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After a police interrogation almost provoked Arkadi Gaydamak to pull his investments in Israel, the Russian billionaire made an about-face and donated 50 million dollars to the Jewish Agency on Thursday.
The new fund will help foster Jewish Zionist education in the former Soviet Union and assist Israeli youth at risk.
According to the Jewish Agency, Gaydamak's contribution will enable tens of thousands of young Jews from the former Soviet Union to benefit from a Jewish-Zionist experience and a connection to Israel through the various Jewish Agency projects: summer camps, ulpanim, Jewish schools, Israel visits and more.
In addition, hundreds of young people defined as "youth at risk" from the country's peripheral towns will benefit from educational incentives aimed at helping them get ahead and succeed, within the framework of various social projects the Jewish Agency is running in the Negev and the Galilee.
Gaydamak threatened to pull his money from the country after reading a Ma'ariv report according to which the Israel Police warned the Jewish Agency not to accept his donation. He changed his mind after police assured him they were not behind the Ma'ariv report and that it was factually wrong.
The Russian philanthropist, who attained stardom in the summer after purchasing the Betar soccer team, has been questioned four times regarding allegations he was involved in last year's major Bank Hapoalim money-laundering scandal.
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