(photo credit: REUTERS)
LOS ANGELES – The Israeli- American Council has established an office in Las Vegas as part of a drive to expand from its Los Angeles base to US cities with major concentrations of Israeli expatriates and their children.
Dr. Miriam Adelson, born in Haifa and wife of billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, is chairwoman of the of the new IAC Las Vegas Regional Council.
Inauguration of the Las Vegas office follows similar openings in Miami and Boston.
IAC’s three-fold mission is to support Israel, strengthen Jewish identity among young Israeli-Americans, and enhance communication between the Israeli-American and older Jewish-American communities.
An estimated 10,000 Israeli expatriates live in Nevada, primarily in the Las Vegas area, and one of the new office’s first projects is to promote the community celebration of Israel Independence Day.
A group of Israeli-American businessmen founded the IAC in Los Angeles in 2007 as the Israeli Leadership Club, It morphed into the Israeli Leadership Council and last year changed its name to the Israeli-American Council.
Among its major programs are the Israel Independence Festival; Sifriyat Pijama B’America, which distributes Hebrew children’s books throughout the United States; Mishelanu, to set up young leadership groups on college campuses; and Tzav 8, which organizes activists to participate in demonstrations and other pro-Israel activities.
Estimates of the number of Israelis and their children in the United States vary widely, from a conservative 500,000 to IAC’s figure of 800,000.
Amir Eden, a veteran educator and community activist, has been named regional director of the IAC office for Nevada.
In welcoming the launch of the Las Vegas operation, Miriam Adelson said, “The Israeli- American Council is changing the landscape of the Jewish community in America… through the full spectrum of educational, cultural, traditional and social programming.
We are always thinking of strengthening the Jewish and Israeli identity of future generations and their endless support for the State of Israel.”