Give, Give And Give More…

Spent last night at the board meeting of a charity I am on the board of, and its something which remains on my mind 24 hours later. Being involved in charities is something tremendously rewarding, something which allows me to better understand so many things about the world.

The opportunity – and indeed obligation – to give back allows one to maintain balance and perspective. It is so rewarding to give back to important issues and to help people. It is just great to be able to help give back, and while I enjoy it wanted to also share some quotes about the power of philanthropy from a Jewish perspective that I enjoyed:

• “Deeds of giving are the very foundations of the world.” Mishna, Pirkei Avot 1:2
• “The greatest level [of charity], above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand until he need no longer be dependent upon others.”
• “Giving more money to good causes can never be a bad thing – give and blessings will come.” Ami Mesika, Philanthropist/Entrepreneur
• “We are worth what we are willing to share with others.” Rabbi J. Sacks
• “A truly generous man is he that always gives, whether it be much or little, before he is asked.” Orchot Tsadikim
• “Tzedakah lengthens one’s days and years.” Tanna Devei Eliyahu
• “Two things will never mix: a good heart and stinginess.” Mivchar Hapeninim
• “All Jews are responsible for each other.” Talmud, Shavuot
• “Giving to youth, kids, education – its like planting a flower that will bloom and grow and expand. It makes the world stronger and better in so many ways.” Ron Hershco
• “He who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses.” Talmud, Bava Batra
• “Advice and words will not fill an empty belly.” Mishle Yenoshua
• “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank
• “If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.” Jewish proverb
• “Even a poor man who himself survives on Tzedakah should give Tzedakah.” Talmud, Gittin
• “Learn to give every day.” Bertinoro

And while I started the Ronn Torossian Family Foundation a few years ago strictly to give and help, indeed the words I recently read of Howard Jonas, a very successful entrepreneur who does tremendous philanthropic work also ring through.

As Jonas said on “One last thing. By getting involved in charitable organizations, you’ll meet great people who may become your closest friends. Not only that, some of the people you meet will be extremely rich, important, and powerful. These people, who are totally inaccessible if you approach them in a business setting, are happy to talk to you at a charity board meeting. Who knows? One of these people might give you the venture capital money you need to pursue your dream. That’s exactly what happened to me. I’m certainly not saying that you should get involved in these organizations in order to make good business connections.”

Get involved and give philanthropy.