Philanthropy

Jewish philanthropist gives £6,000 to each Chilean miner

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

A Chilean Jewish businessman has announced that he is donating more than £6,000 to each of the 33 miners trapped underneath the Atacama Desert.

Leonardo Farkas, a philanthropist with stakes in the mining industry, has written cheques in each of the trapped miners’ names. The 53-year-old, who is of Hungarian descent, has also launched a fund for others to donate to.

In 2008 Mr Farkas gave nearly £100,000 to a children’s charity.

Nineteen men have been pulled out of the San Jose gold and copper mine so far, which lies 7000m below the ground. The ordeal has lasted 69 days.

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Billy Crystal donates to Hebrew University

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

When Harry Met Sally star Billy Crystal has been described as “a real mensch” after he made a large donation to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

The American Jewish actor, 62, has given a “substantial” amount to the institution’s Peace through the Performing Arts programme, which has run projects uniting Israeli and Palestinian students for more than a decade.

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George Soros' £65m gift to human rights charity

By Leon Symons, September 8, 2010

Billionaire financier George Soros is giving £65 million to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the New York-based organisation dedicated to investigating human rights abuses.

HRW has criticised both Israel and Hamas in its reports in the past. At the beginning of this year, its programmes director Ian Levine met Jewish communal leaders in London in an effort to convince them that the organisation was not biased against Israel.

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Jewish donor funds Cambridge digital library

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Cambridge University has announced plans to digitise a collection of rare books including important ancient Jewish texts.

Thanks to a donation from British Jewish philanthropist Dr Leonard Polonsky, the university will be converting books from its faith collection into digital form.

Dr Polonsky, ranked at number 507 on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2009, has pledged £1.5 million for the project. The New York born businessman founded the Polonsky-Coexist Lectureship in Jewish Studies at Cambridge.

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Philanthropy? It’s in our nature

By Stephen Pollard, April 17, 2008

Neuroscience suggests that we are hard-wired to make money — and give it away

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