Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson at the tribute ceremony held in their honor at Yad Vashem
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27 October 2006
On 27 October, a ceremony honoring Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson of Las Vegas took place at Yad Vashem in the presence of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister of Education Prof. Yuli Tamir, Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Elie Wiesel, Head of the Opposition Benjamin Netanyahu and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev. Patrons of the Mount of Remembrance, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson recently decided to become strategic partners of Yad Vashem. Their contribution will enable Yad Vashem to perform a quantum leap in its ongoing efforts to reach out and assume its role as world leader in Shoah education, commemoration, research and documentation.
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson are long-standing benefactors of Yad Vashem as well as other causes in Israel and Jewish communities abroad. The building of the new Museum of Holocaust Art at Yad Vashem was enabled by their generous support in memory of Dr. Adelson's parents, Menucha Zamelson and Simcha Farbstein, and members of their families, who perished in the Holocaust.
Miriam Adelson was born and raised in Israel, with the shadow of the Holocaust ever present in her life. Her parents, Menucha and Simcha Farbstein, left Poland before the Shoah, but many members of their families missed the opportunity, and perished. "When I was young, I learnt that my mother, Menucha Farbstein (née Zamelson), lost almost her entire family. My father also lost beloved family members. I grew up feeling my parents' pain", Miriam poignantly recalls. Following the war, the Farbsteins assisted their family members who escaped to Russia during the war, by bringing them from Europe and helping them rebuild their lives in Israel.
After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Genetics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Dr. Adelson worked in the area of biological research throughout her two-year service in the Israeli Defense Forces. After her military service, she continued her medical studies, graduating Magna cum Laude from the Tel Aviv University Sackler Medical School. Specializing in Internal and Emergency Medicine, Dr. Adelson became the Head Physician in each of these areas for the Rokach (Hadassah) Hospital in Tel Aviv. In 1986, Dr. Adelson began to develop a unique specialty in the areas of Chemical Dependency and Drug Addiction, and today heads both of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Clinics for drug abuse treatment and research, one in the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel and one in Las Vegas, Nevada, which have successfully treated thousands of heroin and cocaine drug addicts. Other clinics headed by Dr. Adelson and financed by the couple are soon to be opened.
Growing up in a poor immigrant family in Boston, Sheldon Adelson began to work after school hours selling newspapers on local street corners. After completing his US Army service, he began to seek his fortune in the business world, working as a mortgage broker, investment adviser and financial consultant. As an entrepreneur, developer and manager, Sheldon Adelson has created and developed to maturity more than 50 different companies, including COMDEX, the world leading computer expo, rendering him the foremost authority in mega-exhibitions. Always challenging the business status quo, Sheldon G. Adelson created Las Vegas Sands - the foremost company in its field that built "The Venetian" in Las Vegas, the largest and leading hotel in the world, as well as integrated resorts in Macau, China, and now also in Singapore - and today is both Chairman and CEO of the company.
"It is my hope that our donation, intended for safeguarding the continuity of Yad Vashem and its activities, expresses the importance that we afford both Holocaust remembrance and the commemorative enterprise as vital components in securing the future of the Jewish people, and the future of our children and grandchildren", Sheldon Adelson remarked.
Sheldon Adelson has been granted many honorary degrees and other awards, and has been a guest speaker at various colleges and universities, including the University of New Haven, Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, Tel Aviv University and Babson College, educating a new generation of business entrepreneurs.
"The challenges we face are especially relevant during these trying times in the history of the State of Israel", said Chairman of the Directorate Avner Shalev. "It is not despite the situation, but because of it, that there is a great need for Jews around the world to connect to the legacy of the past and turn it into a driving power. Imparting the story and the significance of the Holocaust strengthens our moral fiber and is essential in shaping our resolve and endurance as individuals, as a state and as a nation. The Adelsons' generosity will enable us to fulfill our existential and vital role."