October 2021

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Friends in Philanthropy: October 2021 Issue

“We’ve been very close to missionary doctors. . . . They’ve taught us how to become better Jews.”

– Businessman Mark Gerson on why he and his wife—both observant Jews—support Christian missionary hospitals in Africa

Some people might find it odd that a rabbi and her Jewish husband would give $18 million to support Christian-provided medical care. Not Erica and Mark Gerson.

To them it makes perfect sense. For one thing, the Talmudic emphasis on loving the stranger means they’re open to working with anyone to do the greatest possible good. For another, they see their donation as a simple acknowledgment of the facts on the ground.

“It’s not that we wouldn’t fund Jewish missionaries, but there are no Jewish missionaries,” Erica told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “We were looking to fund whoever can save lives in the most effective way.”

This month’s issue is a reminder of how powerful it can be when givers focus on the mission above all other concerns—and what rewarding relationships that attitude makes possible.

A blue church building

Meet the Jewish Couple Funding Christian Missionary Hospitals in Africa (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) – She’s a rabbi. He studies the Torah. Here’s why they gave $18 million to fund Christian-provided medical care.

Tax documents on a table

How to Make the Most of Year-End Charitable Giving (Wealth Management) – The tax landscape has changed dramatically for donors over the last two years. Don’t let 2021 end without considering these tips.

The number "100%" written out

How One Couple Ramped Up to 100% Giving (National Christian Foundation) – Roy and Joyce Mullen vowed to give away 1% more of their income each year. But a windfall and the CARES Act made them accelerate their plans.

Volunteers packing bags

What Will Happen to the Mutual Aid Groups The Pandemic Inspired? (AP News) – Highly informal aid networks helped people with food and rent when crisis struck. Now many are wondering: do we shut down, or ramp up?

Children in Africa holding a camera

From Inside a Ugandan Camp, One Refugee Gives Others A Voice (Christian Science Monitor) – Refugees’ stories are often told by outsiders. But now James Malish’s Facebook page gives them a direct line to the world.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

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