With a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Yeshiva University in New York City, Shalom Lamm went on to establish a career in the real estate investment sector, holding ownership interests in multiple businesses and serving nearly a decade as a managing member of Lion and Lamm Development in New York City. While working full-time and raising five kids, Shalom Lamm returned to the academic arena to secure a master’s in US military history at American Military University in Manassas, Virginia. He completed his degree without any intention of pursuing a career with it; he simply found the subject fascinating.
Shalom Lamm currently resides in the Long Island hamlet of West Hempstead where he serves his community as a mentor to immigrants. He is a member of the Hevra Kadisha of the Young Israel of West Hempstead and the head of the Normandy Heritage Project. Moreover, he is the former president and board chairman of Camp Morasha, an outdoor summer camp for Jewish youth.
Where did the idea for Operation Benjamin come from?
This organization has been something I have wanted to pursue because of my ties to my Jewish community. These soldiers paid the ultimate price for their decision to fight in World War II. I built the team from a global standpoint to ensure inclusivity. Moreover, the impact Operation Benjamin has had on Jewish families in America makes me proud to be the CEO.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day varies based on the family I work with. During the pandemic, it has been difficult to plan ceremonies because of the stay home sanctions. However, that gives my team and I more motivation to ensure each family has undivided attention. There is always paperwork to work on, so I am always busy. But nevertheless, I enjoy every part of my day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think that with this organization, it’s clear that there are no limits to how many families we can help. With this part of history being immensely important to not only myself but my heritage, I want to make sure to respect and pay tribute to all these individuals in which we transport. Ideas have no limits. As an entrepreneur, I know that there are endless opportunities to invite innovative ideas into one’s organization.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think the digital reach that has grown throughout the pandemic era is fascinating. Everything is online and it’s interesting to incorporate that into Operation Benjamin.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am open to any ideas. I never shut anything down because every member of my team is equal to me. I think that with my entrepreneurial attitude, I can establish a good culture in my company, which has always been a goal of mine.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in your capabilities. There are really no limits to life other than those you restrain yourself with.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Military History is extremely important to learn about. I think educating oneself about such topics is gripping. when I start reading books about military history, it’s hard for me to put them down.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Having an open appreciation for one’s team. I think that Operation Benjamin would be nothing without the people who have dedicated themselves to this cause. My team is the most amazing group of individuals and I make sure they know how much I admire their hard work.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think having a great social media presence has really helped elaborate what Operation Benjamin does and stands for.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Everyone makes the wrong decision a few times in their career. However, comebacks always the most important. I think that without failure it’s harder to be an understanding and mundane leader.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Always make time for your own family and treat your team like family.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought some goods for donation. I think that during this season, it’s paramount people give back because every donation helps. Back in the 90s, my wife and I used to send canned goods to Ukraine because there were struggling Jewish communities there. Since then, I have developed a love for giving back to my community.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I think having a string donation portal on our website is really critical. When people give back to Operation Benjamin, which is a non-profit, it’s very heartwarming.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea. Highly recommend it to anyone, no matter what line of work they are in. It really helps motivate a person to achieve anything they desire!
What is your favorite quote?
“If you don’t know what you’re living for, you haven’t yet lived.” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg
- The sky is the limit
- Why Operation Benjamin is so important to Jewish communities
- Appreciate your team
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.