When Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates initiated the Giving Pledge, a coordinated effort to get billionaires to give up more than half of their wealth to philanthropies during or even after they die, it was a tough sell.
But since its inception in 2010, 92 of the world’s richest people have made commitments, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Now, four Jewish philanthropists out of 11 new signatories, including Canadian Charles Bronfman, have added their names to the pledge.
“We’ve said from the beginning that this is a long-term effort, so it’s exciting to see continued progress,” Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp.’s co-founder, said in a statement.
“This new group brings extensive business and philanthropic experience that will enrich the conversation about how to make philanthropy as impactful as possible.”
Bronfman, who is the chair of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies and co-chairs Birthright Israel,
explained in a statement:“Philanthropy is in the DNA of my family. Doing what we can to repair the world was instilled in me from an early age.
"I will never forget my siblings and me knitting squares for blankets to be sent to the troops during World War II. This was an inspiration from my mother. It’s no surprise, then, that each of us has tried to contribute to society in our own way.”
Bronfman’s foundation has as its goal the enhancement of “Canadianism.” To that end he has funded a project that produced television shorts focused on little-known Canadian successes that have helped define the country.
Bronfman joins his brother Edgar, who also signed the Pledge.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life