Landing Obama and Brin


I filed a report last week tying together the Jewish community’s to big "gets": Barack Obama and Sergey Brin:

NEW YORK (JTA) — The relative calm that annually settles in over the Jewish nonprofit world during the High Holidays season ended with a bang this week, as the Jewish communal world landed two big gets.

President Obama agreed to speak next month at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America to be held in Washington — his first speech as president to a Jewish audience. And one of the country’s richest men, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, made his first major charitable gift to a Jewish organization.

Both developments provide a boost to a Jewish philanthropic world facing tough times.

Brin, the 36-year old programming whiz who is worth $15.3 billion according to the recently released Forbes 400 list, announced Sunday that he would give $1 million to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one of the aid groups that helped his family when they emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States 30 years ago.

The announcement, made on the 30th anniversary of the Brin family’s arrival in America, came as a welcome surprise to a Jewish nonprofit world that has been speculating for years on whether or not the Google co-founder would become engaged philanthropically in the Jewish world as he ramps up his giving.

For the Jewish Federations, which recently changed its name from United Jewish Communities, landing Obama could provide a boost to a North American charitable network coping with sagging fund-raising campaigns and other significant challenges.

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