Many Jews Found Among America’s Biggest Givers

George Soros - Festival of Economics 2012. Photo by Niccolò Caranti.
George Soros – Festival of Economics 2012. Photo by Niccolò Caranti.

Every year the Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes a list of the top 50 givers to charitable causes. In 2010 out of the 53 individuals and couples on the list, 19 of them were Jewish. Even more impressive, out of the 6 top givers, five of those were Jewish.

The total amount donated by America’s top philanthropists in 2010 was close to $3.3 billion. The leading donor was George Soros, who donated an impressive $332 million. Next came the former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, who gave $279.2 million to charity. The fourth place philanthropists were Irwin and Joan Jacobs, donating close to $120 million. Eli and Edythe Broad and Leonard Blavatnik filled the fifth and sixth spots with donations of $118 and $117, respectively.

Not all the Jewish philanthropists on the list gave to specifically Jewish causes. Data shows the opposite trend; according to the Institute for Jewish and Communal Research, less than one quarter of all charitable dollars given by Jews go to specifically Jewish causes.

On this list there is a couple which is an exception: Stephen and Nancy Grand, who ranked 39 in amount donated, gave over $20 million of their $28 million total giving to the American Technion Society. This foundation supports the Israel Institute for Technology, one of Israel’s premier universities.

The Grands helped the Technion to complete their 14-year, $1 billion campaign to raise money for the school with their incredible $20 million donation. The Grands also gave an additional $10 million to launch the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute.

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