The Rich Just Keep Getting Richer

Israel's rich just keep on getting richer.

The combined wealth of the 500 richest Israelis grew by about 25 percent last year, from $65 billion to over $81 billion.

To put that number in perspective, the entire state budget for 2007 is $70 billion.

According to TheMarker Magazine's list of the 500 richest Israelis, which is being published for the fifth year, the richest Israeli is Lev Leviev, who pushed the Wertheimer family, of Iscar and Warren Buffett fame, off of last year's throne.

Leviev is the controlling shareholder of Africa Israel, which has been growing through huge investments overseas.

Leviev's personal net worth is now valued at over $6 billion.

In contrast, the Wertheimers have not seen any significant growth in their fortune, which still totals "only" $5.5-6 billion.

The biggest loser of the year, by far, was Eli Reifman, whose company, Emblaze, suffered another year of losses and management changes - including Reifman's ouster. He disappeared from the list of the richest 500 completely.