Las Vegas casino and resort mogul Sheldon Adelson has pledged to donate $200 million annually to Jewish causes through a new foundation, 5 Towns Jewish Times reports.
Adelson, the chairman of Sands Corp., is the third-richest American, with a net worth of $20.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine. In October, he and his wife contributed $25 million to Yad Vashem, a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, and they are funding the construction of the first Jewish high school in Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2008. He has also pledged $25 million annually to Taglit-Birthright Israel, an organization that finances Jewish youth trips to Israel.
Adelson is the founder of Freedom's Watch, a group that advocates for America's continued involvement in the war in Iraq, and the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation.
"I certainly think that donations like his raise the bar," said Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University. "This new foundation will really serve as a role model for other foundations as to how to appropriately put money to use to strengthen the Jewish community in America, in Israel, and around the world."