Sunday, 3 June 2007
As Adam’s younger cousin with a similar passion for business, I looked up to Adam. I always loved hearing Adam talk about his experience as a student at The Wharton School. I knew the impact that Wharton had on Adam but until I matriculated as a Wharton student, with a lot of help from Adam, I never appreciated the impact that Adam had on Wharton.
Inspirational. Successful beyond his years. The kind of person I want to be when I graduate. These were all actual phrases that were used to describe Adam. Not by me – although I wholeheartedly agree – but by my classmates at Wharton.
I am going to speak for a few minutes about a part of Adam’s life which you may not already have heard – the incredible impact Adam had on the Wharton community. Adam epitomized what was good about Wharton. He had the Wharton entrepreneurial spirit, loved to help others develop theirs and believed strongly in giving back to his community.
Adam’s Wharton experience was so influential in his life and career that he in turn wanted to make a big impact on Wharton and the students that came after him. And he did. At the drop of a hat, and at his own expense, Adam would fly up to
Adam would also fly up to
Adam was in town for his guest lecture and as luck would have it I was able to attend. He loved to start his lectures by saying that Professor Linneman always asked him to speak the week after Sam Zell, a major American real estate tycoon, because unlike Zell, who’s major concern was likely what food to order on his private plane on the way to Philadelphia, Adam could legitimately speak about the perils of being a young, successful real estate entrepreneur and the struggles that are associated with it.
Adam related to the students listening to him, and they to him. I remember vividly sitting in the back of the class and watching. Watching Adam connect so easily with his audience. Watching Adam perform in his element. Watching my classmates slowly move forward in their seats and become fully engaged.
After the lecture he spent time with several students answering their questions and giving advice. That was Adam. Despite being incredibly busy and knowing that every minute spent talking now was a minute later that he would have to stay up at night because of all the work he had to do, it didn’t matter.
Adam had this uncanny ability to make you feel like what you were doing with him at that moment was the most important thing in the world.
I had always known that my cousin, friend and mentor was a brilliant entrepreneur and an unusually talented teacher but I had never had the good fortune of seeing him in action. Now I did. And now my classmates all knew.
I asked Adam about his natural talent for teaching. He responded that this was his way of giving back and that his dream was to one day become a permanent guest lecturer at Wharton.
That afternoon, I became known on campus as the guy whose cousin was the selfless entrepreneurial success story that everyone wanted to emulate. Friends and strangers alike came up to me asking for Adam’s contact details and seeking more information on his background and business ventures. And it made me proud. Very proud. So proud that I walked with an added bounce in my step through campus.
That night two promising young real estate undergraduate students asked Adam and me to go for dinner. He agreed. After all, he said to me, these kids remind me of me 10 years ago so any advice I can give today they will remember always.
And that was how Adam was. Always looking out for others, helping whenever he could, sharing his successes and mistakes with the next generation.
Adam’s dreams were cut short. But for the hundreds and hundreds of students who had the good fortune to hear him speak and meet him on campus, he left a lasting impact.
The Wharton community lost one of its most valuable assets, and I lost a cousin, a friend and my mentor, but the legacy of Adam Anhang will live forever in the Wharton entrepreneurial spirit and in my heart. I miss you, Adam.
From Shane Boroditsky (Memorial Lecture Introductory Remarks):
Sunday, 3 June 2007
I knew Adam for more than 25 years. We met in kindergarten, attended Talmud Torah and graduated from Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate together. While university took us in different directions we remained close friends. We talked frequently and visited with each other as often as possible. Pesach and Rosh Hashanah were always exciting times as we would both find ourselves back in
Adam’s friendships were important to him and a big part of his life. He would routinely travel long distances, for only short periods of time, in order to see his friends. It was common for Adam to extend a stop over to fit in a dinner, a squash match or a steam. Whether it was a small island in the
The picture of Adam in tonight’s program was taken at the wedding of one of our closest friends. For those who knew Adam well and think of him often, this is how he is remembered; with his characteristic smile, his boisterous laugh and never happier than when celebrating with his friends. He never missed a Simcha or the important moments.
Adam had a zest for life. He put 100% into everything he did, not just his professional but his personal life as well. Putting in half an effort or giving up was never his style. One of my fondest memories of Adam is when we learned to scuba diver together. He was nervous about his swimming abilities, he could barely stand up with all of his equipment on and at the time he preferred to see fish on a plate, in a restaurant, rather than swimming beside him; but it never slowed him down for a second and the moment we hit the water off he went as if he had been doing it all his life. Whether it was the Flying Trapeze, a week of Army basic training or climbing one of the world’s seven summits, there was very little that could slow him down, much less stop him.
