Howard Schultz was born to a poor Jewish-German family in Brooklyn. A phenomenal athlete, he paid his way through higher education on sports scholarships. After working as a salesperson for Xerox, he became the general manager of Swedish coffee machine maker Hammarplast. In this role, he paid a visit to one of the company’s clients – a tiny café in Seattle called Starbucks. Having traveled through Italy and seen the importance of café-socials in Italian society, Schultz was inspired to create the same for America. Unfortunately the three Starbucks founders (two of whom are fellow Jews Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl) didn’t share his vision. So in 1985 Howard Schultz started his own café called Il Giornale. Hugely successful, by 1988 Schultz was able to buy out the original Starbucks and adopted it as his own brand name! Schultz quickly became a billionaire, went on to own the Seattle Supersonics basketball team, wrote two books, and received multiple awards, including one from Aish HaTorah for his Israel advocacy work. Today, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse in the world, with 19,435 locations in 58 countries. The company continues to run under the direction of Schultz, and has become well-known for its humanitarianism: their Ethos brand raises money for water development projects, while Product Red delivers AIDS medication to Africa. The Starbucks Foundation works to develop youth literacy and leadership, sponsoring volunteer work and providing millions of dollars in grants every year.
Words of the Week
Leave Israel alone, for even if they are not themselves prophets, they are still the children of prophets.
Since the very beginnings of baseball, the sport has been dominated by great Jewish players: Hank Greenberg, Buddy Myer, Al Rosen, Ken Holtzman and many more. Perhaps most famous of all is Sandy Koufax, the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time, who actually started out as a basketball player in Brooklyn. The first person to win the Cy Young Award (for best pitcher) three times, he was also the league MVP in 1963. Koufax’s shining moment was when he refused to play the first game of the World Series because it was on Yom Kippur. He came back to lead his trailing team to the World Series victory, which earned him the Sportsman of the Year Award. Forced to retire at the young age of 30 due to arthritis, he became the youngest player ever to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Interestingly, Koufax’s last name at birth was Braun, like this year’s baseball MVP Ryan Braun, nicknamed “The Hebrew Hammer”. The son of an Israeli, he has recently said, “I am Jewish… I’m extremely proud to be a role model for young Jewish kids.”
Words of the Week
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed. – Gandhi