Google’s Brin gives $1 million to HIAS

NEW YORK (JTA) — Google co-founder Sergey Brin has given a $1 million gift to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

HIAS was one of the groups that helped Brin’s family when it fled the Soviet Union 30 years ago.

Brin, who is Jewish — as is Google co-founder Larry Page — apparently is ramping up his philanthropy. According to The New York Times, he has given several gifts to Jewish organizations that helped his family.

“I would have never had the kinds of opportunities I’ve had here in the Soviet Union, or even in Russia today,” Brin told the Times in an interview. “I would like to see anyone be able to achieve their dreams, and that’s what this organization does.”

The HIAS gift was announced Oct. 25, on the 30th anniversary of his family’s arrival in the United States. Brin was 6 when his family left in 1976.

The oldest refugee agency in the U.S., HIAS has helped generations of families escape violence and repression in their homelands and resettle in the United States, Israel and elsewhere. Since its founding in 1881, HIAS has assisted more than 4.5 million refugees and migrants, including the vast majority of American Jewish families.

“As a refugee himself, Sergey Brin knows better than most the value of living freely in a country that allows people to dream and — through vision, creativity and hard work — fulfill those dreams," HIAS Chairman Michael Rukin said in a news release. "He and his family were able to build a new life in the United States and, as a result, he was able to create a new industry by changing the way we process and use information. His contributions literally have changed the world.”

 

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