In 2010, American philanthropists donated approximately $3.3 billion to charity â€“ and 19 of the 53 top givers were Jews. George Soros ranked first with $332 million contributed in 2010.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was No. 2 with $279.2 million. Irwin and Joan Jacobs, Eli and Edythe Broad, and Leonard Blavatnik, respectively took places four through six, with $117 million to $119 million in donations.
But are American Jews not doing enough for other Jews? Stephen and Nancy Grand gave more than $20 million of their $28 million of their charitable donations in 2010 to the American Technion Society, that supports the Technion: Israel Institute for Technology. Whereas, Soros gave $1 million to World ORT in September, and Bloomberg gave a smaller donation to the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, their gifts to Jewish organizations made-up a small proportion of their overall giving.
Hedge fund manager, William Ackman and his wife Karen gave away $59.3 million last year. At 44, Ackman is one of Wall Streetâ€™s toughest players and a regular on the dais of the UJA-Federation of New Yorkâ€™s annual Wall Street banquet. He made his most significant Jewish contribution in the past year, directing a move to bail out the Center for Jewish History in New York from its $30 million debt with a gift of $6.8 million.
Irwin Jacobs, founder of Qualcomm, gave a $100 million-plus San Diego Symphony with a $100 million-plus gift last decade, he and his wife, Joan, have chosen to give away most of their savings through a donor-advised fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, where Joan Jacobs is a board member. Last year, they gave the fund $39.1 million, which will be spent on both Jewish and nonsectarian causes.
Here is the list of Jews gracing the Chronicle of Philanthropyâ€™s Philanthropy 50 top givers of 2010, with their rank and total philanthropic contributions in 2010:
George Soros, $332m
Michael R. Bloomberg, $279.2m
Irwin M. and Joan K. Jacobs, $119.5m
Eli and Edythe L. Broad, $118.3m
Leonard Blavatnik, $117.2m
Meyer and Renee Luskin, $100.5m
Marc R. and Lynne Benioff, $100m
Mark Zuckerberg, $100m
William A. and Karen Ackman, $59.3m
Charles E. Kaufman, $53.3m
Lawrence J. Ellison, $45.1m
Lee G. and Jane H. Seidman, $42m
Lin Arison, $39m
Herman Ostrow, $35m
Stephen and Nancy Grand, $28.1m
David M. Rubenstein, $26.6m
Paul and Daisy M. Soros, $25m
Iris Cantor, $20m
Richard A. and Susan P. Friedman, $20m