Published On: Sun, Jun 19th, 2016

Jewish-American ‘startup ambassador’ killed in restaurant crash

Alan Weinkranz was a Jewish-American who was a prominent figure in the Israeli startup community; shocked friends and family continue to eulogize him on his Facebook page.

Jewish-American ‘startup ambassador’ killed in restaurant crash Alan Weinkranz
Renowned American startup advisor Alan Landau Weinkranz was killed when a driver crashed his car into the Furama Chinese restaurant on Saturday night.

Menashe Raz, 47, was also killed in the crash, as well as the vehicle’s driver, a 41-year-old man who had lost control of the wheel after suffering a heart attack. Two other people were moderately injured, and five more were lightly injured.

Weinkrantz was the president of Alan Weinkrantz and Company, and wasconsidered a social media and public relations wizard. He was instrumental in connecting Israeli and US hi tech firms.

He was in Israel on a business trip and had gone out for dinner when he was killed in the accident.

Weinkranz’s two children were given the news the day before Father’s Day. His daughter Lauren wrote on her Facebook page that she lost her “best friend, ” and urged people to tell their fathers they love them.

After hearing the bad news, friends, family and colleagues to Weinkranz began filling up his Facebook page with obituaries. Dozens of people from Israel and abroad wrote about their relationship with him and shared pictures from private and social gatherings. One friend described Weinkranz as an “ambassador” to Israel’s startup community.

 

The site of the car crash (Photo Yaron Brenner)

 

Weinkranz’s close friend Miriam Schwab talked about their relationship, saying, “We met seven years ago and were pretty close. We would see each other whenever possible, during his visits to Israel. He was just a kind-hearted, honest, decent man with a positive attitude. He was always looking to help out.”

Schwab added that she had sat down with Weinkranz last week, after he came to Jerusalem to give a lecture to startup companies. “I had heard about the horrible crash last night, as I was going to bed, but I didn’t think I would know anyone involved. In the morning, I found out on Facebook. I was shocked, and responded to someone’s status saying that it wasn’t real, it wasn’t true.”

Over the last few years, Weinkranz had traveled extensively to Israel and met with many events held by the local startup community. “It’s so sad to think of startup conventions without one of the most likeable, energetic, colorful and professional characters in the field, ” said another friend of his, adding that “It’s always hard to receive this sort of news about someone you know and love, but when it’s someone who is known by his smile and outreached hand, it’s even more depressing.”

By Reut Rimmerman

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