Sheldon Adelson Shells Out $40 Million for Birthright Israel

Casino mogul gives foundation which promotes trips to Israel for young Jews another hefty sum; Azrieli gives another $5 million.

A Birthright Mega Event in Jerusalem, May 9, 2012.
A Birthright Mega Event in Jerusalem, May 9, 2012. Emil Salman

Sheldon Adelson is donating another $40 million to Birthright Israel and the Azrieli Foundation will give $5 million.

Sheldon Adelson
Bloomberg

The gifts for the free 10-day educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults were announced recently.

The latest donation to the Birthright Israel Foundation from Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson’s Adelson Family Foundation adds to the $140 million it has already given Birthright. The Adelsons are the largest individual donors to Birthright. The new donation includes a $20 million challenge grant.

The Azrieli Foundation announced a five-year, $5 million gift to Birthright Israel Foundation of Canada to be used to support and expand offerings of Birthright trips for eligible Canadians, as well as sponsor trips for individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities. Like the Adelson gift, the Azrieli one includes a matching gift, or challenge grant, component.

Since 2000, approximately 350,000 Jews aged 18 to 26 from over 62 countries have gone on Birthright trips. In addition, 65,000 Israelis have participated in Birthright’s Mifgash program, which brings together Israelis and Diaspora Jews.