Adam Milstein, the well respected Jewish philanthropist and activist, is also a well known writer. He writes for major Jewish publications, such as the Times of Israel. In a recent article on the Times of Israel blog, Adam Milstein wrote that pride and courage are the two biggest gifts we can give to our children.
He talked about the Maccabees. The Maccabees is the name for a group of Jews during the time of the second Temple. The Greeks had decreed that the Jews should be forbidden to conduct their religious ceremonies. The Maccabees were just a small group of Jews, but they did not shy away from standing up for their rights and their way of living. In the miracle that is celebrated by Jews every year on Hanukkah, the Maccabees managed to defeat the Greeks, even though the Greeks had a much larger army than them.
Adam Milstein says that we have to emulate the Maccabees. We have to stand up for ourselves and for the Jewish people. We need to give over to our children the gifts that will help the Jewish people continue to exist and thrive.
The first of these gifts is pride. You have to have pride that you are Jewish. Adam Milstein says that when he grew up, he was proud to be a Jew. That is how he was raised. He wrote in the Times of Israel that if you can not be proud of your heritage, you will find no reason to stand up for yourself and to continue in the traditions that have kept the Jewish people alive for so many years. That is why we need to install pride in our children. We need to teach them how to be good Jews. We need to show them how fortunate they are to be Jewish. This way, they will continue our tradition and keep the flame alive. We also have to install in our children a sense of pride about the State of Israel. After all, it was founded against all odds, despite all the things that stood in its path.
Fortress Investment Group’s co-founder Wesley Edens is not only the top administrative official for the company’s investment operations, but also a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball organization. The five-hundred-million-dollar acquisition from Edens, along with partner Marc Larsy in 2014 brought about the guarantee that the team would remain in Wisconsin and a new arena would be built for the team’s home games. Previous owner Herb Kohl was weighing the option of selling the franchise and relocating the team to what would have been the new owner’s desired location, rumored to be either Seattle or Las Vegas, had state funding for the new arena collapsed. Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker and the state’s lawmakers decided in a 21-10 vote that two-hundred and fifty million tax-payer dollars would be allocated for the construction of the complex, with the remaining amount being the responsibility of the owners. Completion of the sports complex is slated for this year 2018 and will reside in the heart of Milwaukee’s downtown business district.
Wes Edens received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Oregon State University. Shortly after graduation, he partnered with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and also served as managing director. In 1993, Edens transitioned to BlackRock Investments and again regained his title of partner and managing director of the firm’s private-equity investment operations. He would later become one of five individuals to create Fortress Investment Group and was tasked with running the company’s private equity and publicly-traded investment division. He also serves as Co-Chairman on the Board of Directors as well as a brief stint as Chairman of Fortress’s Transportation and Infrastructure LLC from 2015 to 2016.
Wesley Edens is credited for Fortress’s acquisition of Springleaf Financial Services, which at the time was known as AIG’s American General Finance. With an original investment of one-hundred and twenty-five million dollars in 2010, Edens and Fortress were able to use their knowledge and expertise to build-up the investment portfolio of Springleaf and in 2015, the company’s value was at a staggering three and half billion dollars. Edens would later become chairman of Springleaf and another company that Fortress also acquired in a merger in 2006. That company was Nationstar Mortgage, which was originally founded under the name Centex Home Equity Company, LLC. The 2006 acquisition for five-hundred and seventy-five million dollars propelled Fortress’s investment portfolio and monetary value under their supervision in the billions of dollars worldwide.
More recently in the early part of the year 2017, Fortress created a professional video game team called FLYQUEST. The team competes in the League of Legends tournament at the North American League of Legends Championship Series. Their participation in the Spring and Summer events awarded them a fourth and seventh place finish. General Manager Ryan Edens credits the owners for their dedication to the team’s efforts but stresses the importance of giving more to the fans. The fans are what drive the team to compete and nothing less than first place is acceptable to the players and to the fans with whom they represent.