I had the opportunity to visit Adam in
Adam was a good friend but his proudest role was always that of being a big brother. While he had a tendency to be slightly overprotective, there was nothing that brought a smile to his face faster than talking about his little sister and what she was doing. It is now my pleasure to introduce Adam’s sister.
From Becky (Memorial Lecture Introductory Remarks):
Sunday, 3 June 2007
On behalf of the Anhang family, I want to thank you all for joining us for this Memorial Lecture in honor of my brother, Adam, zicharon l’bracha, may his memory be for a blessing.
As many of you know, the proceeds of tonight’s lecture will go to the Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun Synagogue, and in particular, to a Learning Centre there in Adam’s name. Much has been said and written about Adam in the past 20 months; given the nature of the occasion tonight, I’d like to share a couple of anecdotes about experiences Adam had with our family at the shul.
We celebrated Adam’s bar mitzvah at Herzlia. On a snowy day in March of 1986, he read the entire parsha and lead the Shacharit and Musaf sections of the service. I remember beaming with pride as he completed the Torah reading perfectly, overcoming the adverse conditions presented by that inevitable man in the front row who was singing along, slightly off-key, three words behind Adam’s pace. After he had been showered with candy, Adam got up to give his well-researched bar mitzvah speech. After he concluded his remarks on the week’s Torah portion, he thanked my parents and grandparents for their guidance, thanked the relatives who had traveled long distances in the blizzard, thanked the rabbi for teaching him, thanked God for bringing him to this momentous day in a Jewish boy’s life. I remember thinking to my ten year-old self, ‘sooner or later, he’ll mention me.’ At last, my moment arrived. Adam turned to face me in the ladies section, and said, “And to my sister Becky, who I promised to mention in my speech, well hello there Becky.”
That was not the only occasion that Adam and I communicated to and from the bimah, the dais of the synagogue. After he’d moved out of town, Adam often came back to celebrate Jewish holidays with our family at the shul. Whenever he visited, he was called upon to read from the megillot, the books of Song of Songs, Ruth, or Ecclesiastes, depending on the season. Each of these books consists of several chapters, read with a special lyrical melody. Adam would practice for these readings at my parents’ kitchen table. Once in shul, and poised on the bimah to begin, Adam would turn and look at me over his right shoulder in between each chapter, waiting for my signals on whether to start at a higher or lower a pitch, or a faster or slower tempo.
About five years ago, I decided that I, too, wanted to learn how to read from the Torah. Adam came to visit me from New York, and in a learning centre, a beit midrash, not dissimilar to the one that will be built at Herzlia, he sat next to me for a long afternoon of teaching and learning Torah notes. Adam was a very excellent teacher – he taught me all of the basics of Torah reading in one afternoon, and to this day, when I am preparing to layn a parsha (read a portion), I hear Adam’s voice in my head, describing the different tones of each note and how they link together to form the familiar lilt of Torah reading.
In the past many months, when I’ve tried – as many who have lost loved ones try – to conjure Adam’s image, because I have news to share or need his advice, or simply because I miss him, these are precisely the moments that I remember: Adam, from the bimah, looking over his shoulder at me for a nod; Adam, next to me in the learning centre, patiently, in one afternoon, giving me a gift that I use in the service of my community, even though he is no longer in this world to do the same.
My family and I hope that the learning centre in Adam’s name will be a place in which such gifts are routinely given and received. As we continue to come to terms with the events of the recent past, we are very honored tonight to hear Rabbi Joseph Telushkin share words of vision for the future.
From Ian Schnoor:
Adam and I were friends for 27 years. We first met in kindergarten and we remained close until his untimely death.
It has been a struggle for me to capture the essence of our friendship on paper. How does one summarize a lifetime of friendship in a few lines? While I don’t think it’s possible, I will share a few of my fond recollections.
My first memories of Adam are from kindergarten. While the rest of the class was learning how to write the numbers 1 through 9, Adam demonstrated that he had already mastered his numbers. He was a step ahead by age 5, and this continued for the rest of his life.
We continued at school together from grades 1 through 12. Adam put his heart and soul into every endeavour that he pursued. Upon graduation from high school, his efforts were rewarded with the Gold Medal, an honour bestowed upon the student who achieved high academic distinction and who demonstrated exceptional extracurricular involvement.
