10/25/09

Is Sergey Brin Jewish?

Yes Sergey Brin, the billionaire co-founder of Google, is a Jew. The Jewish Standard of Teaneck profiled him in their cover story in March of 2007.

Now the Times wrote up a story about the first stirrings of his philanthropy - a million bucks to HIAS in gratitude for helping to bring him and his family over from the Soviet Union.

See the problem is that we watched 50% of the easy money disappear last year in the crash. So we don't agree with the go slow philanthropy philosophy of Brin and others. Non-profit organizations are in need now.

We find it utterly contemptuous that Brin ask the Times to publish a disclaimer that he is not entertaining proposals for funding. "Don't bother me with your shnorring?" or as he put it, “Our foundation is not soliciting proposals. Please make sure to include that.” Is that so?

It's like these rich guys have 2 brains. (No not those 2.) One for business and one for charity.

Use the same brain! Gmail was in "beta" for ten years. Take some "beta" charity proposals. New ideas in google services are developed in "labs." Get yourself some projects to try out in "labs."

Hello. Use the same thinking for charity that you use for business!

Anyhow, it is so nice that Brin arranged to dole out a few bucks to HIAS.

5 comments:

Robert said...

Tzvee: Aren't you being a little too hard on Brin? People who are not brought up in a culture of giving have to learn how to do so. While it would be nice if he loosened the purse strings more quickly, I think most people who have been involved in fundraising would agree that such people are cultivated and that doing so takes time. As to the disclaimer that he is not looking for people to solicit him, I don't think that is so much "contemptible" as prudent. Bob White

tzvee said...

So you want me to say nicely to him that he should be more charitable? He has both genius and wealth that can be applied to making life better for the needy. But wait, he's busy, he's thinking.

Robert said...

Maybe I have been involved in synagogue leadership too long. I've never gotten money out of people by hitting them over the head about their not being sufficiently charitable. Maybe I can do that with someone I know really, really well, but telling someone like Brin, who I assume you don't know personally or have a relationship with, that you think he's a jerk isn't going to see one more charitable dollar for any Jewish cause.

tzvee said...

i've got no aspirations in the fund raising arena. and the way i read the times article, it appears his mother got involved with HIAS and he did this for her.

Richard said...

The thing is this, Brin is a young guy focused mainly on business. The contribution of having built Google has profoundly changed the world. If you really want him to start giving find him a bride with a big heart. It worked for Bill Gates.