JNF paid $500,000 for Clinton’s Speech at Peres Academic Center


Former US president received hefty sum for a 45-min lecture at Peres’ birthday celebration



The tab was picked up by the Jewish National Fund, Peres Academic Center.

By Ofer Petersburg


How much does a 45-minute lecture by former US President Bill Clinton cost? $500,000 is what The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has paid, one-year in advance, for the speech at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot.

Bill Clinton - Photo: AP

Bill Clinton – Photo: AP

The event, which will be held on June 17, is part of the Israeli president’s 90th birthday celebrations.

The money for Clinton’s lecture was raised last year through the college’s supporters in cooperation with the Jewish National Fund.

Efrat Duvdevani, the director general of the President’s Residence, sent a letter to the college’s management stressing that the former US leader would not take part in the evening if fund raising was to take place.

The reason the Fund is involved in the visit’s funding is that on the same week the gala event is being held, it is hosting a conference for all of its benefactors, all of which are coming to Israel especially for the event from over 40 countries.

In light of the fact the President Shimon Peres is expected to take part in the gathering, in addition to the fact the Clinton’s speech is expected to focus on environmental issues, the Fund and benefactors decided it was only proper to chip in.

The Jewish National Fund is currently preparing itself for a massive fundraising operation for its projects in Israel. The project is expected to bring in around $100 million in donations.

Clinton agreed to the visit and funding on condition the fundraising itself does not take place during the evening in question.

The payment itself is not designated for the former president’s personal account. The money will be going to the William J. Clinton Foundation, which promotes awareness of environmental issues and improving public health world wide.

The Peres Academic Center in Rehovot said: “President Bill Clinton will be a guest of honor during a special celebratory evening held in the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot.

The event will be held for, and in the presence of, the (Israeli) president, ministers and public officials. As opposed to what was previously reported, the evening itself will not include any fundraising, and all of the participants and guests, among them the center’s friends and benefactors, will not be required to pay for their participation.”


View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4387416,00.html