Jewish philanthropist Harold Grinspoon signs Giving Pledge on donating over half his wealth


NEW YORK (JTA) — Harold Grinspoon, a real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist, signed the Giving Pledge to donate more than half his fortune to charitable causes.

Grinspoon, whose nonprofit foundation funds a range of Jewish causes and organizations, joined the pledge started in 2010 by billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. In 2011, he told The New York Times that he was worth “over $500 million.”

“The sense of mission and accomplishment that I get through my philanthropy energizes me every day,” Grinspoon, 85, said in a statement released  Tuesday by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. “I am honored to join the Giving Pledge and encourage others to join as well.”

In addition to funding half the PJ Library’s budget, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation donates to the Jewish Federations of North America, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the Birthright Israel Foundation and several other Jewish organizations.

Grinspoon brings the number of Giving Pledge signers to 137, including billionaire Jews such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison.

“In the 21st century, I believe that for Judaism to continue to have an impact on families and society, Jewish living and learning must be actively cultivated,” Grinspoon said in his statement. “That is why I am committing nearly all my assets to my Foundation to pursue this goal.”

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