Adelsons Donate $70 Million to Help Connect Young Jews to Israel

(Bloomberg) -- Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam pledged $70 million to the Birthright Israel Foundation, a nonprofit that funds trips to Israel for young Jewish adults.

The couple announced the gift at a gala Sunday marking the 18th anniversary of Birthright Israel. More than 600,000 people have participated in the program since 2000.

“Before Israel was founded, my father always said he wished there was a place where Jewish people could live," said Sheldon Adelson, the world’s 20th-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. "He always wanted to go, but by the time I could send him, he said he was too old and too sick. I don’t want any kid to say they were too old or too sick to visit Israel."

The contribution brings the total amount the Adelsons have given to Birthright Israel to $410 million.

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