Center for Public Integrity: Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson isn’t just interested in political giving.
Since 2007, the casino mogul has given into the hundreds of millions of dollars to pro-Israel causes through a Massachusetts-based foundation he and his wife operate, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Internal Revenue Service filings.
The top recipient of tax-exempt gifts by the Adelson Family Foundation is by far a foundation called Birthright Israel. It has received $123 million from Adelson since 2007, IRS filings indicate.
Birthright offers free 10-day trips to Israel to Jews between age 18 and 26. The goal of the trips, according to Birthright, is to “send tens of thousands of young Jewish adults from all over the world to Israel as a gift” and is made possible through a “unique partnership” between the government of Israel and private philanthropists.
Foremost among those philanthropists is Adelson, whose support accounts for fully 40 percent of the money raised by the Birthright Foundation since 2007.
In 2008, Adelson’s $27.5 million gift to Birthright constituted 57 percent of all money raised by the organization. His patronage accounted for 19 percent of the group’s revenue in 2011, the most recent year IRS records are available. [Continue reading…]