Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
February 18, 2011     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 13     (13 of 24 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 13     (13 of 24 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
February 18, 2011

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 18, 2011 PAGE 13;. Jews take 5 of top 6 spots in annual list of top U.S. givers By Jacob Berknmn NEW YORK OTA)00Amer- ica's most generous citizens gave less in 2010 than they have over the past decade, but Jews remained among the top givers, according to an annual survey by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. In 2010, the top philan- thropists in the United States contributed approximately $3.3 billion to charity, ac- cording to the Chronicle's Philanthropy 50, a list that tracks the largest gifts made by individuals each year. That number is some $800 million below 2009 and less than half of the total made up by the top 50 donors when the Chronicle first started keeping tabs a decade ago. At least 19 of the 53 indi- viduals and couples named on the list are Jewish, includ- ing five of the list's top six (the list included three ties). George Soros ranked No. 1 with $332 million donated in 2010, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was second at $279.2 mil- lion. Irwin and Joan Jacobs, Eli and Edythe Broad, and Leonard Blavatnik took spots 4 through 6, respectively, with $117 million to $119 million in donations. Jews traditionally rank high on such lists and figure promi- nently among the country's elite philanthropists. Jews also make up more than half of the first 57 billionaires to join the Bill Gates and Warren Buf- fet Giving Pledge--a group of ultra-wealthy Americans who have pledged to give away more than half of their assets during their lifetime. The Chronicle's list, how- ever, also offers more cause for concern for those in the Jewish nonprofit world who wring their hands about the lack of giving by Jews to Jewish causes. The Institute for Jew- ish and Communal Research has collected data showing that less than a quarter of all philanthropic dollars given by Jews go to overtly Jewish causes. For instance, while Soros gave $1 million to World ORT in September, and Bloomberg gave a smaller gift to the Jew- ish Association for Services for the Aged, their gifts to overtly Jewish causes comprise only a small proportion of their overall giving. This year's Philanthropy 50 had one major exception: Stephen and Nancy Grand, who ranked 39th, gave more than $20 million of their $28 million in 2010 charitable donations to the American Technion Society, which supports the Technion: Israel Institute for Technology. In June, the Grands helped the Technion finish off a 14- year, $1 billion fundraising campaign with their mam- moth gift to the school, to which they also had given $10 million to create the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Re- search Institute. The Grands are very in- volved in the Jewish world and launched their philanthropy through the Jewish Federa- tion of Metropolitan Detroit. Stephen Grand is a board member of Birthright Israel, while Nancy Grand soon will be the president of the Jewish Federation in San Francisco and serves on the executive committees of the city's JCC as well as the American Jew- ish Joint Distribution Com- mittee. Among the other Jews on the list to watch are hedge fund manager William Ackman, who with his wife, Karen, gave away $59.3 million lastyear.At 44, Ackman already is one of Abbas to visit Canada to meet Jewish leaders By David Lazarus The  Jewish News MONTREAL--Palestinian Authority President Mah- moud Abbas will visit Canada "within the next six months" specifically to have a "mean- ingful dialogue" with a cross- section of Canadian Jewry, The CJN has learned. "It is confirmed," Liberal MP Irwin Cotler disclosed in a recent interview in his Mount Royal riding office. "The raison d'etre for his visit to Canada is to meet with the Jewish community. "The idea would be that he would meet with a repre- sentative group [of Canadian Jewry]," Cotler said. "Orga- nizational heads, students, academics, business people, rabbinic leaders--a cross- section, for an open dialogue." The only Jewish commu- nity figure made aware of the visit so far is Canada-Israel Committee CEO Shimon Fo- gel, Cotler said. The Foreign Affairs Min- istry is not involved with ar- rangements for Abbas' visit, he said. It was arranged privately between Abbas and Cotler over the holiday season dur- ing one of Cotler's regular visits to the Middle East, held in part to confer with officials in Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the PA. However, the meeting be- tween Abbas and the Jewish community is being hosted officially by Cotler and the bipartisan committee he formed, the joint House-Sen- ate Committee on Middle East Peace and Reconciliation. The committee includes Cotler's fellow Liberal MP, Bob Rue, as well as Conservative senators Linda Frum and Hugh Segal. Efforts by The CJN to reach Fogel and the parliamen- tarians for comment were unsuccessful at press time. As part of the visit, Cotler also expects Abbas to meet with "government people, parliamentarians, and the like." The Foreign Ministry could conceivably be in- volved in that part of the trip, Cotler said. He said Abbas, whom he first met in 1977 and has maintained contact