On a personal level, Adam was instrumental in helping me secure my first job upon graduation from university. During a year-off from my studies in which I traveled overseas, Adam mailed me books on the stock market and other business topics. I was thrilled to receive these books, even though it meant that I had to lug heavy textbooks around in my backpack. When I returned from my travels, Adam helped me secure a summer job at a brokerage firm which ultimately bolstered my resume. While I was applying for my first job following university, Adam counselled me on interview tactics and the expectations of a job in corporate finance. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the help and support provided by Adam.
I will always remember Adam’s passion, his competitive spirit, his contagious laugh, his generosity and his sense of adventure. The last time we got together, Adam wanted to go snowmobiling. Neither of us had ever operated a “sled,” but Adam embraced the opportunity whole-heartedly. At one point while making a sharp turn, his passenger went flying off the back of the snowmobile into a snow bank. After laughing off the incident, we continued along with the same enthusiasm.
Today is Adam’s birthday. He would have turned 33. Regardless of how busy we were, we always spoke on our birthdays. We knew that we would catch up on those days. More than anything, I would like to call Adam today to wish him a happy birthday.
Adam, I will miss our birthday conversations. I will never forget our friendship, the times we shared, or the impact that you had on my life.
Thursday, 2 Feb 2006
I’m typing, knowing Adam will never type again. My feelings are difficult to put in words, and sharing them now brings tears to my eyes… again. I think it will always be that way. I also think that he would have been chuffed that he was being written about with such intensity. That brings a smile back to the face!
I don’t know how many other African friends Adam Joel Anhang had. But he had at least one, and her heart is heavy and will remain so, even with the joy of having briefly shared space and time with him. There is so much about him I didn’t know until recently. Little things I should have known, I suppose. Personal things. I never knew his middle name was Joel, or that he was only 32 years old – it just never came up. What mattered was the intellectual, emotional and spiritual connection we made even though we came from such different worlds. It hurts that I am here and he is gone, and I write in pain, but also with the satisfaction of having sat across from him and shared laughter, dreams and the odd disaster!
We first met while I worked for Peter Linneman who in his characteristic fashion took on and mentored me while he adopted Adam with all his promise as a future star – otherwise, there is no way we ever could have met, so different were our paths (so I thank Peter for his vision and faith in others). We last met in
We enjoyed an excellent meal together and talked about many different things, some of which I hold close to my heart with my memories of him. What I can share with anyone reading is that Adam recognised me as an African woman and made no bones about the effort I have to make to improve the conditions of Africans everywhere. He spoke boldly of the parallels between the struggles of his people and mine, and encouraged me to fight for and with other Africans as his own people have fought for themselves over time, eloquently describing his personal conflicts and pride about Judaism and what it meant to him. He breached his staggering personal wall to explain the family from which he came with astonishing pride, articulation and determination (so I thank his family for raising a son who crossed so many barriers that it is almost inconceivable). I will never forget his passion, warmth or generosity. Or his sense of humour! He would have felt so special knowing how we all responded to his leaving. He left hope in his wake along with the pain each of us who had the honour of knowing him will continue to feel. As my life unfolds, I intend to fulfil the dreams I shared with Adam. He made me proud to be who I am and that is such a great gift to give to another. I wish all who knew and loved him peace and continuing love inspired by having encountered such a great spirit.
From Janice Vallely:
Sunday, 22 Jan 2006
Each day passes. And I think that today I will find the words.
Inside my head and inside my heart it is all clear. The words are there, flowing along with the images- his smile, the rhythm of his voice, and the laugh, that distinctive laugh.
Adam shared all that was good and promising and hopeful with us. He made life feel safer, more secure than it is, because in our most vulnerable moments there was Adam to call.
I often thought that on the surface we were an unlikely pair to have become such close friends. But it was the common love of the romantic life, the passion for learning and discovery and the enthusiasm to share it with others was what bonded the two of us.
Maybe it was the conversation when I told him that I saw life as if it were trapeze that the friendship solidified. I told him you have only yourself to trust as to when to let go and grasp the next bar. Trust in your strength and the grace it brings. Some work with a net. Some don’t. But even those who work with a net below know that the net doesn’t guarantee survival from a fall. One has to hit the net right and know how to control the bounce in order to stay safe. So it was in this belief I came to accept at any early age that there is no guaranteed safety net and that our falls have to be as graceful as the moments when we soar. I remember saying to him, most people believe that romantics are idealistic dreamers, not rooted in reality. But in truth, romantics are the true realists. Because romantics have taken a hard look at reality and have the courage to point out what is missing and dare to try to do something about it.
