Jewish billionaires join Bill Gates, Warren Buffett in massive giving pledge

Here’s some healthy tzedakah: billionaires pledging half their worth to charity.

That’s the idea behind a campaign conceived by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett known as The Giving Pledge, which 38 other billionaires have signed on to since the plan was hatched by America’s two wealthiest individuals less than a year ago.

Joining Gates and Buffett, who, according to MSNBC have a combined fortune of $90 billion are some big names from the Jewish world, including California residents Eli and Edythe Broad (Los Angeles), Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife Joan (San Diego), World Savings Bank founding director Bernard Osher and his wife, the Consul General of Sweden to San Francisco Barbro Osher. Other prominent names on the list include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Orthodox Jewish investor Ronald Perelman and media mogul Barry Diller and his wife, designer Diane von Furstenberg. 

So why are these folks giving it away?

Here’s some nice rationale from Mayor Bloomberg, who doesn’t want to leave it all to his kids.

According to MSNBC, Bloomberg, who made his $17.5 billion fortune from financial news company Bloomberg L.P., doesn’t think his children should go through life as members of “the lucky sperm club” (as if sperm is all it takes).

“You don’t want to leave them so much money that it ruins their lives,” Bloomberg told MSNBC. “You want kids who can look back and say, ‘Yeah my family helped me but I did something on my own.’”