World Briefs: Half of 25 Most Generous Philanthropists in US Are Jews, but Few Give to Jewish Groups and more


Half of 25 Most Generous Philanthropists in US Are Jews, but Few Give to Jewish Groups
Jews made up nearly half of America’s biggest philanthropic donors last year, according to a calculation by Forbes of who gave the most money away in 2022, reported JTA.

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2019 (Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize via JTA)

In a year that saw their fortunes take a hit amid declines in the stock market, America’s 25 “most generous givers” donated a collective $27 billion, up from $20 billion in 2021, for a lifetime total of $196 billion, according to Forbes. They included 12 billionaires with Jewish backgrounds — a dramatic overrepresentation when compared to the proportion of Jews in the overall U.S. population.

The Jews on the list include financier George Soros, who gave away at least $300 million to racial justice and humanitarian work in Ukraine and other causes; businessman and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with $1.7 billion in donations to charter schools, clean energy and fighting heart disease; and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose charity donated more than $900 million, with much of the money going to fund research into artificial intelligence and genomics at universities.

One thing that stands out about these Jewish philanthropists is that almost none of them focus on giving in the Jewish community. Only Lynn and Stacy Schusterman of the Tulsa oil dynasty, who are paired together on the list, are prominent donors to Jewish causes.

White Supremacist Nick Fuentes Returns to Twitter With Spree of Antisemitic Comments
Far-right provocateur Nick Fuentes was reinstated to Twitter on Jan. 24 and returned to the social-media platform with a volley of antisemitic posts and comments, including praise for Hitler.

Fuentes is a Holocaust denier who first gained prominence after participating in the white-supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.

He was banned from Twitter in July 2021 amid the platform’s crackdown on far-right extremists, particularly in the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He burst back onto the public stage in November, when he and “Ye,” formerly known as Kanye West, had dinner in Florida with former President Donald Trump.

Fuentes’ reinstatement comes as business magnate Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter last year, restores the accounts of many people who were banned for advancing far-right extremist ideas on the platform.

Fuentes made clear upon his return to Twitter that he planned to pick up where he left off, posting a series of comments reflecting the brand of antisemitism that he has spread.

Majority in Netherlands Don’t Know the Holocaust Affected Their Country
A recent study of the Dutch population conducted by the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany showed an alarming lack of education about the Holocaust in the Netherlands, reported JTA.

A majority of Dutch respondents across all age groups failed to cite their own country as a place where the Holocaust took place, despite the Netherlands being the setting of the world’s most widely read Holocaust memoir — Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl,” which has been translated into more than 70 languages.

About 75% of the country’s Jews were killed during the years of World War II and the Holocaust, one of the highest rates in Europe.

The study, for which Schoen Cooperman Research surveyed 2,000 people across the country of more than 17 million, also found that a majority of respondents (54%) and a slightly larger share of those in the millennial and Gen Z generations (59%) did not know that the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis totaled 6 million. Many said the total was 2 million or fewer.

Australian Government Mulls Banning Entry to Antisemite Kanye West
An Australian minister announced on Jan. 25 that American rapper Kanye West, also known as “Ye,” could be denied a visa to enter the country due to his “awful” antisemitism, reported JNS, citing Reuters.

“People like that who’ve applied for visas to get into Australia in the past have been rejected. I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions that they did,” said Australian Minister for Education Jason Clare, according to the report.

News that West would visit to meet the family of his partner, Bianca Censori, who grew up in Melbourne, generated a major backlash.

The Australian Jewish Association called on authorities in Canberra to deny West a visa to enter the country because his planned visit constitutes a threat to the local Jewish community.

Israel’s Housing Slump Worst in 25 Years
New home sales and building starts in Israel face the worst declines in at least 25 years, reported Globes, citing Central Bureau of Statistics data.

Just 1,819 new homes were sold in the month of October, compared to 5,648 in October 2021.

Added to that, the new home-sales rate has dropped more than 50% since August 2021.
The statistics bureau said new home buys have declined about 5% monthly since August 2021, but since July, the rate has accelerated to 8%.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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