Christian Science Monitor profiles a Jewish philanthropist

The Christian Science Monitor published a profile on Bernard Osher. Often called the “Quiet Philanthropist,” Osher rarely sits down with the press, but he acquiesced to an interview with the Monitor after the paper submitted its questions in writing.

The San Francisco-based banker, who is originally from Maine, started the Osher Foundation in 1977 and calls giving money away his greatest pleasure, according to the Monitor.

Among his other foundations, he has also started the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Fund, and he funded the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in Marin County outside San Francisco, and he is on the board of the American Friends of the Koret Israel Economic Development Funds.

Osher, the Monitor reports, intends to give away all of his money:

Osher has engendered enormous respect within the communities targeted by his foundation and was labeled last year the 11th most generous philanthropist in the world by BusinessWeek, which put his giving at more than $800 million. In 2006, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, he granted the foundation that bears his name $732 million, the third largest individual gift of the year in the US.

And there is more beneficence to come. Osher intends to give away all his fortune, explaining: “Although I have no heirs, I can enjoy the opportunity of helping members of several generations lead more fulfilling lives by my contributions.”

Thanks to the Chronicle of Philanthropy for pointing this one out.

BTW, the Chronicle also has a link to a JTA story about the Ford Foundation’s continued funding of anti-Israel organizations. If you haven’t read the story yet, check it out here.

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