NEW YORK – Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, donated another $40 million to the Birthright Israel Foundation.
Their latest gift brings the couple's overall donations to the program to $180 million.
“Sheldon and I are committed to improving the world through cultural exchange and educational opportunity,” Miriam Adelson said in a statement released May 22 by Birthright Israel, which offers Jews aged 18 to 26 a free 10-day trip to Israel. “Exposing young Jews to Israel helps broaden their awareness and deepen their cultural identity. We are committed to the goal of all young Jewish adults having the opportunity to be inspired by their ancestral homeland.”
In recent years, the Adelsons have given major donations to several Jewish institutions and organizations. In 2011, they donated $25 million to Yad Vashem, bringing their overall donations to the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem to $50 million. Other recipients of their largesse include the Shalem Center, a think tank in Jerusalem, and the Zionist Organization of America.
In addition to their philanthropy, the Adelsons have given tens of millions of dollars in support of Republican politicians and conservative causes.
Sheldon Adelson is the 15th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $26.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine.