Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

August 12 , 2007 Adelson Gives $60 million to birthright

The major news story in the last few days has been surrounding a terrible traffic accident that occurred on Saturday when a truck crushed a car, killing a father and daughter on the road to Jerusalem. The truck driver had a long series of citations. The sense in the press is that fatalities on the road have gotten out of hand. A good statistic puts this problem into perspective. In 1983, there were 800 traffic deaths in the Israel. Since then the number of cars on the road has grown by almost 50%. The number of traffic deaths last year was 448.

Yesterday, Sheldon Adelson announced that he was giving $60 million dollars to Birthright Israel. Adelson's decision came after a meeting with President Shimon Peres.

Two weeks ago Adelson started a new free newspaper in Tel Aviv. We reached a size of Jewish "mega-giving" unknown before Adelson, who is likely, the richest Jew in the world. Adelson made his initial money by founding and running Comdex, a yearly computer show that took place every year Las Vegas. Adelson sold Comdex in 1995 for $860 million (the show no longer takes place). Today his casino holding are said to be worth $2.6 Billion. Adelson's wife is Israeli and in the last year he has suddenly become a very big giver to Jewish causes. With his wealth Adelson could change some of the rules of giving in the Jewish world.