Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto held a closed meeting with 80 Jewish American businessmen in Bulgaria on Wednesday and asked them to invest $5 billion in the Israeli economy, including $2 billion in the coming year.
The businessmen who met with Pinto included entrepreneur Jay Schottenstein and one of the owners of the Victoria's Secret women's wear retailer.
"In such days of economic opportunities, we must remember that we, the sons of the Jewish people, must preserve the country, built it and ensure that its economic flourishes," the rabbi told the businessmen.
"It's unfortunate that there are so many wealthy Jews in the world who don't even consider the Israeli economy as an option."
One of the people the rabbi expected to see, but who failed to show up, was NBA star LeBron James, who met with Pinto about three weeks ago. The basketball players' business manager, Maverick Carter, arrived instead.
The meeting was held in the Bulgarian city of Silistra, where renowned Jewish scholar Rabbi Eliezer Papo is buried. Rabbi Pinto visits the grave once a year in an event known as "the Uman of the Sephardim."
The festive event was attended by more than 1,000 people from Israel,
including dozens of senior businessmen.