Among the major commitments are charitable gifts of $40 million to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles; $10 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund Country House & Hospital; $5 million in matching funds to build a new Children's Hospital at Soroka University Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, Israel; and $5.2 million in matching funds to Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans in Be'er Sheva, Israel. The Sabans have also donated $13 million for the establishment of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution to promote effective U.S. policies in the Middle East. The remainder of the donations were made to selected organizations to help fund the advancement of education, foster care and medical research.
"We are very grateful to be able to contribute to such worthy causes," said Cheryl Saban, Chairwoman of SFF, and author of 50 Ways to Save Our Children. "Our Foundation's mission is to advance complex and often under-funded causes and support organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of the elderly, the disabled and society's most important resource - children. With these donations, we are fulfilling the goals of our Foundation and enabling the kind of research and educational programs that can truly make a difference in peoples' lives."
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
The $40 million pledge to the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles ("CHLA"), which is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, will advance the search for solutions to some of the most complex and vexing medical issues affecting children and adolescents worldwide. CHLA is the most productive pediatric research center in the Western United States, with 86 investigators at work on more than 200 laboratory studies and clinical trials.
"This unprecedented donation is believed to be the largest single gift of its kind to a children's hospital in North America," said Walter W. Noce, Jr., Childrens Hospital President and CEO. "We are grateful to the Sabans' dedication to our institution, which will support new initiatives in key scientific fields of inquiry, such as neuroscience and medical genetics, and will fund the construction of a new 88,500 square-foot state-of-the-art research laboratory facility."
In recognition of the Sabans' generosity, the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Research Institute will be renamed The Saban Research Institute of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and its new laboratory facilities The Saban Research Institute building.
"This is one of the most important contributions we have ever made," said Cheryl Saban, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. "Haim and I view this partnership with Childrens Hospital Los Angeles as an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to an institution that has built its reputation around finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure pediatric illness. We only hope that we can help make possible the advances in research and medical miracles that will ultimately save lives."
Motion Picture & Television Fund
SFF has pledged $10 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund ("MPTF") Country House & Hospital. This lead donation will aid in the construction of the new Therapy and Wellness Center for senior citizens and members of the entertainment industry, and contribute to the Fund's campaign to upgrade and maintain its current facilities. The new center, which will be located on the Country House & Hospital grounds in Woodland Hills, California, will be named the Cheryl & Haim Saban Therapy and Wellness Center.
"With this extraordinary gift, Cheryl and Haim Saban will improve the quality of life for thousands of industry members and their families," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chairman MPTF Foundation Board of Directors. "Their generosity will make it possible for the Motion Picture & Television Fund -- our industry's own charity -- to provide state-of-the-art physical, occupational and aquatic therapies for seniors living at MPTF's renowned retirement community as well as industry workers and their families throughout Southern California. As a member of the MPTF Foundation Board and a personal friend of the Sabans, I am deeply touched by Haim and Cheryl's caring support and welcome their future leadership."
"This is an important organization that positively impacts the health and quality of life for members of the entertainment industry who need it most. The entertainment industry has been very good to us; it is only right we give back to the community that gave us so much," said Mr. Saban.
Founded over 80 years ago, MPTF has grown into a comprehensive service organization, which operates five outpatient health centers throughout the greater Los Angeles area, a fully licensed 256-bed acute-care hospital, a children's center, and a retirement community.
Soroka Medical Center
The Sabans' pledge of $5 million to help construct a dedicated Childrens Hospital at the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, Israel will provide a much needed resource to help treat conditions that range from cancer and cardiac illnesses to medical conditions indigenous to desert living and those caused by lack of regular preventative care.
"We are extremely grateful to the Sabans for this unprecedented and truly magnanimous gift," said Yossi Press, Director of Pediatrics for the Hospital. "This new facility will change the lives of over 350,000 children living in the Negev region of Israel by providing outstanding and much needed medical care."
Staffed with world-renowned physicians, many of whom are affiliated with Ben Gurion University, the Saban Childrens Hospital will include 122 admission beds throughout three pediatric wards, an intensive care unit with isolation rooms, a hematology-oncology unit for young cancer patients, a day hospitalization unit, study and recreation rooms, an adolescent treatment unit and an imaging center.
Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans
The Sabans' pledge of $5.2 million to the Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans towards the construction of a Beit Halochem Center for disabled veterans and victims of terror in Be'er Sheva, Israel. The Zahal Disabled Veterans Fund, the Israeli parent organization of U.S.-based Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans, currently has facilities in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem that provide members with post-operative physical, social and emotional care throughout their rehabilitation process and beyond.
"The new Be'er Sheva Beit Halochem Center will provide life-long emotional and physical rehabilitation to thousands of disabled veterans and civilian victims of terror, including those who are blind, paralyzed, loss of limb, burned, and brain damaged," said Richard Golden, Chairman of Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans, U.S.A. "The Sabans' donation will establish state-of-the-art programs and services, including those for the spouses and children of the disabled, and will help to make this Center a worldwide leader in its field. This facility's mission is to nurture and motivate, even its most seriously disabled members, to return to the mainstream of Israeli society as productive citizens - with self-confidence and dignity."
"The pledges we've made in Israel are especially meaningful for our family," said Mr. Saban. "They not only embody our commitment to bringing state-of-the-art medical care to members of the community in dire need, but also create a unique opportunity to foster American-Israeli relations in a non-political manner. It is our sincere hope that these donations will make a difference in the Be'er Sheva region for generations to come."
Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution
The Sabans have also committed $13 million to establish the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Dedicated to research and analysis of U.S. policy in the Middle East, the Saban Center sponsors a wide range of forums, conferences and weekly press briefings and supports in-depth research by a staff of experts who have extensive knowledge and experience of the pressing issues in the region.
"At a time when the Middle East is at the very top of Washington's foreign policy agenda and war and peace issues there directly impact on the well-being of the United States and Israel, Haim and Cheryl's generosity has made it possible to establish a center of excellence in research and educational programs focused on the Middle East policy-making debate in Washington," said Ambassador Martin Indyk, the Saban Center's Director. "Through these efforts we are able to advance Haim Saban's intense interest in a more peaceful Middle East in which the people of Israel can enjoy security and normalcy alongside their Arab and Palestinian neighbors."
Saban Family Foundation
The Saban Family Foundation was created in 1999 to support the healthy development of children and families by identifying and addressing unmet societal needs in the U.S. and Israel. SFF is also focused on reinforcing positive relationships between the U.S. and Israel.
As Chairwoman of SFF, children's advocate Cheryl Saban is deeply committed to improving the quality of medical care and providing much needed resources to educational organizations around the globe. In 1999, Mrs. Saban, who holds a master's degree in psychology, established 50 Ways to Save Our Children, a not-for-profit organization encouraging philanthropy and community service. She has since published a book with the same name and launched an educational website (www.50ways.org). All proceeds from sales of the book are donated to children's organizations. Mrs. Saban serves on the Los Angeles City Commission for Children, Youth and their Families, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Haim Saban is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of private investment firm Saban Capital Group, Inc. He is the former co-owner, Chairman and CEO of Fox Family Worldwide, Inc. and founder of Saban Entertainment, which produced successful childrens television programs and films such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Mr. Saban is currently a Regent of the University of California; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution; and was appointed a member of the President's Export Council by President Clinton.