Photo: Reuters
Sheldon Adelson
Photo: Reuters
USD 500 million in Hanukkah gelt
Sheldon Adelson, world's wealthiest Jew, decides to donate half a billion dollars to 'Jewish people'. Largest donation in history of Jewish people expected to be used for purchasing medications for needy, preserving Jewish heritage
The world's wealthiest Jew, Sheldon Adelson, has decided to donate half a billion US dollars to the Jewish people. He is expected to announce the largest donation ever given to the Jewish people in the coming days.


The donation was kept a secret until now and only a few of Adelson's associates knew about it. It is still unclear how exactly it will given, but it appears that it will be transferred through the Adelson Fund, established by the billionaire, to Jews worldwide and not only to the State of Israel.


Yedioth Ahronoth has also learned that half of the sum will be allocated to purchasing medications and providing medical assistance to the needy and to Jewish patients across the world. The second half will apparently be earmarked for preserving the Jewish heritage.


Adelson is the third richest man in the world after Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett. According to a Forbes magazine estimation, his fortune is worth USD 20.5 billion.


Close ties with State of Israel

Adelson, 73, the son of a taxi driver and a work weary owner of knitting supplies store, grew up in Boston. When he was young he sold newspapers in street corners.


In 1979 he established the Comdex computer trade show, which he sold in 1995 for the enormous sum of USD 860 million.


Today, Adelson is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the world's largest hotel, gaming and resort development company.


Adelson built the prestigious Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, which is considered the second most profitable hotel in the gambling city. The hotel, which has canals in which one can sail in gondolas like in Venice, was the billionaire's gift to his wife.


Adelson is now building a huge casino project in the Macau Island in China, which includes 14 hotels. According to different publications, the initiative is expected to gain incomes of USD 16 billion from the sale of commercial and residence areas and a profit of up to USD 5 billion.


Adelson is considered one of the biggest donators to the Jewish Federation in Las Vegas and to Chabad. He has close ties with the State of Israel and is a close friend of Opposition Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu. He recently acquired 50 percent of the shares of an Israeli newspaper.


Adelson's wife Miriam, whom he married in 1991, runs the Clinic for Drug Abuse at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, which was built from funds donated by the couple.


Adelson's spokesman in Israel refused to respond to the report.


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