Yechiel “Hilik” Magnus (b. 1949) was born in Sweden to a German-Polish-Jewish family that moved to Israel while he was still an infant. Magnus grew up in the Holy Land, and served in the IDF as an elite paratrooper, as well as with the special forces, and later with the Mossad. After his military career, he worked as the director of nature conservation in Israel’s southern regions. During an Israeli-Japanese cultural project, Magnus found a new passion in traveling to the Far East, and toured the region extensively. Due to his intense military and intelligence training, Magnus was soon involved in a number of rescue missions to save Israeli backpackers trapped in Asia. By 1994, he turned this into a full-time job, creating an international search and rescue team that works with insurance companies and worried parents. He has helped bring thousands of families back together, earning the nickname of Israel’s “national rescuer”. These missions have included saving people from natural disasters, accidents, druggings, hostage situations, and even freeing Israelis from prison. Several years ago, he tracked down the body of a young man missing for over a month in Brazil. Most recently, he journeyed to Nepal to help those trapped in the snowstorm that killed dozens. His expertise makes him sought out by various governments and organizations all over the world. He is the first man Israeli parents call when their children abroad are in trouble. Soon, it won’t be just Israeli parents, as Magnus has grown his search and rescue team, and intends on offering these services to any family in need of assistance. Despite being in his mid-60s, Magnus still leads even the most difficult of missions.
Words of the Week
Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world. – David McCullough Jr.
Listed by Forbes among the richest people in the world, Ralph Lauren (b. 1939) was born Ralph Lifshitz to Polish-Belorussian immigrants in the Bronx. He began selling ties to his classmates at the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy. Lauren then studied at Baruch College, followed by several years in the US Army, after which he became a tie salesman. For a long time he would struggle to make a living, until he was finally able to open his own tie store in 1967, called Polo. As his success grew, Lauren released several men’s clothing lines. Today, Polo Ralph Lauren is a multi-billion dollar company. Interestingly, Lauren owns a rare car collection with over 70 unique vehicles – one of the greatest collections in the world. He is also a knight of the French legion.
A fellow New Yorker, Karl Anderson (b. 1959) was born to a Swedish father and Jewish mother. He changed his name to Michael Kors at age 5 when his mother remarried. Influenced by his mother’s modelling career, Kors began designing clothes as a teen and selling them out of his parents’ basement. He was discovered soon after while studying at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. After working for French fashion giant Celine for many years, Kors left to focus on his own label, which has quickly grown to huge popularity globally. Aside from the fashion world, Kors received the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research.
Words of the Week
You create your own universe as you go along. – Winston Churchill