Adelson Backing US Expansion of Israel Councils

Tuesday, 10 Sep 2013 11:53 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Las Vegas Sands casino billionaire and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson is backing a nationwide expansion of the Los Angeles-based Israeli American Council.

The branch expansion has been in the works for more than a year, according to the Jewish Journal, but a list of expansion cities wasn't disclosed.

The 80-year-old Adelson, worth $26.5 billion, and his wife Miriam are among the biggest supporters of the push; the amount of their donation wasn't reported.

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“It’s been seven years, and it took time in the beginning to build the programs, to build the staff,” IAC Chairman Shawn Evenhaim said Tuesday. “Now we have a toolbox to take around the country.”

Founded in 2006 as a “club” of Israeli-American businessmen in L.A. who'd made significant contributions to Jewish and pro-Israel groups, the organization was known as the Israeli Leadership Council until its name change in March. Its 2013 budget is around $4 million.

The Adelsons last year spent more than $75 million to support Republican candidates during the presidential election cycle, the Journal noted. They've also contributed tens of millions of dollars to Birthright Israel.

The Adelson Family Foundation offices in Massachusetts didn't return calls for comment, the Journal said.



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