The Shmooze

Shekel Shekel Bills Y'all: World’s Richest Israelis

By Jordana Horn

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Ten of the world’s wealthiest people are Israeli, according to this year’s Forbes’ Rich List. The ten billionaires join the company of the prince of Saudia Arabia, Itlay’s Prime Minister, Oprah and Mark Zuckerberg, and about 1,000 other people around the globe who have 10 digits in the bank. (Yeah you heard us right.)

Here’s the countdown:

1) Sammy Ofer, who’s nearly 90, is Israel’s richest man (even though he lives in Monte Carlo) with $4 billion. If you’ve ever sailed Royal Caribbean cruise line: say thank you. He owns it.

2) Arnon Milchan was a professional soccer player turned family business man who came to realize his family’s fertilizer business is worth $3.6 billion (wonder what that smells like).

3) Stef Wertheimer, escaped Germany in 1937 and 15 years later started a tool-cutting company in his backyard. In 2006, he sold most of it to Warren Buffet to the tune of $4 billion.

4) Ever been on a Carnival Cruise? Now it’s your turn to say thank you. Shari Arison and her family own the line of cruise ships. With $3.4 billion she’s one of the richest women in the Middle East.

5) Alexander Mashkevich got rich on a mining and metals empire in Borat’s home of Kazakhstan.

6) Were it not for this man, Macaulay Culkin might never have been famous. Yitzhak Tshuva owns The Plaza Hotel, along with the Israeli chain of gas stations Delek.

7) Benny Steinmetz comes in seventh, with his company BSG Investments specializing in something every Jewish girl loves, diamonds. The company is one of De Beer’s largest customers.

8) Also making ring fingers sparkle is jewelry magnate Lev Leviev. He own Africa-Israel Investments, the world’s largest cutter and supplier of diamonds.

9) Michael Federmann owns the Dan Hotels in Israel and helps keep Israel safe with his defense tech company Elbit Systems.

10) Only fitting for a billionaire’s list is Morris Kahn, a man who got rich making billing software, he rings in at $1 billion.


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