, the global Jewish philanthropist, who he believes should be all but ostracized from Jewish communal dialogue (“Perhaps the time has come for important leaders of our community to decline invitations to appear at Mr. Adelson’s side.”)

I do not know Rabbi Yoffie but mutual acquaintances tell me he is a good, measured, and decent man. But surely he is aware that radical attacks on movements and individuals with impeccable credentials of dedication to the Jewish community, however imperfect, will lead others to examine his own record of leadership, particularly given the reverberations of the recent Pew Research report that paints so devastating a portrait of the state of Reform Jewry of which Yoffie, according to his Wikipedia page, served as “unchallenged head… from 1996 to 2012.”

The Pew study tells us that Reform Jewish religious attendance has plummeted to 17 percent attending services at least once a month. Fewer than one in five (16 percent) Reform Jews say that religion is very important in their lives. More than half of Reform Jewish families do not enroll their children in any Jewish programs like Hebrew school or youth groups and, perhaps as a direct result, only four percent of Reform Jews reported knowing how to read Hebrew. When it comes to connection to the Jewish state, 60 percent of Reform Jews have never visited Israel. Most significantly, one of out of every two Jews who affiliate with Reform marry outside the community.

Now, none of this is a criticism of Reform Jews who are my brothers in every way. I lecture to Reform groups much more than orthodox audiences. They welcome me with love, are eager to hear the relevance of Jewish values to modern life, and I can bear personal witness to their deep attachment to their Jewishness and their dedication to Israel’s future. They are immensely philanthropic to Jewish causes and exhibit a deep sense of social justice. It is, rather, a critique of leaders like Rabbi Yoffie who seem so preoccupied with firing torpedoes at those trying to right the Jewish ship (Yoffie himself admits that without Adelson there would be no Birthright) rather than focusing on saving their own liner from sinking.

Writing in Mosaic just last month on the high number of intermarriages Yoffie said this: “The simple fact is that no feasible strategy is available to lower those rates in any dramatic way. Doing so would require Jews in this country to pull back from full, enthusiastic participation in American life and to construct barricades and bunkers to separate themselves from the American mainstream.”

This copout confession would have us believe that there is no way of internalizing Jewish commitment and that assimilation can only be combatted by returning to the ghetto. Yet, hundreds of thousands of Jews – many of them Reform – go out every day to work, play, and live in mainstream America, taking their Jewishness with them because they have had a solid Jewish education and have found ongoing sources of inspiration, like Synagogues and study groups, to bolster Jewish identity.

But Rabbi Yoffie’s belief that Jewishness cannot flourish in non-Jewish society is perhaps informed by his puzzling attitude toward non-Jews. Writing in the Jerusalem Post in September 2011, he said, “I care about humankind, but I love my own group a bit more. I am more comfortable with them.”

This strange statement would deny the existence of a common human family. I am an orthodox Rabbi but I am immediately comfortable neither around Jews nor non-Jews but with those who treat me with love and respect, whatever their ethnicity or religion. Readers of my columns are well aware of my two-decade bond with Cory Booker, our newly elected Senator from New Jersey, who served as President of my Jewish student organization at Oxford, or Mike Benson, grandson of Mormon prophet Ezra Taft Benson, who is today the President of Eastern Kentucky University. In Englewood, our Shabbos table has as many non-Jews as it does Jews.

Perhaps this is why, in an astonishing act of willful blindness, while almost all segments of affiliated Jewry translated the results of the Pew study as alarming, even catastrophic, particularly in its finding on the growing disconnection of Reform Jews, Yoffie actually published two recent columns analyzing the Pew study but did not mention the words ‘Reform Judaism’ even once, not in his Haaretz column of October 16, or his Jerusalem Post column of October 7th, which offers the cheery conclusion that “American Jews are deeply committed to Israel.”

Yet, it is a commitment that Yoffie has himself suppressed at times. In June 2001, when terror attacks in Israel were increasing, The Los Angeles Times reported that “the U.S. Reform movement… announced last week that it was canceling its summer youth programs in Israel. Politicians in Israel denounced the cancellations… as an abandonment of the Jewish state in its hour of need by those who should be its biggest supporters. ‘If at this hour Jews do not come visit here, what is the significance of their solidarity with Israel?’ Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh said.”

In ordering the cancellations, Rabbi Yoffie’s actions as head of Reform is troubling. The Reform Jews I know stand steadfastly and unswervingly behind Israel, especially when it is under attack. Why did Yoffie make this decision for 30% of American Jewry without consulting them?

Rabbi Yoffie has taken a similarly curious posture toward Israel more recently, with his June 2013 column entitled, “Why U.S. Jews must embrace Kerry’s appeal to put pressure on Netanyahu.” Rather than objecting to our President’s diplomatic overtures to Iran while the rogue state continues to fund Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists that kill Jews and Americans, enrich uranium, and prior to Rouhani’s repudiation of Ayatollah Khamenei and Ahmadinejad’s genocidal threats against Israel, Yoffie believes that it is Bibi who is the problem. I do not believe that the majority of Reform Jews would agree with Yoffie’s appeal to pressure the Israeli government into concessions that would endanger its security.

I have no problem with Rabbi Yoffie criticizing Chabad, Sheldon Adelson’s comments about a nuclear detonation in an empty Iranian desert, or me for that matter. Lord knows, all three come in for their share of reproach, and Judaism thrives on healthy intellectual debates. But it would be nice to see Yoffie as committed to rescuing Judaism from decline as he is to knocking fellow Jews down.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/america-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/the-growing-extremism-of-reform-leader-eric-yoffie/2013/10/30/

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