I grew up in a Zionist home in Canada. My parents were both Holocaust survivors. My father bravely fought in Israel’s War of Independence. I grew up in a home rooted in love for the State of Israel and dedication to its safety and success.

I made aliyah with my wife, Margaret, eight years ago. I made a decision to dedicate my life to strengthening and promoting the Israel that I know and love but is misunderstood abroad due to relentless media coverage and the actions of haters who distort history to further a hostile political agenda. 

I would not have moved to a country that is less open, tolerant, pluralistic, and, yes, safe than my native Canada. I am here to serve my country and show the world the beautiful reality and virtuousness of Israel as an exemplary Western democracy. I also wish to connect the Jews of the Diaspora to our beautiful homeland.

My mission is to strengthen Israel’s positive international standing and global reputation while strengthening the home front with major investments in the country’s education and healthcare systems. I dedicate my life and philanthropic work to these objectives, along with important investments in Jewish institutions in the diaspora, especially in my native Montreal.

Bringing world-class cultural and sporting events to the country, the beautiful reality of Israel is revealed to enormous audiences around the world. This mission is more important today than ever before in the wake of the October 7th Hamas pogroms and the war that ensued, as the need to revive both Israeli society from within and the country’s image on the global stage will be of strategic importance.

Some of my most notable achievements in this field include bringing the world’s most famous athlete, Lionel Messi, and his Argentinian national football (soccer) team for a friendly game in Tel Aviv, Madonna for a cameo appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest, and the championship game of the French football (soccer) league, the Trophée des champions (also featuring Messi, playing for his Paris-St. Germain professional club), to Tel Aviv. 

“We will rebuild and grow in a place where Hamas wanted to see us perish.”

In 2018, I was responsible for Israel hosting the largest sporting event in the country’s history: the “Grande Partenza” (“Big Start”) of the Giro d’Italia, the first three stages of cycling’s second most popular event, after the Tour de France. These events brought Israel into the homes of hundreds of millions of television viewers around the world.

The October 7th pogrom, the worst atrocity against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, devastated me, as it did most Jews and Israelis. These unspeakably cruel, barbaric attacks against peaceful citizens of the Gaza envelope have united our people, even as we mourn our losses, and feel the deep pain of the families of the captives held hostage in Gaza. 

Let’s not allow this unity to dissipate, and let’s work to build a stronger Israel in unison with our diaspora bothers and sisters.

Our image abroad has taken a terrible beating abroad, due to the propaganda of a very hostile, determined, and organized enemy. We will need to figure out how to fight this communication war, which is of strategic importance. If a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes the truth. As such, we are up against a parallel army of antisemites that the October 7th massacre has revealed. 

Sylvan Adams: Rebuilding Israel better than ever
Sylvan Adams meets with Chen Malka, a survivor at the site of the October 7th Supernova massacre. Photo courtesy of Sylvan Adams

In the same way that we have found solutions to humanity’s and our planet’s most challenging problems, I have confidence that we will win this communication war, with the whole world ultimately benefitting from this. 

We also need to help rebuild the south and transform it into a thriving community for citizens to return to and attract others to live there. By developing the right infrastructure, we can make the south a hub for health, innovation, and continuity. We will rebuild and grow in a place where Hamas wanted to see us perish.

For this reason, I decided to donate $100 million to Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. This donation encouraged other philanthropists to contribute to one of the south’s most important institutions.

I am also working on building sports facilities along the Israel-Gaza border and will continue to develop other projects that will strengthen our people and give them a reason to return home in the days after the war.

To create an impact amidst adversity, we must invest boldly in education and innovation. 

More proximally, my professional cycling team, Israel-Premier Tech, held a worldwide mass solidarity bike ride together with tens of thousands of cyclists, Jewish and non-Jewish, participating in solidarity with our hostages. 

“I firmly believe that Israel and the region have a bright future ahead, even and especially in the aftermath of October 7th.”

Although not religious, I consider myself to be the most Jewish person you will ever meet. I take deep pride in our people’s history and the good we have imparted to the world, not least of which is the foundation of our modern Western democratic world. 

Since the outbreak of war, we have seen that Jewish pride is back. Jews across the world are coming out in support of their brothers and sisters in Israel while reconnecting to their roots and Jewish identity. Enrolment in Jewish schools has soared since Oct 7th. 

Before October 7th, a significant challenge was countering the media’s narrow, mostly negative portrayal of Israel. I endeavored to showcase Israel’s normalcy amidst an image of conflict (which is sadly too true at the moment), especially to first-time visitors (including virtual visitors via their TV screens) whose perceptions were shaped by a distorted representation. 

Once the war is won, that goal will be even more important, including combating antisemitism. These challenges demand not only resilience but also a systematic, principled, organized and steadfast commitment to countering misconceptions and outright lies, while safeguarding Israel’s future and the rights of the Jewish people.

I firmly believe that Israel and the region have a bright future ahead, even, and especially in the aftermath of October 7th. We have come together, both Israelis and diaspora Jews. We will strengthen our Jewish nation with determination and resilience… and unity. Israelis are winners, and we will prevail.

We must support and build our country with cutting-edge innovations, facilities and infrastructures so that we can show the world that we are here to stay and nothing can change that.