Billionaire Adelson backs Yad Vashem

Israel's Holocaust museum has received a massive boost this week thanks to a donation from one of America's richest men.

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson pledged to give Yad Vashem almost £16 million to support its International School for Holocaust Studies, matching the amount he gave to it in 2006.

Mr Adelson, a prominent philanthropist, has backed a number of Israeli causes and has donated more than £63 million to Birthright in the last four years.

He was in 16th place on the annual Forbes list of the world's billionaires this year, despite losing an estimated $36 billion in the financial crisis.

Announcing the donation at a dinner in aid of the museum, he urged others to lend support.

He said he and his wife Miriam had "seen the incredible impact of Yad Vashem seminars on educators of all backgrounds over the past five years".

Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, said the funding would be crucial to "preserving the memory of the Holocaust".

Last updated: 9:39pm, December 7 2011