Hillel International Board of Governors member Abe Pollin, the owner of the Washington Wizards, succumbed to cancer on Tuesday afternoon. He was 85 years old.
(Above, Former Hillel International President Richard M. Joel (left) with Abe Pollin at the University of Maryland Hillel, 2000.)
Pollin was a generous philanthropist and a visionary who helped to reshape downtown Washington, D.C. through his community leadership. He contributed enormously to the lives of individual Washingtonians and to the city at large.
"Abe was a farsighted leader who shared his inspiring story with students at Hillel conferences. He motivated them to follow in his footsteps and make a substantial contribution to their communities. He will be terribly missed," said Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone.
Pollin was a featured speaker at the 2001 opening of Hillel's Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Building in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. He recounted his boyhood in the area in the once-thriving Jewish neighborhood along the Seventh Street corridor and his efforts to rebuild the downtown, in part, through the construction of a sports arena.
Pollin gave generously of his time to Hillel, participating in student conferences, Board of Governors meetings and other events.
May his memory be a blessing.