Republican Jewish Coalition

The RJC Weekly Newsletter

January 14, 2021

Your weekly look at the latest news, analysis, and RJC activities around the country.

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— Featured —


Sheldon Adelson addresses the RJC National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas in 2013.


RJC Mourns the Passing of Sheldon Adelson


The Republican Jewish Coalition mourns the passing of RJC Board of Directors member Sheldon Adelson. We have lost one of the most consequential figures in American Jewish history: an American patriot, a dedicated defender of Israel, an extraordinary philanthropist, and a dear mentor and friend.


Mr. Adelson, together with his beloved wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, gave generously of their wealth, knowledge, and time to support causes they were passionate about, including education, addiction recovery, and medical research, as well as supporting pro-free market and pro-Israel candidates and organizations. A strong defender of Israel, Jewish life, and American opportunity and freedom has departed the Jewish community and the American political scene.


The Republican Jewish Coalition benefited not only from Mr. Adelson’s generous financial support but very significantly from his leadership and his counsel. His friendship, encouragement, and wisdom will be sorely missed. His death leaves an empty place where a vibrant, committed, and caring man once stood. We are all diminished by his passing.


May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. May his memory be a blessing for us all.


An RJC tribute to Sheldon Adelson can be found here.


Read more:


A proud, tough Jew’: Sheldon Adelson through the eyes of some who knew him well
Jacob Kornbluh, Forward 

[RJC Executive Director Matt] Brooks said it has always amazed him that, despite his wealth and stature, Adelson always looked at things through the prism of a poor kid from Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood where he grew up.

Sheldon Adelson with RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks and RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman.


Sheldon Adelson, 87, has died: GOP megadonor and peerless philanthropist built several empires
Ken Kurson, California Globe 

I got to know the private Adelson a little bit and those interactions revealed a man with a moral clarity and conviction that is painfully absent in virtually every image-obsessed weak-sister CEO on today’s global business playing field.

Sheldon Adelson was a man who knew what he believed. He believed the Jewish people have a right to survive, and that they required a single tiny, safe place to have a shot at doing so. One of the things I admire most about him was his refusal to play at the both-sidesism that infects thoughtful Jews who don’t want to support Israel forcefully.

Sheldon Adelson just got it. He understood that the daily painful realities faced by the Palestinians did not mean the Jews were automatically to blame or morally inferior, any more than Jews were to blame for the thousand other things history has laid at their feet. Enough, said Sheldon Adelson, and he put his billions where his mouth was. In the most audacious ways imaginable — spending hundreds of millions on Birthright Israel to ensure that young Jews outside of the homeland got a firsthand look at the issues they were expected to understand — and defend — on college campuses and beyond.

Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Convention Visionary And Philanthropist, Dies At 87 

Peter G. Johnson, Las Vegas Review-Journal 

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, Adelson procured 2 million surgical masks for health care providers and first responders in Nevada and New York. He dispatched his personal Boeing 747 to pick up the masks in Guangzhou, China, and deliver them to both states for immediate distribution. The company also donated hundreds of thousands of personal protective suits, equipment and nearly 2,000 coronavirus test kits to Nevada, in addition to significant food and water provisions.

…Adelson attributed his business success to doing things differently than the way that peers had conventionally done them.

“I came to learn that if you do things differently, success will follow you like a shadow. So that’s what I did,” he said in a 2014 Global Gaming Expo appearance. “People doubted me because people just didn’t do what I would do. Nobody thought about doing it the way I did. They were satisfied with the status quo, and I’m never satisfied with the status quo.”

An enormous patriot, a huge donor, and a man of keen intelligence

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Hayom 

It is difficult to describe what Sheldon did for the Jewish people and for Israel. Sheldon was one of the biggest donors in the history of the Jewish people. He gave to Zionism, to the settlements, and to the state of Israel. He made enormous financial contributions to many institutions – to medical and scientific research, to higher education, to Ariel University, to Taglit-Birthright, and to his immense projects in every field.

