Billionaire Roman Abramovich has donated $5 million to the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), an organization that assists with repatriation to Israel and the fight against anti-Semitism, The Jerusalem Post reports. A representative of Abramovich has confirmed this information.
The oligarch made the donation in light of the growing anti-Semitic attitudes in Europe, the US and other parts of the world, the Post notes. “I applaud Roman Abramovich for taking strong initiative to combat antisemitism and am grateful for his contribution to the Jewish Agency’s efforts to ensure Jews are safe in their communities around the world” said JAFI Chairman Isaac Herzog.
The Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom notes that this is the largest contribution the organization has ever received from a single donor.
The Forbes magazine estimated Abramovich’s worth at $12.4 billion in 2019, making him the tenth wealthiest person in Russia. His primary assets are the Evraz steel company and the Chelsea Football Club. Until the start of March, he held a 20% share in Channel One, the first Russian television channel, which was subsequently bought by VTB Capital.
In May 2018, it was learned that the oligarch had obtained Israeli citizenship and relocated there.
Recently before this, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia said that in 20 years, the businessman had donated nearly $500 million to the support of Jewish communities throughout the world. The funds have been used to build kindergartens and schools, among other things. Overall, Abramovich has donated an estimated $2.5 billion to charity, the Jerusalem Post notes.