Jewish-American billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, donated $13 million to Taglit-Birthright, it was announced Tuesday.
The couple’s gift to the organization, which brings Jewish young adults on free trips to Israel, is in addition to the $20m. they already gave it earlier this year.
“We are so grateful to the Adelsons for all they have done for us,” said Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel. “This new gift brings their total giving to over $140m. and moves us significantly toward our target of 42,000 participants this year.
This will enable us to take full advantage of the generous matching grant provided by the government of Israel.”
T.he 78-year-old hotel and casino tycoon said in a press release that Birthright is “the best vehicle to strengthen the Jewish community and our people’s connection with the State of Israel” and that the donation would help bring “5,000 more young adults” on Birthright trips.
Adelson’s Israeli wife, Miriam, said the couple feels “blessed that we have been able to contribute to the growth of this remarkable program.” She called on Jewish federations and other donors to “join us in increasing their gifts.”
Sheldon – whose fortune was estimated by Forbes at $24.9 billion in 2012 – and Miriam Adelson have given generously to Jewish causes over the past couple of years, including a $25m. donation to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum last year.
Since its founding in 2000, Birthright has brought more than 300,000 young adults to Israel from 59 countries.