And it was because I could share these feelings and innumerable others with Adam while we also spoke of debt service ratio and how to structure a project that I came to love him profoundly. He was different than any other friend I have or have had. He was the friend that one always hopes to find; the one who embodies the best of all that one loves and respects in life.
Adam was different, not because of his brilliance and heart. He was different because he made a difference. He changed lives, restored dignity, breathed hope into the despair, comforted in the most inconsolable moments, and treated all of us who needed his help with respect. We felt a little less defeated when he was here beside us.
I choose to not let Adam’s good life be redefined and overshadowed by how his life ended. Adam lived an inspired life and inspired others. He was loving and loved by many in return.
Maybe it was because Adam was such a little boy when he began carrying a briefcase, that he retained the one thing that seems to elude so many “successful” people. He remembered the pure joy of achievement as one first feels it. And he dared to let his heart be filled with it. Perhaps this is the core of why Adam became legendary. And all of us, who had the great fortune to have come to know him, knew that Adam mastered how to carry a greater sense of humanity in his briefcase.
Should there be any other measure of success?
From Brian Korb:
Saturday, 21 Jan 2006
Adam had a passion for the game of life. He did not belittle life to just a game, but looked it as a game to keep it fun and a constant challenge. For him the world was more like an oversized chess board in which he was working towards being a grandmaster. Many people view business and friendships as a zero-sum game – that someone needs to lose for someone else to win. Adam did not believe in that. He seemed to get satisfaction from teaching new players about the rules and hopefully turning them into formidable challengers. He fostered friendly competition though – enough to inspire passion, but to still keep the experience enjoyable. I became friends with Adam when my perspective on school and life was more chaotic to me – I did not see all the players or the chess pieces. During the nights we would talk or grab drinks or work on our school projects, he helped me to map out new strategies for myself that would finally allow for some enjoyment throughout the anxious pace I was overcome by many times. The great thing was that he also allowed me to teach and influence him as he just as easily welcomed being a student of new ideas and experiences – and being rewarded with his laugh. It allowed for a usually dynamic interaction. Beyond graduation and for the past several years Adam remained that same pillar of comfort that allowed me to feel at ease during the sessions of advice I sought from him. His loyalty and support and his friendship were a rare find.
From Peter Linneman:
Saturday, 21 Jan 2006
Adam is well-known in our Wharton Real Estate circles and very well respected by professors and students alike. At such a young age, he accomplished so much and was a mentor to many who wanted to pursue the entrepreneurial path in life. He had the vision and the confidence to act on his own business ideas and dreams, a trait many people spend their whole lives honing. To me, Adam had an old soul – he had been here before, recognized the bumps in the road, took no grief in the unexpected, and let things just be. It was this unique sense of being that attracted us to Adam and we took comfort in his company. We have suffered a great loss – loss of a friend, a companion, a leader.
Monday, 12 Dec 2005
On my birthday, a few memories:
Adam always played a central role in my birthday celebrations. Three weeks before my bat mitzvah – the event marking my 12th birthday – Adam rescued my ruffly bat mitzvah dress from our burning childhood home, after the attic caught fire during a professional paint job gone awry.
The year that I turned 15, upon hearing that I missed him very much in his first year away from home, Adam flew to Winnipeg to surprise me for my birthday. When I turned 18, just a few months into my freshman year at Penn, he schemed with my new college friends to throw me a surprise party.
Over the years, he gave me many thoughtful birthday gifts. The cards – like all correspondence he sent me – were always signed, “Big Bro.” The year I turned 10, Adam decided that now that I was entering the double digits, I was becoming a real lady, and deserved a gift that helped mark the transition. He consulted with our mother, and determined that the most ladylike gift of all was pantyhose. He went with her to a department store and true to a longstanding practice of giving blue gifts to his blue-eyed sister, selected a pair in a shade called, “blueberry.” The hose themselves were powder blue in color, and I remember feeling like a really fancy lady when I wore them.
On the night of my wedding last year, Adam – who had been serving as the informal wedding planner, managing a detailed spreadsheet of “to-dos” that included picking up dozens of people from the airport, organizing Shabbat services, touring visitors around town, and running errands – managed to find time to surreptitiously gather the shards of glass from the traditional Jewish ceremony and send them to a Judaica designer to be housed in a specially-crafted mezuzah. (A glass is shattered at a Jewish wedding as an indicator that even during happy times, we remember the tragic destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.) Adam mailed the resulting mezuzah to me for my birthday a few months later. It is my last birthday gift from him, and it now hangs in my home, a reversal of the traditional meaning of the crushed glass: a memory of happiness during a tragic time.
