In announcing the pledges, Broad joined two of America’s wealthiest philanthropists, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, in their so-called “The Giving Pledge” which urges wealthy Americans to donate at least half their fortunes to charitable causes.
Born into a “liberal Jewish household” of Lithuanian immigrants in New York City, Broad, now 77, moved to Los Angeles in 1961, making an initial fortune as mass homebuilder, and a second through the giant financial services company SunAmerica.
Doing philanthropy is much harder than running two Fortune 500 companies,” Broad said in an e-mailed statement, according to businessweek.com.
A 2003 study by researcher Gary Tobin found that Jewish mega-donors, those contributing over $10 million each year to charities, apportioned only 6 percent to Jewish causes, including support for Israeli institutions.
The reasons for the modest proportion of rich Jewish for giving going to Jewish causes include the ever-growing integration of Jewish giving into everything that includes ”repairing the world” (Tikkun Olam) and the timidity of Jewish organizations in developing projects for mega-donations.
With that in mind, Broad told The Journal some years ago, “If I find a Jewish philanthropy of merit, I will support it.”
Learn more about The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation - http://www.broadfoundation.org/