Sylvan Adams, Canadian-born businessman, philanthropist and Israel’s ‘self-appointed ambassador-at-large,’ received an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on Tuesday evening, May 17, 2022, during the university’s Board of Governors Meeting.
Since making aliyah six years ago, Adams has shown the world what he calls ‘normal Israel’ by presenting the true face of Israel, often negatively portrayed by the media, to large audiences around the world, through sporting and cultural events.
He arranged Israel’s hosting of the ‘Grande Partenza’ – the first three stages of the three-week Giro d’Italia Grand Tour bicycle race in 2018, brought Madonna to Tel Aviv for a cameo performance at the Eurovision song contest in 2019, and brought Lionel Messi and the Argentinian National soccer team to Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium in 2019. These events brought Israel into the homes of billions of television viewers around the world. Adams owns the Israel Premier Tech professional cycling team, the first professional team from Israel in any sport to compete in its sport’s highest league, the 18-team WorldTour.
Other honorary doctorate recipients at the event were Rabbi Denise L. Eger, USA; David Grossman, Israel; Timotheus Höttges, Germany; Cyndi and Max Mintzberg, Canada; Prof. Louise Richardson, United Kingdom; and Prof. Nahum Sonenberg, Canada & Israel. Harold Paisner of the United Kingdom received the President’s Award.