Philanthropists Miri and Sheldon Adelson have pledged $1 million to further expand the Israel Fellows program on North American college campuses, The Jewish Agency said.
The pledge, which was announced Thursday, will increase the number of campuses with the program to 50 from 34.
The Israel Fellows program, a collaborative effort of the Jewish Agency and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, places recent Israeli college graduates in Hillels on U.S. and Canadian campuses to assist with Israel education and advocacy.
Expanding the program in the past couple of years since its inception has been a key goal, The Jewish Agency said in a news release. The program started with 19 campuses.
“What started as a small experimental program is now one of the most central stones of our Shlichut [emissary] program,” said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.
Sharansky said the Adelsons’ gift will allow the program to fully fund its expansion for this year. The new emissaries will be designated as Adelson Israel Fellows.
Along with focusing on Israel education and advocacy programming on campus, the Israel Fellows work with Birthright Israel trip participants and returnees, and assist students who choose to explore options for long-term experiential and study programs in Israel.