Visionary Jewish Leaders Join Together in San Francisco
On March 7, 2013 nearly 200 professionals and philanthropists joined together for a morning of inspiration and networking at BLC’s eighth annual Business Leadership Council Breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel.
We all joined to honor John Osterweis, a business leader, philanthropist, and longtime JCF supporter (in a variety of capacities including as chair of our Endowment Fund for 10 years), with the prestigious Business Leadership Award.
Mr. Osterweis shared that much of his inspiration comes from his sense of identity as a Jew, the values provided by our Jewish tradition, and the countless achievements of Jewish people. Coming from a home that was not particularly observant, he has developed a deep appreciation of Judaism as an engine of culture and has studied Torah for the last 25 years.
The keynote conversation took place between Charles Bronfman, a renowned businessman, philanthropist, and co-founder of Birthright Israel, and Jeffrey Solomon, president of Bronfman Philanthropies and co-author (with Bronfman) of The Art of Giving and The Art of Doing Good.
Impressive change-makers in the Jewish community and beyond, Mr. Bronfman and Dr. Solomon advised that “philanthropy is about how you want to change the world” and that “anything you do has to hit your soul.” Both statements tie into how Birthright Israel came to be. Mr. Bronfman relied on entrepreneurial spirit and his instincts that this program was a good idea, securing private funding instead of holding out for support from additional organizations. Nearly twenty years later, close to 300,000 young adults (including many event attendees) have participated in this journey of Jewish connection and peoplehood.
Jennifer Gorovitz, JCF CEO, said of this event, “[it] really highlights the connection between philanthropy and the business community.” We couldn’t agree more. To honor Mr. Bronfman’s dedication to the Jewish community, the Business Leadership Council is proudly contributing $3,000 toward funding Birthright Israel this year.
Todah rabah, or thank you, to everyone involved in making this year’s Business Leadership Breakfast such a huge success, and especially to event co-chairs Scott Harrison and Jeff Zlot, as well as BLC Chair Alan Levins. We hope to see you at many future events!