Article originally published on Influencive.com on August 28, 2020.
By Jacob Maslow
As an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier in the famous 1973 Yom Kippur War, 21-year-old Adam Milstein made a lifetime commitment to serving the Jewish community. He believed that if it were God’s will for him to survive, he needed to continue contributing to fight for the causes he believes in. He devoted himself to uniting Jewish communities worldwide and helping younger generations rediscover their Jewish roots, heritage, and pride. Never did he imagine that thirty years later, he would also establish one of the largest Jewish organizations in America.
Born in 1952 to real estate developer Hillel Milshtein, Adam Milstein was the eldest of three siblings. After graduating in 1978 from the Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology with a B.Sc. in business and economics, Adam started his career working in the family business.
Adam Milstein was a family man from a young age. At 22, he married Gila Elgrably in his hometown of Haifa. After spending seven years building a life together in Israel, the Milstein family moved to Los Angeles with their two young daughters. An already successful businessman, investor, and a real estate developer, Adam went on to earn an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC Marshall).
An ambitious young man, Adam became a managing partner at Hager Pacific Properties, a private commercial real estate firm in Southern California. His experience in the field combined with his drive led him to a successful tenure at the company.
At the height of his career, Milstein and his wife Gila established the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation (MFF). They wanted to share their success by helping others in their community. Until today, the foundation invests in efforts to strengthen the United States, the State of Israel, the American people, the Jewish people, and the U.S.- Israel eternal partnership.
In 2007, Adam co-founded the Israeli-American Council (IAC) which unites Jewish and Israeli Americans to build an engaged and active community of Americans of an Israeli descent. The IAC was the first American nonprofit focused on empowering Israeli-American identity on a national scale. Today, the organization is one of the largest and most influential Jewish organizations in the country.
In 2011, the IAC, under Adam and Gila leadership, launched “Sifriyat Pijama B’America”, a program that provided free books in Hebrew to thousands of Israeli-American families across the United States every month, promoting Jewish universal values.
In addition to his role at the IAC, Adam focused his philanthropist work through MFF on strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and combatting antisemitism. His efforts have included substantiating that antisemitism is an American problem and igniting pride and courage in Americans of Israeli and Jewish descent nationwide through greater awareness of their rich Jewish culture and heritage.
Adam’s business experience has inspired his philanthropic philosophy, which is based on three unique principles that yield maximum impact. First, Adam and MFF practice active philanthropy. More than just financial contributions, they invest their time, expertise, and connections into every organization, program, and project they support. Second, Adam and MFF are guided by strategic advancement, meaning they focus on efforts that proactively engage the American public at every age. Third, Adam and MFF encourage philanthropic synergy. They work to bring like-minded organizations together to achieve even greater results.
Adam holds various roles as a philanthropist, activist, and leader in many other prominent Jewish organizations, such as StandWithUs, AISH HaTorah, Hasbara Fellowships, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), Yad Vashem, and Stand By Me. He is also a thought leader and frequent writer on issues relating to anti-Semitism in America, including violence against Jews and the rising influence of radical hate movements in the U.S.
Adam Milstein has gained global recognition for his philanthropy and leadership. In 2016, The Jerusalem Post selected him as one of the world’s 50 most influential Jews. He was included in the Algemeiner Journal’s list of top 100 people influencing Jewish life that same year.
In 2017, Richtopia named Adam Milstein as one of the 200 Most Influential Do-Gooders alongside Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and Oprah Winfrey.
Today, Milstein resides with his wife in Encino, California, where he continues his philanthropic work. He is also active on social media, especially on Twitter, engaging in current events affecting America and Israel.