From Stacey Klein:
Tuesday, 08 Nov 2005
I just wanted to share with you how much Adam affected and touched my life. I first met Adam when I went with Barry Bender to Winnipeg as an adviser on winter retreats around 1990. For some reason, Adam decided that we were meant to have a connection, and he pursued a friendship with me in his wonderfully bold and determined way. He would not be stopped! He humorously urged me to take walks with him in the zero below Winnipeg weather so that we could argue about religion, philosophy, etc. He bantered with me about life, G-d and ethics in endearing and engaging ways. His charm and his sharp sense of humor always caught me off guard, and I responded in kind to his interest and attention. Following that winter, he called often, sent funny cards, and sent flowers on my birthdays. I didn’t at the time know how grateful I would be for his perseverance towards our friendship.
During the course of our friendship, I went through a very difficult time when my parents got divorced. I was just graduating from college with so many questions and a lot to learn about the job market. During that time, and for many years afterwards, Adam taught me many of these things I needed to learn. He was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge and extremely patient as he taught me. He never hesitated to make time for me and helped me through various obstacles I encountered. Adam sat with me for hours – on many occasions over several years – teaching me how to enhance and embrace my best abilities. He rewrote and reworded my resumés and taught me how to put my best foot forward, how to negotiate better salaries, and really, how to take care of myself financially to the best of my ability at a time when I most needed it.
On many occasions, I frantically called Adam from a payphone, just out from a job interview, trying to figure out how to manage several job offers at once and to ask him for advice. He always took my calls and made me feel I was as important as any major business meeting he was in. He coached me on job interview skills, discussed job offers with me, and counseled me through my concerns. He trained me to think more corporately than most social workers! Rather than giving me money, he gave me something more valuable: the ability to negotiate for myself.
Adam was also there for me emotionally during this time in my life. Whether he was in Paris or Pennsylvania or Washington Heights or Hong Kong, he would always and consistently call to check up on me to see if I was okay. He sent me many cards with encouraging words. I looked forward to his calls and cherished our connection. He was a loyal, steadfast and dedicated friend to me. I loved his sarcasm and his sense of humor; we laughed a lot together. We confided in each other a great deal, and our support for each other was the hallmark of our relationship.
Adam, during a dark period of my life, you made my world a brighter, more hopeful place. You left deep and lasting footprints on my heart and I will be forever grateful to have been a part of your life and to have had you in my life. I will safeguard and pass on to others those skills and strengths that you imparted to me, and will always celebrate your impact on my life. I am positive that your strengths will live on in those who loved you, as you shared so much of yourself with the world. The world has lost a special soul, but it is also a better place because you touched us so much. May your soul find the comfort and peace you lovingly gave to me and may your family always feel comforted by the memories of your graciousness, kindness and generosity to others.
From Elie Seidman:
Sunday, 30 Oct 2005
It was with enormous sadness and shock that I learned of Adam's death.
I know that I will dearly miss Adam. My contact with him had been sporadic over the past year or so as my schedule and his schedule had dictated. However, I had visited him at the hotel at Martineau Bay during the summer of 2003; he was the most gracious and generous of hosts and it was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with him. In our many conversations about personal and business matters, he was always a caring and wise soul; his intellect, which was widely evident to all him knew him, was the source of many interesting and exciting business ideas which we enjoyed sharing and discussing. I had looked forward to a time when he would be back in New York and we might have the opportunity to work more closely together.
I wish that there was something that I could do other than offer words. While, thankfully, time is healing, Adam will not be forgotten by the many, many people he touched. His life cut tragically short was, however, lived fully - Adam embraced life and rushed up to meet it challenges and opportunities and of this, I am sure, he was enormously proud and content. His memory will always be honored by the gracious and gentle way he dealt with life, friends, work and whatever challenges were thrown at him.
From Aaron Ross:
Sunday, 30 Oct 2005
A few thoughts and anecdotes about Adam.
You mentioned Adam's sponsorship of the Rabbi's shiur in your eulogy. Allow me to fill in any details that you may or may not have known.
