Billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson has pledged a new $5million grant to the Birthright Israel Foundation, the Adelson Family Foundation announced on Tuesday. The gift is designed so as to encourage new donors to contribute towards Birthright and broaden “grassroots support” from the North American Jewish community for the organization.
Birthright was founded in 2000 and has brought more than 300,000 Jewish youth to Israel on free, 10-day trips since that time. At the beginning of 2011, the government announced it would provide $100 million in funding over the next three years, contingent on matching funds raised in North American and Diaspora communities. Birthright said that it hopes the new gifts will help to increase the number of annual participants from 30,000 to over 50,000 by 2013. Adelson has given approximately $100million to Birthright since 2007.