Shalom Life | July 31, 2014

Birthright Israel’s Bar Mitzvah Party Should be a Doozy

Sheldon Adelson pledges $13 million to change more young Jewish lives

By: News Staff

Published: July 17th, 2012 in News » World

Birthright Israel’s Bar Mitzvah Party Should be a Doozy
Who could have imagined that when Birthright Israel sent its first planeload of Jewish youngsters aged 18 to 26 to Israel in 2000, that the program would have turned into the most successful and popular initiative of its kind?

Now, fast forward to 2012, and some more good news is on the way for the popular identity-building program as it readies to celebrate its 13th birthday, and, of course, its bar – or bat – mitzvah.

American billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam announced on July 17th that they have pledged another $13 million to Birthright.

The couple's gift to the organization, which brings young Jewish adults on free trips to Israel, came in addition to the 20 million dollars they already gave it earlier this year.

“We are so grateful to the Adelsons for all they have done for us,” said Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel. “This new gift brings their total giving to over $140 million and moves us significantly toward our target of 42,000 participants this year. This will enable us to take full advantage of the generous matching grant provided by the Government of Israel.”

The new gift is to help reduce the waiting lists of Birthright participants.

"When we discovered that 5,000 more young adults could still attend a trip this year if the funding was available, we felt compelled to act," said Sheldon Adelson "With over 20,000 young adults on the waiting list, we feel that reducing that list must be a top priority of the Jewish community."

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