…I have to say that I've met many wonderful people in my life. But this giant, a personality like Sheldon, comes along once in a generation. We will forever remember Sheldon and his enormous contribution to the Jewish people and the state of Israel. His influence will remain with us for generations to come.

Sheldon Adelson with college students.


Sheldon's contributions to Israel and the Jewish people cannot be overstated
President Rueven Rivlin, Israel Hayom 

In places where there were no men, Sheldon "strove to be a man," to invest his wealth and time, to be there, to help and offer support.

More than anything, Sheldon believed in the strategic alliance between Israel and the US, and saw deepening the ties between the two countries as the surest investment in the future of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

Sheldon Adelson helped every Jew unconditionally
Natan Sharansky, Israel Hayom 

During the Second Intifada, I told then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that the most critical battle is that for the future of young Jews who are on American university campuses and that we needed to send emissaries there. But because of financial constraints, the Jewish Agency only had a few representatives on the land of liberty. After thorough research, Sheldon and Miri understood what tremendous impact these representatives could make, and the situation changed. Today we have emissaries on hundreds of American campuses. The entire emissary program has been upgraded thanks to the Adelson family.

The person who saved my life
Eli Beer, Israel Hayom 

Ten months ago, when I was in the US, I contracted coronavirus. My doctors anesthetized me and put me on a ventilator. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson saved my life. They made sure that I received professional healthcare, paid for my medical bills, and prayed for my recovery.

Like every Jew, I believe that tikkun olam [making the world a better place] hastens the Redemption. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson practiced that throughout all their years together. There is nothing more Jewish, in my opinion.

Sheldon Adelson, RIP
Noah Pollak, Washington Free Beacon 

Sheldon Adelson lived the American dream, a version so extreme that it could be the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster. He started far poorer, and ended up far wealthier, than almost anyone in history, and he knew it. When you met with him, which I was lucky enough to do on a very few occasions, he made a point of giving you a short speech about growing up in a two-room Dorchester tenement and sleeping on the floor with his siblings. His parents were immigrants and they were desperately poor—so don’t think the gilded office you were sitting in was handed to him, and don’t think he doesn’t know what it takes.

… It was very American of him to be unashamed of both his poor and humble upbringing and his enormous wealth and success. Endlessly caricatured in the media as a "casino billionaire" and "GOP megadonor" the idea was to paint him as an out of touch, exploitative villain. But he gave far more to medical research, drug abuse treatment, schools and universities, wounded veterans, and Jewish and Israel causes than he did to Republicans, and much of it was done quietly and without public recognition. All of it stemmed from deep personal convictions.

Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson.


‘Farewell, my darling, my one true love’
Dr. Miriam Adelson, Las Vegas Review-Journal 

Sheldon was the love of my life. He was my partner in romance, philanthropy, political activism and enterprise. He was my soul mate.

… He was an American patriot: a U.S. Army veteran who gave generously to wounded warriors and, wherever he could, looked to the advancement of these great United States. He was the proudest of Jews, who saw in the State of Israel not only the realization of an historical promise to a unique and deserving people, but also a gift from the Almighty to all of humanity.

And Sheldon was kind. He gave readily of his fortune to charitable causes that may literally be countless, as he expected no credit and often preferred anonymity. Although bluff in build and speech — and, in the last two decades, beset by painful sickness — Sheldon was always sensitive to the needs of others.


RJC in the News

Jacob Kornbluh at the Forward talked to leading Jewish Republicans about where our party is going in the aftermath of the 2020 election and the events of last week. Kornbluh writes

Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in an interview Monday night that “there is going to be a lot of soul searching and analysis and discussion of where the Republican Party goes from here in the coming weeks and months — and the RJC will be an important part of that conversation” ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Brooks called the assault in Washington “one of the darkest days in American history,” saying that it cast a shadow over what he described as “the successes that the Republicans had in the November election” despite losing the White House and control of the Senate.

“It is repugnant and disgusting what took place in the name of democracy by a group of domestic terrorists who tried to lay siege to the US Capitol, which is our democracy,” he said. “The people who participated in that should be held fully accountable and have no place going forward.”


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