The Rabbi had given shiur in Penn for two years, but moved up to Boston before the 1994-95 academic year. This occurred over the summer, and thus we began the school year not knowing who would take over the slot of delivering a weekly, high-level gemara shiur at Penn. The Rabbi offered to come down from Boston to Philadelphia each week, thus solving the personnel issue but creating the problem of how our student community would afford a weekly commuter flight from Boston to Philly. Somehow, I found myself in the role of finding sponsors for the plane tickets. I do not remember who pointed me towards Adam (who I knew, although not well). Adam volunteered to sponsor the shiur himself with two stipulations. Number one, he would personally arrange the tickets through his travel agent (and thus would work out those details with the Rabbi). Number two, in what was ostensibly a way to ensure that his investment was worthwhile, he requested that each week, on the night before the shiur, for me to spend some time reviewing the sources for the shiur that I had prepared during the week. Equipped with a basic outline of what the shiur would be about, Adam attended shiur for a full semester.
Aside from the tremendous act of tzedaka that Adam performed, I am still impressed by the manner in which he conducted himself towards me. It is never easy to ask for money, and certainly not to approach a friend for tzedaka. Adam was a total mensch, making me feel comfortable throughout.
Adam and I continued our relationship beyond Penn. He flew out to Saint Louis to join in my wedding celebration. Having a wedding away from where your friends are inevitably means that some people will not make it. As such, I was particularly gratified that Adam felt that I was worth the trip.
A few weeks after the wedding, my in-laws called up and asked who this Adam from Winnipeg was. I gave a brief explanation and asked why they wanted to know. Apparently Adam, ever the mensch, had sent them a thank-you note for their hospitality in hosting the wedding.
At the wedding, Adam mentioned that he had a proposition to discuss when things settled down. True to his word, he called me a few weeks later. He felt that he wanted to get back into learning a bit and wanted to know if I had time to come to his office in midtown and teach/learn gemara with him. He insisted that I be paid for this. As I was in semicha but not yet working, I had the time, and we met several times to learn the opening pages of Bava Batra, which deals with Jewish property law. Adam and I chose to learn that section of law as it related to some of what he was involved with in his work at the time. Knowing Adam's generous nature, I could not help but think that Adam wanted this arrangement as much to help me out a bit financially as he wanted to help himself spiritually. I suppose that that would mean that he was helping himself spiritually in two different ways.
After our first child was born, Adam joined us for dinner in our Washington Heights apartment. Only recently has our son (now six) grown to be larger than the stuffed monkey that Adam brought as a gift. The monkey has moved with us to New Jersey, and obviously now is a treasured memory of a dear friend.
I was unfortunately out of touch with Adam recently, and thus the various circumstances surrounding his death came as somewhat of a surprise to me. My memories of him are of his support for Torah and of his gentle nature and menschlichkeit. May he continue to be an inspiration to those who knew him and may his memory be a blessing for his family and for the Jewish people.
From Arnold Messing:
Sunday, 23 Oct 2005
I met Adam when he joined the fencing team as a freshman at Yeshiva University, and our acquaintance deepened into friendship during his years at Yeshiva and afterward. I saw Adam as a special person who was caring, generous and strong.
Although Adam at first seemed unassuming, he was a strong man who was able to analyze a situation and focus quickly on the core issues. He earned a spot on the starting team, and the respect of his teammates. It was clear that he was mature beyond his years. I admired his determination, forthrightness, inner drive, ability to speak his mind, and follow through on his commitments and promises. He believed that if he devoted his energy, effort and time to any challenge, he would succeed and overcome obstacles. Losing was not acceptable unless he knew that he had tried his best, and then he knew that he had tried his best and then he would try even harder the next time. He started to trust me and we often spoke about his goals, frustrations and personal issues. During his stay at Y.U., he earned the right to represent the school at the NCAA northeast regional championships, and I rewarded him with our annual trophy for the team’s outstanding fencer – the first time I gave it to a non-senior. He seemed to appreciate my sincere concern and respect for him, and our relationship grew into friendship.
Our friendship was not a one-way street. Adam also loved to help others when their lives fell apart and we often talked to each other about our problems. He had an uncanny ability to size up someone else’s problem and resolve it. He was special in this way. He would use the resources available to him to get helpful information or referrals. He was generous and caring towards my children, and he invited us up to his apartment frequently for a swim, or to visit him in Puerto Rico, or to play with his cats.
I loved Adam and trusted him completely. My family and I will miss him dearly. I wanted to share some thoughts about Adam to let you know that, although his life was cut short in this tragedy, he had an unforgettable impact on me and I am filled with grief. Adam was a special person with unique and wonderful qualities and a good heart.