with ever since, indicated to him last fall that he wanted to meet with Canadian Jewish leaders. Abbas previously has met with Jewish leaders in the United States and France. While in the Middle East, Cotler met for three hours with Abbas and with PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Malki in Ramallah. Cotler said Abbas and Malki were open to the idea of having a Canadian serve as "referee" in a revived Israeli- Palestinian group monitor- ing "incitement," which is present in PA textbooks, media and mosques. But he also quoted Ab- bus as saying that while he doesn't deny that incitement against Israel takes place in the PA, "I'm not going to play the blame game. There's also incitement on the Israeli side." Meeting with Netanyahu a week after Abbas, Cotler said the Israeli prime minister was also receptive to the idea of reviving the incitement- monitoring group, with a Canadian presence. Netanyahu also indicated to Cotler his willingness to go to the PA to speak with Palestinians, as Abbas previ- ously has done in Israel. Cotler reported thatAbbas reacted favorably to the idea of designating "one or two" Palestinians to be part of the Canadian Parliamentary Co- alition to Combat Antisemi- tism. He saidAbbas expressed regret that he couldn't attend the coalition's conference last November in Ottawa, although he did send a state- ment. Similarly, Cotler related that Netanyahu was pleased by the adoption of the Ottawa Protocol at the conference and indicated his desire to attend the next one. Things are "proceeding apace," Cotler said, in efforts by Canada to reform the PA's justice sector, efforts, he noted, that he's pleased to see continuing under the Tory government. Cotler would like to revive the idea of holding a "justice summit" for justice ministers from interested nations, a project he began after be- coming justice minister in 2003 but which never saw the light of day when the Liberals were defeated in 2006. On the peace process, Cotler said he emphasized to both Abbas and Netanyahu the importance of direct ne- gotiations without precondi- tions on the overriding issues of security and borders. "I said [former Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat and [former Israeli prime minis- ter Menachem] Begin made peace because of direct and sustained negotiations," Cot- let related. "There were no Europeans, no international community, no Americans." A deal was achieved then and is possible now, Cotler believes, because each leader has the capacity to "carry the country" with a deal in hand and is "looking for his place in history." David Lazarus is a staff reporter for The Canadian Jewish News. Wall Street's most significant players and a regular on the dais of the UJA-Federation of New York's annual Wall Street dinner. He made his most sig- nificant Jewish contribution in the past year, leading an effort to bail out the Center for Jewish History in New York from its $30 million debt with a $6.8 million gift. Qualcomm's founder, Irwin Jacobs, is one of San Diego's most generous men. Aside from propping up the San Diego Symphony with a $100 million-plus gift last decade, he and his wife, Joan, have decided to give away most of their money through a donor- advised fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, where Joan Jacobs is a board member. Last year, according to the Chronicle, they gave the fund $39.1 mil- lion, which will be distributed to Jewish and nonsectarian causes. Cleveland car dealers Lee and Jane Seidman gave $42 million in 2010 to land them at No. 24 on the list. Most of their giving went to University Hospitals, but Jewish charities played heavily among their contributions to more than 40 charities, including the Jew- ish Federation of Cleveland. Some money came from a surprise bequeathing. Charles Kaufman, an exec- utive at Merck, was something of an unknown to this annual mega-donor list. When he died last September at age 97, he left $53 million to charity, according to the Chronicle. Of that, $50 million went to a fund he and his late sister established at the Pittsburgh Foundation. Jewish health care is listed among the pri- mary concerns of the fund. He also left $3.34 million to a variety of other charities, including those that deal with Jewish life and culture, among them $300,000 to Jewish Family and Children's Service of Pittsburgh and $50,000 to the Jewish National Fund. Others on the Chronicle's list have established track records with certain Jewish charities. Blavatnik, who came in at No. 6, sits on the board of Tel Aviv University, the Center for Jewish History and the 92rid Street Y. Richard Friedman, the head of Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division who ranked No. 49 with $20 million in donations, is a board member of the Central Synagogue in New York. The biggest question may be whether the youngest person ever to appear on the list, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, will become a giver to Jewish causes. Zuckerberg came in at a tie for No. 10 with Ackman, hav- ing made his first significant charitable donation in 2010 with a $100 million gift to his Startup: Education foun- dation, which will go to help the struggling school system in Newark, N.J., a non-Jewish cause. Watch The Jewish Channel on Verizon F;OS TV Tune to Channel 900; select "Browse AlP then remium Channels" Want to see The Jewish Channel on Brighthouse? E.mail us: