Mikhail Mirilashvili

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Mikhail Mirilashvili is an Israeli-Georgian billionaire who mainly operates in Russia and Israel. His business is predominantly focused on real estate, shopping malls, casinos, petroleum industry and the media. He and his son Itzhak are considered to be founders of VK, a Russian Facebook-like social media.1 He also owns Petromir, a Russian holdings company, Lukoil North West Petroleum, a bank called Viking and CONTI, the largest gambling corporation in St. Petersburg.
Mikhail Mirilashvili was born in a Jewish family living in Georgia.

Contribution to Israel’s economy

Mirilashvili founded many companies in Israel such as Kitaim, a venture capital fund, as well as Flarium Global, Be’er Isaac Energy, and Hoshen Argaman. He is also active in gas drilling projects in Israel.2 He funds many national projects in Israel through Keren Hayesod (United Israel Appeal), which is a fundraising organization for Israel. He also donated to ZAKA which is an Israeli international search and rescue team. Mirilashvili established a food security center at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He also contributed to the normalization process between Israel and UAE through, funding a joint Israeli-Emirati water project in Abu Dhabi, UAE.3

Mikhail Mirilashvili (first from right) alongside chief rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015

Jewish Advocacy in Russia and Israel

Mirilashvili is very fond of his Jewish roots and contributes to many Jewish advocacy groups in Russia and Israel. In the past he served as chairman of ZAKA. ZAKA is an Israeli international search and rescue team. He has been the President of Maccabi-Russia (promoting athletic activities among Jews) for 25 years, the Vice-President of the Russian Jewish Congress (Jewish Zionist advocacy group), the Vice-President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (a Jewish organization focused on Holocaust issues), the President of the Jewish Congress of St-Petersburg and president of the “Torah and Chessed” Center for Jews in Georgia.4 Mirilashvili donated some old Torah scrolls to the IDF through the Friends of IDF.5

Mirilashvili with IDF soldiers in 2009

1: https://www.yadvashem.org/donors/mirilashvili.html

2: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/2013-06-05/ty-article/.premium/israels-super-rich-really-are-different/0000017f-eff1-d8a1-a5ff-fffb726f0000

3: https://www.timesofisrael.com/tel-aviv-university-uae-to-set-up-joint-initiative-for-water-research/

4: https://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/bio/michael-mirilashvili

5: https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3744835,00.html

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