From Pamela Stein:
Tuesday, 18 Oct 2005
Adam was a dear friend of mine, and I do not know what I will do without him. I met Adam over 7 years ago at a mutual friend’s simcha. At the time, I was quite ill and was in a bad place emotionally. Adam took upon himself to cheer me up, by taking me out to shows, or other fun things to do around the City. If you knew Adam, this was not a strange thing for him to do for someone he only knew for a few months. One of the best times I had with Adam was two and a half years ago at a Bruce Springsteen concert at Giants Stadium. I hadn’t seen Adam that relaxed and happy in ages.
The thing that stands out about Adam, was how kind and generous he was. When I started to have another health relapse a few years ago, he took it upon himself to do research on my symptoms on the internet, research the top doctors, or go with me to some doctor appointments. Even though I knew my health stuff freaked him out to a certain extent, he rose above it to stick by his friend. No matter how busy Adam was or where in the world he was, he always made time to talk to me if I needed. He was somebody I could tell anything to, and will miss him dearly for that.
Adam also made an impression on my family and my community. He came to my house in Highland Park several times for Shabbat, despite how much he despised New Jersey. He would tell me that coming out to New Jersey was a testament to how much he liked me. He could talk to anybody about anything, whether it was talking to my father about genealogy or discussing religion with my rabbi brother.
The only comfort I have in all this is that he is in a much happier place. Adam was just too good for this world. You were one of my closest friends, and I loved you very much.
From Lissette Calderon:
Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005
I had the pleasure, the honor and privilege of meeting Adam early in our college career. Although from different backgrounds we shared the same passion for real estate and many other things. Together we were the first undergraduates to win the prestigious Seevak Real Estate competition our Senior Year. Not only was I able to share in his intellectual brilliance (the smartest person I ever met), but more importantly I was able to share with the compassionate, selfless, perfect gentleman I will always remember Adam to be.
He stood by my side during the best of times: the Seevak competition, my wedding, our senior formal, our corporate holiday party, a black tie fundraiser in Boston, and the list goes on. But in true Adam fashion, he always stood by me during the most difficult of times: making a career decision to leave New York, starting my own real estate development company here in Miami and the grief of losing my father in a similar manner that I now find myself losing Adam. Yet I find solace in the words that Adam used to constantly tell me, that I had to go on and make my father proud, that if I gave up, that person killed not only my father but me as well. He said I had two ways to go about it - and it was these difficult times that determined a man's character. That was over ten years ago while in college, yet those same words carry me once again.
I know I will never meet anyone like Adam again; I consider myself lucky - some people never get the chance to meet someone of that caliber. As I stare here at one of the pictures that sits on my desk of Adam and I winning the real estate competition, I realize how many lives he touched, how many of us loved and admired him, how much he meant to everyone, and most importantly how much he will be missed. Adam blessed us with his life, his lessons, and values. He will hold a special place in my heart forever. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. May God bless you all.
From Brian Grosberg:
Friday, 07 Oct 2005
Adam is a part of me that will forever be gone. For fourteen years he was like a brother to me. That was how deeply I felt, and still feel, about him. Everyone who knew Adam was easily aware of his gifted talents, brilliance and superb business acumen. Yet these are not the qualities that I, and many others who were fortunate enough to intimately know him, want to share with you.
I first met Adam in my freshman year at college and we quickly became friends. He was incredible- a member of the fencing team, a regular writer for the school newspaper, an A student, and always involved in some aspect of business. I never knew when, and even if, he ever slept until the first time he came to my house for a shabbos. After finishing the meal and engaging in some light conversation, Adam respectfully excused himself from the table in order to retire to bed. He must have slept 13 or 14 hours that night, and looked like he could probably go another 10 to 12 hours the following day. As Adam became a regular at my home for weekends his comfort level obviously increased. This was most evident by him retiring earlier and earlier to bed with each shabbos spent at my home. He would joke about this saying that he just wanted to get more beauty sleep so that he would always be more than handsome than me.
Adam had a great sense of humor and was extremely witty. Just recently my wife and I sent him pictures of our newborn son. What was Adam’s response: “Finally some pics of Noah- my nephew- the little bugger is adorable.” He was always kidding around like that and I loved him for it.
Adam was an extremely warm and compassionate person who loved his family and friends deeply. He always gave of himself and never asked for anything in return.
