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Billionaire Trump adviser gives $10m to Israel’s National Library

New education center to foster inclusiveness and ‘cross-cultural relationships’ between Jews, Christians, and Muslims, says donor Stephen Schwarzman

In this Wednesday, September 20, 2017 file photo, Blackstone Group chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
In this Wednesday, September 20, 2017 file photo, Blackstone Group chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

An American billionaire and confidant of US President Donald Trump is making a major donation to Israel’s National Library.

Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone, says the $10 million donation is his first in Israel.

The donation will fund classrooms and education workshops in the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Center, which the investor hopes will foster inclusiveness and “cross-cultural relationships” between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

In a statement, the National Library said the center will include a multi-purpose space for up to 100 people for classes, lectures, and performances​; three distinct spaces for activities and workshops; and state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, to connect with peers in Israel and around the world.

The library broke ground in 2016 on a new home for its collection, which includes the world’s largest assemblage of Jewish texts, plus materials about Islam and the Middle East.

The new building lies across the street from Israel’s Knesset and the Israel Museum.

Schwarzman said on Wednesday the collection “enables all different types of groups to be comfortable in that setting and see things that reflect their historical backgrounds.”

Schwarzman has an estimated net worth of $13 billion and has served as an economic consultant to Trump, including as chair of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum until it was disbanded in August 2017.

Schwarzman has given major gifts in recent years to Yale University, the New York Public Library, and Tsinghua University in Beijing for the Schwarzman Scholars Masters’ program.

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