United States: Half of the 25 most generous philanthropists are Jewish – Forbes
According to one estimate, Jews accounted for half of America’s most generous donors last year Forbes About donations made in 2022.
In a fairly gray year marked by a stock market slump, the 25 “most generous donors” in the U.S. gave away a total of more than $27 billion, up from $20 billion in 2021, 196 of them. still according to billion dollars Forbes. Among these 25 philanthropists, there are 12 billionaires of Jewish descent, which exceeds the proportion of Jews in the American population.
The list includes financier George Soros, who has donated at least $300 million to racial justice and humanitarian causes in Ukraine, and businessman and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated $1.7 billion to public schools, among other causes. clean energy and the fight against heart disease, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose philanthropy has donated more than $900 million to research in artificial intelligence and genomics, mostly at universities.
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What all these Jewish philanthropists have in common is that they don’t just keep their donations to the Jewish community. Only Tulsa oil dynasty Lynn and Stacy Schusterman, listed together, make significant donations to Jewish causes.
Many, if not all, other Jewish donors give at least small amounts to Jewish charities.
For example, in 2021, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $1.3 million to 11 Jewish organizations and added more than $900 million in 2022. Forbes.
In turn, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie donated at least $1 million of the $800 million donated last year to the Jewish National Fund (JNF/KKL). As for Michael Dell, the founder of the Dell computer company, he donated land to a Jewish community center in Austin, Texas, where he also financed recent renovations.
Giving $370 million last year alone, the Shustermans prioritized Jewish causes. Their decades of involvement in the Jewish community world have resulted in cumulative donations representing hundreds of millions of dollars to date.
It is difficult to draw comparisons with the past and to say whether the most generous Jewish philanthropists have always behaved this way, because today’s level of wealth is unprecedented, or nearly so, according to Andrés Spokoiny, head of the Jewish Funders Network.
“Historically, individuals have never amassed this kind of wealth, except perhaps in the Gilded Age, and there were few Jews of this economic level,” says Spokoiny.
As to why many of these philanthropists do so little for the Jewish community, Spokoiny suggests three ways.
The first is simply about assimilation. “They don’t necessarily have a strong Jewish upbringing, or Judaism doesn’t play a major role in their lives, and in that respect they’re no different than the rest of us,” Spokoiny suggests.
Second, given their enormous resources, some prefer to devote themselves to global issues such as climate change or pandemics.
Third, Spokoiny argues that some philanthropists believe that being associated with Jewish causes may not align with their political aspirations or image.
Mark Charendoff, Spokoiny’s predecessor as head of the Jewish Funders Network and now chairman of the Maimonides Foundation, a major Jewish charity for several years, echoed Spokoiny’s comments, adding that in the past wealthy Jews who wanted to donate were not always able to help. to do so outside the Jewish community.
“Universities, hospitals, orchestras have always been reluctant to have Jewish donors, especially active donors,” Charendoff said.
“Today, by contrast, you’d be hard-pressed to find a non-profit organization that doesn’t want to be supported by Jews. »
Jewish organizations seeking to raise funds in what Charendoff calls “the most competitive environment” must make a long-term investment in promoting Jewish identity.
“If we want top philanthropists to contribute more to Jewish causes, we need to invest more in Jewish education and in the participation of all Jews,” he said.
Here are the listed Jewish philanthropists Forbes Among “America’s Most Generous Donors”:
1. George Soros: +300 million dollars in 2022
2. Michael Bloomberg: +1.7 billion dollars
3. Jim and Marilyn Simons: +$1.9 billion
4. Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan: +900 million dollars
5. Edythe Broad and family: +340 million dollars
6. Steve & Connie Ballmer: +800 million dollars
7. Sergey Brin: Newcomer to the list
8. Lynn & Stacy Schusterman: +$370 million
9. Michael & Susan Dell: +$177 million
10. Donald Bren: +470 million dollars
11. Dustin Moskovitz & Cari Thon: +$670 million
12. George Kaiser: +$120 million