Jewish 100, 2014: Shawn Evenhaim – Community
Co-founder of the Israeli American Council
Shawn Evenhaim, after immigrating to Los Angeles from Israel, discovered that he missed Israel’s culture and language, and feared that his children would know neither. In response, the real estate developer helped to found the Israeli American Council (IAC) as an attempt to preserve the uniqueness of the Israeli community in the United States and to help Israeli expats become integrated with the American Jewish community. During 2014, the small Los Angeles organization saw rapid growth, expanding under Evenhaim’s leadership to most Israeli-American populations in the United States, launching its own Birthright program, and organizing its first national conference, among other achievements. Notably, the IAC reportedly brought on board Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson as its main benefactor, providing the organization with the resources for its expansion.