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Adelson Foundation starts strategic-studies school

The Adelson Family Foundation gave $4.5 million to the Shalem Center in Jerusalem to create the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies. The institute, which was announced Monday, will seek to develop strategic principles to deal with issues facing Israel and Western civilization including nationalism, terrorism, identity, and the spreading of human rights and democracy. It will be chaired by former Israeli Cabinet minister Natan Sharansky. Fellows will include former army chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, academics Martin Kramer and Michael Oren, and journalist Yossi Klein Halevi. The institute has scheduled a Conference on Democracy and Security for June in Prague. The gift signals that the much-anticipated Adelson Foundation started by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, is off the ground. This winter the foundation presented a $30 million gift to birthright israel to send 15,000 more young adults to Israel for free, and last week the Partnership for Jewish Education announced a partnership with the foundation. It is estimated that the foundation could give up to $250 million a year to Jewish causes.