A few good billionaires, prodded by their capi di tutti capi Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, have pledged to leave at least half of their estates to charities. Let’s count the Jews!
Number of billionaires (or billionaire couples) who have taken the pledge: 40 (including, among the non-Jews, ultra-Catholic and ultra-conservative Tom Monaghan; Barron Hilton; T. Boone Pickens; and, perhaps out of guilt for The Phantom Menace, George Lucas).
Jews among them: Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Eli and Edythe Broad; Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg (yes, she is too); Larry Ellison; Joan and Irwin Jacobs; George Kaiser; Ken and Elaine Langone*; Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest; Lorry I. Lokey; Alfred E. Mann; Bernie and Billi Marcus; Bernard and Barbro Osher; Ron Perelman; David M. Rubenstein; Herb and Marion Sandler; Jim and Marilyn Simons; Jeff Skoll; Sanford and Joan Weill; Shelby White (widow of Leon Levy).
Total Jews: 19.
So almost half. Yasher Koach to them all!
*Couldn’t confirm, but they “have made major commitments to a new Jewish Life and Learning/Human Tolerance and Understanding fund” at Bucknell.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.