New Jewish giving pledge takes a page from Gates and Buffett initiative


(JTA) — A new initiative asks Jewish-American donors to earmark at least 50 percent of the charitable giving in their estate plan to Jewish- or Israel-related causes.

The Jewish Future Pledge, co-founded by philanthropist and entrepreneur Michael Leven and Jewish executive Amy Holtz, was launched on Wednesday. It was inspired in part by the Giving Pledge of billionaires Bill Gates  and Warren Buffett that calls on billionaires and other wealthy people around the world to give the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.

“We have an historic opportunity to write the next chapter of the Jewish story,” Leven said in a statement. “By acting now, we can ensure that more than $600 billion is set aside for Jewish causes as wealth is transferred from this generation to the next. I wanted to start a conversation with my family about the importance of securing the Jewish future. I see an enormous opportunity to help spark thousands – even millions – of similar conversations around Jewish tables before my generation passes about why the Jewish future matters.”

Early signers of the pledge include Jewish philanthropists such as Charles Bronfman, Bernie Marcus, Julie Platt and Tom Stern.

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