Shalom Lamm is an entrepreneur who is unique in many ways. Following a wildly successful and versatile career as a businessman in the private sector spanning close to four decades, Lamm has set his sights on making a difference in the not for profit arena. Indeed, we often read about successful businesspeople who might give philanthropically in the form of financial contributions to various organizations and causes. And that of course is admirable and important. But this is an even more impactful form of giving back that is rarely seen among those operating in the upper echelons of the business world.
Operation Benjamin is an organization that speaks to Shalom Lamm in a way that is uniquely powerful. It speaks to Lamm’s experience, education and passion. Indeed, its cause is a sacrosanct one. There are hundreds of American Jewish GIs who were killed in the line of fire during World War II, who were mistakenly buried under Latin crosses. The mission of this incredible organization is to identify these GIs who were mistakenly buried across the United States under Latin crosses, and to replace the headstones with stars of David.
What could possibly be more important and meaningful to the memory of those killed in the service to their country, then ensuring that they are buried in a way that is consistent with their beliefs and their faith? Indeed, Shalom and his life-story are anything but ordinary. Perhaps that’s what explains his deep and abiding commitment to this incredibly important organization and cause.
A graduate of Yeshiva University and the American Military University, Lamm has published articles and essays on a wide range of different topics. Those subjects have included educational public policy; the United States Civil War, and warfare policy in the Journal of International Security. He has been an on-air historian in two full-length video productions about Jews in the Civil War which appeared on PBS multiple times.
But it is Lamm’s dedicated service to his own community and his commitment to helping others that are most worthy of recognition. While it was still a part of the Soviet Union in 1991, Shalom went on a mission to Ukraine where he led services in the largest synagogue in Kiev to a standing room only audience. It was following this experience, after seeing the desperate need for food in Ukraine, that Shalom launched the “Kans for Kiev” program. This life-saving program collected and shipped tens of thousands of cans of food to the Jewish community of Kiev.
No different than his involvement with Operation Benjamin today, Shalom’s commitment to this initiative and his dedication to helping the Jewish community of Kiev, went well beyond merely writing a check or making a financial contribution. Shalom and his wife, Tina, sponsored, housed and fed dozens of entering college students from the former Soviet Union for many years. This type of willingness to really get his hands dirty to help worthy causes is indeed in Shalom’s blood and DNA.
Shalom was a member of the Board of Directors of The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for years. In this capacity, he travelled on missions with the group to Germany and Spain and to military installations in the United States. He also has been involved with the Hatzoloh Medical Rescue organization for many years. In fact, he has personally participated in close to one thousand medical rescue calls.
Indeed it is this type of commitment to helping others, beyond merely doing so financially, that sets Shalom Lamm apart from many other philanthropists. For that reason, we at Mass News believe his important and selfless work on behalf of mankind is worthy of recognition. We can only hope that there will be those who will view his story of dedication to communal causes and initiatives as exemplary and inspirational; and seek to emulate that type of commitment in their own lives. Given the challenging times so many people find themselves in due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are so many that are in need of assistance, whether financial or otherwise. Let us all make a commitment to try our best to help out mankind, for the better. Together, we can indeed make a significant and meaningful difference.