Mr. Tshuva began his career as an independent contractor in Netanya, Israel. He was involved in large scale construction projects and, over the years, the scope of his work expanded throughout the entire State of Israel.
Between 1978-1982, Mr. Tshuva took time out from his real estate business activities to run on the independent party list for the City Council of Netanya, the city where he grew up. Following elections, Mr. Tshuva served as a member of the Netanya City Council and was in charge of housing, city development, and neighborhood restoration, causes close to his heart.
Mr. Yitzhak Tshuva (Isaac Tshuva) is an Israeli entrepreneur and business man with large-scale global business operations. Mr. Tshuva is responsible for the discovery of major offshore natural gas reserves along the coast of Israel that began in 2000. His achievements in the energy sector have greatly contributed to establishing Israel as a prominent international player in the energy sector. The gas reserves Mr. Tshuva helped fund have given Israel independence in terms of energy and a geographic political advantage.
Mr. Yitzhak Tshuva grew up in a low-income household with many siblings. He built his business with his own two hands. He firmly believes in international economic partnerships and the companies under his control have expanded into dynamic, global firms. He strives for the promotion of peace in the Middle East through the creation of regional projects and business partnerships with Israel’s neighbors.
Mr. Yitzhak Tshuva was born in Libya to a family of ten children. He immigrated with his family to Israel when he was six months old and grew up near the city of Netanya. At the age of 12 years old, he began working to help support his family financially. He worked in construction and agriculture during the day and dedicated his nights to studying. After completing his mandatory service in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), he worked in the Ministry of Defense’s Construction and Engineering Branch.
After his tenure in the city council, Mr. Yitzhak Tshuva further developed his business activities in Israel and the United States. In the 90s, Mr. Tshuva constructed thousands of new apartment units all over Israel to house new immigrants. At the same time, he founded El-Ad Group, a private, global company which is engaged in major acquisitions of real estate property in the United States and Canada.
In 2004, the EL-Ad Group purchased the New York Plaza for $675 million. Intensive preservation and restoration works were conducted on the hotel over a period of three years. Ultimately, the Plaza New York became a mixed used development project, including luxurious hotel rooms, hotel apartments, retail area and luxury residences overlooking New York’s Central Park. These elements made the Plaza New York one of the grandest and most sought after properties in Manhattan and in the international real estate market, in general. The El-Ad Group sold 182 residential apartments prior to the hotel’s renewed opening in 2008. Apartments were sold for record breaking prices in Manhattan at the time.
In 2013, the El-Ad Group made a very successful turn around when selling its holding in the New York Plaza.
In 1998, Mr. Yitzhak Tshuva purchased control of Delek, a publically-held Israeli company, from the Recanati family. He led the company in a substantial expansion of operations, turning Delek into a global corporation with investments in many industries including international energy, natural gas, retail, petrol, insurance, finance, automobile, and biochemistry. Today, headed by Mr. Tshuva, Delek is one of the leading companies in the areas in which it operates.
Under the leadership of Mr. Yitzhak Tshuva, and together with its American Partner, Noble Energy, Delek discovered huge, nearly unfathomable, offshore natural gas reserves in Israel and Cyprus. These reserves can accommodate Israel’s predicted energy requirements for the next coming decades while enabling the export of natural gas. The gas reserves are having a profound impact on the Israeli economy and on the citizens of Israel as a source of cheap, clean, environmentally friendly energy. This will help bring about a significant reduction in the costs of electricity, create new places of work and be a significant source of income for Israel’s treasury through royalties and taxes.
The discovery of gas reserves has transformed Israel into an independent energy power, as well as being a source for international investment and an influential geopolitical lever that can be used to advance Israel’s political relations. The Leviathan reserve, one of a number of natural gas discoveries by the Delek group, was the world’s largest gas reserve discovered in deep water in over a decade.
Over the years, Mr. Tshuva has supported a large number of projects related to education and has founded foundations and scholarships to aid low-income students and youth. The Delek Foundation allocates a significant amount of its resources to developing and advancing scientific, cultural, and healthcare projects in Israel, and to the preservation of Jewish traditions.
In light of his personal beliefs, Mr. Tshuva promotes economic ventures and partnerships between Israel and its neighbors to enable the advancement of the peace process and to pave the way for important shared achievements between Israel and its regional neighbors.
In 2008, within the framework of the Presidents’ Conference in Jerusalem held by the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, Mr. Tshuva presented his vision to construct the “Red Sea – Dead Sea Canal” project. This project involves building a canal between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, along the border between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian authority. The canal will serve as an important source for water desalination and for the establishment of electric facilities, tourism, agriculture, and new settlements on both sides of the border. This area will also promote a free trade zone between Israel and its neighbors. This vision of a water canal was presented before a number of world presidents and leaders and earned great praise and support from various key figures around the world.
In 2013, about five years after Mr. Tshuva presented his vision, the World Bank declared that it will support the water canal project and consider becoming involved in its financing. The implementation of this project is expected to pave the way for meaningful economic cooperation between Israel and its neighbors in the region, create a basis for mutual trust and appreciation, and provide an important means of promoting peace.
Mr. Yitzhak Tshuva is married to Haya Tshuva. They have five children and 18 grandchildren.
Photo: Gidon Levin