The Isramworld Portfolio of Brands reports that longtime CEO and Owner A. Ady Gelber passed away peacefully on April 10.
"We extend our sympathy to his children, grandchildren and the entire multi-national Isramworld family," the company said in a written release.
Born in Romania in 1937, Gelber and his family survived the Holocaust in Bucharest and immigrated to Israel after its founding in 1948. His career in travel began with Alitalia and El Al, eventually bringing him to New York and the presidency of Isram Travel. In his more than four decades at its helm, Gelber transformed a one-destination "ethnic" tour operator into a multi-subsidiary conglomerate sending tens of thousands of American travelers annually to some 60 countries. Despite the company's expansion, tourism to Israel remained dear to Gelber's heart and for many years Isram was America's largest tour operator to the Holy Land.
Isramworld said that, once when asked what he felt was his greatest professional accomplishment, Gelber responded "being the first tour operator to offer tours to Israel and Egypt in 1979, and opening our own office in Cairo."
"The entire Isramworld team of employees on four continents mourns Ady's departure from us, and we will continue to strive and expand in his memory," said Richard Krieger, president of The Isramworld Portfolio of Brands. "There can be no greater testimony to Ady's ongoing vision and legacy."