A 71-year-old Las Vegas billionaire businessman and his wife, who are regarded as the "richest Jews in the world," have donated NIS 20 million to Haifa's Rambam Medical Center and other hospitals for purchasing emergency equipment.
Sheldon Adelson, who heads the Las Vegas Sands and a resort empire and reputedly is worth $15 billion, and his wife Miriam, a Tel Aviv-born physician who grew up in Haifa, said they were donating the money to replace emergency equipment that was used up during the Hizbullah rocket attacks on the North.
In addition to Rambam, the money will go to Ziv Hospital in Safed, Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya and Poriya Hospital in Tiberias.
Miriam Adelson, an internal medicine specialist who is a world expert at treating drug addicts with methadone, said: "We are doing this out of love and appreciation for the wonderful residents of the North who withstood a heavy rain of rockets, and to Israel Defense Force soldiers who protected the state of Israel with their bodies."
The couple called on other philanthropists in Israel and abroad to join the national effort to rebuild the North.
She heads a clinic in Las Vegas and another at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, where thousands of drug addicts are rehabilitated.
The Adelsons also paid to send 1,100 Israelis whose homes were damaged by the rockets to hotels around the country. They are also donating an additional NIS5 m. to help residents of the North.
Sheldon Adelson grew up in a poor immigrant family in Boston and as a boy went to work selling newspapers on street corners. He owned his first business by the time he was 12. Later, he became a mortgage broker, investment adviser and financial consultant and created and developed to maturity more than 50 different companies, including COMDEX, the world's leading computer expo, which made him a leading authority on computer exhibitions.
In 1989, he bought the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Fifteen years ago, while honeymooning in Venice, Miriam found inspiration for the theme of the mega resort hotel in Las Vegas. They gutted the old hotel and reconstructed the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino. Since it's opening, the property has received recognition as revolutionizing the Las Vegas hotel industry, changing the face of the city and, with 7,000 suites, becoming one of the world's largest hotels. The couple are generous donors to a variety of causes around the world and in Israel, including the Museum of Holocaust Art at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.