26 October 2006
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson have decided to donate $25 million to strengthen and enhance Yad Vashem’s capabilities to continue its outreach programs in Holocaust education, documentation and research.
Their donation will be funded as required by Yad Vashem and will constitute the foundation for Yad Vashem’s multiyear plan to advance its goals and fulfill its mission. This is the largest donation Yad Vashem has ever received from one private donor.
Upon deciding to present Yad Vashem with the donation, Sheldon and Miri Adelson said to Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev: “It is our hope that our donation assures the continuity of Yad Vashem and its activities, manifesting the importance we place on both Holocaust remembrance and the commemorative enterprise as vital components in securing the future of the Jewish people for generations to come.” Dr. Miriam Adelson recalled that she grew up not only in the light of the Israeli sun, but also in the heavy shadow of the Holocaust: “Many members of my parents’ families perished in the Holocaust. I always remember that. I also believe that a nation must remember from where it originates in order to reach its future goals. This is why this donation is not for raising buildings but rather for ensuring the continuation of Yad Vashem’s activities, and the enhancement of its educational initiatives among both Jewish and non-Jewish youth.”
Shalev expressed his appreciation to the Adelsons, and said, “The challenges we face are particularly great in an era in which from the east are heard genocidal calls, and from the west, silence once again. Thanks to the Adelsons’ donation, we will be able to expand Yad Vashem’s educational activity internationally and in Israel. We believe, as do the Adelsons, that meaningful commemoration of the Holocaust and its legacy will strengthen our moral fiber, which is essential to our existence as a people and as human beings.”
Assisted by the Adelsons’ donation, and using the infrastructure and tools built and developed by Yad Vashem over the past decade—such as the International School for Holocaust Studies and the new Holocaust History Museum—the multiyear plan aims to broaden and deepen Yad Vashem’s teacher-training activities in Israel and abroad, and to develop special programs for senior teachers and educational coordinators, as well as shapers of public opinion. Yad Vashem will also set up a “virtual school,” intended to serve as an online study center and information source for teachers, and as a forum for dialogue between education professionals the world over. The number of students and youth—both from Israel and abroad—who participate in study days and tours at Yad Vashem will be increased. Yad Vashem will also develop and significantly increase the use of state-of-the art technologies to reach broad and varied audiences around the world. This will be achieved through cataloging and computerizing the knowledge and information already accumulated, and making them available via the Yad Vashem website. As a public service, Yad Vashem will also upload the various information resources it has developed, including encyclopedias, lexicons and maps.
In order to serve the Holocaust History Museum’s millions of annual visitors, Yad Vashem will develop and expand its visitor guide services. To facilitate the tremendous global demand for accurate visual displays aimed at perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem will establish a special department for traveling exhibitions.
Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research will nurture a young generation of scholars capable of serving as leaders in the field of Holocaust research. The Institute will grant an international award aimed at encouraging excellence in the field and a variety of materials from the Israeli research corps developed over the decades will be translated from Hebrew into other languages.
The tribute ceremony in the Adelson’s honor will take place on Friday at Yad Vashem, in the presence of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Education Minister Prof. Yuli Tamir, Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Elie Wiesel, Head of the Opposition Binyamin Netanyahu MK and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev.
Coverage of the ceremony will be through POOL photographers only. Journalists who wish to cover the event MUST register in advance with the Media Relations Department. Only press with valid 2006 GPO card will be allowed to enter.
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson
Sheldon G. Adelson, who is 73 years old, has been in business for 61 years and has operated over 50 different companies. As Chairman and C.E.O of Las Vegas Sands, he is the quintessential entrepreneur and having climbed the Everest of business, his accomplishments in the industry are many.
Sheldon G. Adelson’s business activities have changed the character of Las Vegas from a city of gambling to an important center for integrated resorts, with conventions as its strategic base. Thanks to his entrepreneurship, a similar change is now happening on the island of Macau, a neighbor of Hong Kong—which will receive over 20 million visitors this year, up from 10 million five years ago. His next major development will be in Singapore, for which Sheldon G. Adelson and his company were chosen from among 18 international companies that applied in the tender.
Dr. Miriam Adelson and her husband Sheldon have also set up a sizeable medical research foundation to implement and fund a totally different approach to medical research. The core of this approach encompasses collaboration efforts among major institution and scientists around the world in each of what will be ten different subject matters. The goal is to encourage peer review and collaboration as well as to predetermine tracks and various platforms to achieve certain milestones on the path to finding prevention, treatments and cures more quickly. Subjects established and in the process of establishment are nerve regeneration – encompassing many specialties including stem cell research – melanoma and ovarian cancer. The fourth in the series of ten programs will be Crohn’s and colitis (inflammatory bowel diseases).
Dr. Adelson, a physician having practiced at what is now the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and now sitting on the faculty of Rockefeller University in New York City, now specializes in the treatment of narcotic addiction and conducts research on the subject through her two clinics, one in a department of the Tel Aviv Medical Center and the other in Las Vegas, Nevada where they presently live.
In addition to existing programs for long-term addicts, in the past few months Dr. Adelson has recently focused on the treatment of younger drug addicts (teenagers and others). As one of the world leaders on the subject of chemical dependency, she has been published many times in leading medical journals.
The Adelsons’ focus on helping secure the existence of the Jewish nation is also very important to them, and through their donation to Yad Vashem, they view their contribution to Holocaust remembrance as a crucial component in the Jewish future.