The Jewish Immigrant Philanthropist Who Didn’t Like the Word “Charity”

Julius Rosenwald Made Sears a Retail Giant and Used His Wealth to Give the Poor Tools for Upward Mobility

The biography of Julius Rosenwald, one of the most thoughtful and transformative philanthropists in American history, parallels the life experiences of many Jewish immigrant families of the mid-19th century—women and men who left German-speaking lands, relied heavily on family and community networks, and arrived in America with commercial skills that served them well.

Enjoying the benefits of whiteness, they arrived just in time for the physical expansion of the United States across the continent, referred to by patriotic orators as “Manifest Destiny.” Americans who moved west desired consumer goods to …

More In: philanthropy

We Are the World. We Are the Charity Single.

After the Orlando Shooting, the Musical Staple of 1980s Philanthropy Makes a Comeback

A few years ago I took on a research challenge: to listen to every charity single released in the United Kingdom between December 1984 and the end of 1995. I …

I Dish Out the Food Your Supermarket Can’t Use

My Neighbors Were Going Hungry, So I Got My Local Trader Joe’s to Donate Carloads of Groceries

In the spring of 2009, my teenage daughter and I attended a memorial service in Pasadena, California, followed by a family-style luncheon. After the service, the retired clergyman who had …

Are We All Wyclef Jean?

So Many Would-Be Helpers Of Haiti Still Manage To Get It Wrong—Especially If They’re Famous

Since the January 2010 earthquake, Hollywood celebrities, like so many Americans, have given their money and loaned their faces and voices to Haiti. But are they helping the country—or are …

How We Got So Good At Giving Our Money Away

Historian Olivier Zunz On the Rise of Philanthropy in the United States

The United States has produced a system of philanthropy distinguished by the breadth of its ambition and the participation of the masses, University of Virginia historian Olivier Zunz said in …