As an example, I remember telling him about my decision to propose to my wife. He was so excited for me. He helped plan every detail of my proposal- lent me his apartment which he set up with lit candles and a set table, arranged the caterer, and bought roses and a bottle of champagne for me. And for him, my happiness was gratification enough. He never asked me to repay him in anyway even though I offered repeatedly.
During particularly difficult times in my life, Adam always made time to listen patiently to my woes and provide me with much needed consolation. Even if he was preoccupied with other matters his family and friends came first. I was not unique in this respect, as many others can attest to the solace that he provided them as well in difficult times.
I will always remember and love you Adam. May Hashem ensure that your soul be watched over in heaven.
From Nancy and Nossonol Kleinfeldt:
Thursday, 06 Oct 2005
Soon after I started dating my husband, Nossonal Kleinfeldt, he wanted me to meet Adam. I instantly knew why they were such close friends. Of all Nossonal's friends I always had a special place in my heart for Adam. I have never met anyone like him before. Such a caring, sweet, warm, loving, witty, brilliant person - I have never known. I want to share a few things with you...
Nossonal and I got married in '97... Adam was just amazing at our wedding. He was truly like a brother to Nossonal. He stayed up with Nossonal the entire night before his auf ruf practicing his haftorah with him (Nossonal thought he could cram it in like studying for a test). He took him out the night before the wedding (and made sure he didn't drink too much and was in bed at a decent hour...or so they tell me). Adam was at Nossonal's side through the entire wedding. Adam danced, sang, and celebrated with us every minute and was beaming with joy for us. He was amazing. I kid Nossonal that he doesn't know how to smile for pictures. Every smile in our wedding album looks pretty fake. The best smile in our album is the one standing next to his groomsman - Adam. I remember Adam said something to him and he has the best smile on his face. My parents and Nossonal's parents often would ask about Adam. He made such an incredible impression on everyone. Our simcha would never of been the same without him.
About a year ago Nossonal was on the phone with Adam and he asked about our son Adin. Nossonal mentioned that he was obsessed with a certain toy. Within days we had a huge box on our front door filled with every product made for this toy. That was Adam. For no reason..it wasn't Adin's birthday and it wasn't Channukah. It was just Adam's way.
I feel so honored to have known Adam. We loved him so deeply. He will always remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. When I think of my wedding day I can't help but think about Adam. There are some people in this world that make impressions that last more than a life time. That was Adam.
Published in The San Juan Star:
September 28, 2005
ADAM JOEL ANHANG
MARCH 8, 1973--SEPTEMBER 23, 2005
S & K Development Corporation, Grupo Cacho, Inc., and all its employees, family members and partners, sadly announce the passing of our dear friend and partner, Adam J. Anhang, who passed away in Old San Juan on September 23, 2005.
No man or woman could ever ask for a more loyal and trusted friend, or a harder working and smarter partner than I had the privilege and joy of having in you for five years. You came into my life during very challenging times, full of joy, promise and brilliant ideas, and remained the same way until the very last day of your life. You carried me emotionally at times of extreme personal pain and duress, when Robertito passed away, under equally tragic circumstances, and you allowed me the space and time to heal and recover, remaining the very best friend and partner you could humanly have been until your last breath of life, that fateful night. It soothes me to know that Robertito was there to greet you in that place that special people like you and him have reserved in God's ultimate plan.
At only thirty two years of age, you taught me that I could spend the rest of my life crying and longing for what I no longer had, my own son, or spend the rest of my life thanking God for all the time that He lent him to me, and for every other undeserved material and spiritual gifts bestowed upon me and my family by Him, much of what I had neglected all my life to be thankful enough for, much less share with those less fortunate than ourselves. You had a brilliant yet humble mind unlike any I had ever known before, and a heart that was gentle and genuine unlike any other as well, which is, sadly, the reason why I know you are not physically here by my side any more.
Adam's family will bury his remains in Winnipeg, Canada, in accordance with Jewish ritual, as was his expressed desire.
Adam is survived by his beloved mother Barbara, his father Abe, and his younger sister Becky.
Your prayers and good wishes for Adam's eternal rest will help us all to bear and alleviate our pain at this most difficult time, but also to endure and accept his physical loss due to his unexpected earthly departure. I was very fortunate to have your friendship, partnership and company during such a productive part of your short life, and I am eternally thankful to you and to God for that special honor. In my heart, I will always will be S, and you will never stop being K, and your spirit, and my son's, will accompany and protect me forever.
I will miss you greatly, dear friend,
Roberto M. Cacho
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