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Saban Makes Mighty $100 Million Contribution to Charity

Maybe he couldnt quite afford to buy KirchMedia and its ProSiebenSat1 channel, but media mogul Haim Saban and his philanthropist wife, Cheryl, are donating $100 million in charitable gifts to health care and education in the U.S. and Israel, according to a report in the LOS ANGELES TIMES. The man who got rich on kids programming like the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS and the Fox Kids and Fox Family Channels has dedicated $40 million to Children's Hospital Los Angeles to support ongoing research into cancer and gene therapy as well as further research into neuroscience.

His permanent thank you card will be an 88,500-sqaure-foot facility research facility to be named the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. It is the single largest donation to a childrens hospital to support pediatric research in North America according to Walter W. Noce Jr., president of Childrens Hospital. Cheryl Saban has served on the hospital's board for seven years.

The Sabans have earmarked $13 million to establish the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington to support research on U.S. policy in that area. They have also pledged $5 million to build a childrens hospital at the Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, Israel. An additional $5.2 million pledge will go to the creation of a Belt Halochem Center in Israel for disabled veterans and civilian victims of terror. Higher education scholarships totaling $1.6 million will be given to qualifying Israeli combat veterans to attend university.

Saban, chairman/ceo of Saban Capital Group Inc., was born in Egypt, moved to Israel when he as 12 and now holds both Israeli and U.S. citizenship.

The Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital House in Woodland Hills, California will receive $10 million to construct the Cheryl and Haim Saban Therapy and Wellness Center.

The William J. Clinton Library Foundation will receive $5 million (Saban gave $7 million to the Democratic party in 2002), while the Jewish Community Foundation in the U.S. will receive $3 million. Other smaller gifts include $151,000 to the Rape foundation, $100,000 to the Geffen Playhouse and $25,000 to Human Rights Watch. The remaining monies will go to a variety of causes.

The Sabans have made their gifts public in the hopes of inspiring others, especially in Hollywood, to give more. "You have some people here who are multibillionaires who can make a difference in this community, and they dont," he told the TIMES. "All of these producers and superstars are amassing huge fortunes. They have too much money. They should give more away."

"Theres come a point in life when something clicks and you sit down and see what lifes about and how blessed you have been and you say, How can we do good?" he said.