Money and Jews
Tibor owns a company that sells garments to America’s finest department stores.
In 2002, when gold was $275 an ounce, Tibor encouraged his friends to buy gold. “Gold will soon increase in price. I know this.”
Two and a half years later, gold was $450 an ounce.
“Don’t sell your gold,” cautioned Tibor, “The price will go higher still.”
One year later, gold stood like a giant on the horizon at $550.
“Not yet,” said Tibor.
That was 18 months ago. Gold now trades at more than $850 an ounce.
What does Tibor think will happen next? And more importantly, how does he know?
We’ll come back to Tibor in a moment.
Four years ago I told my publisher, Ray Bard, that one of the books I was writing would be titled, Money and Jews. He smiled, “I’m anxious to read it. What will I learn?”
“You’ll learn what Jewish fathers teach their sons about money. You’ll learn why giving money is considered the lowest level of Jewish charity. You’ll learn the financial principles that have allowed the Jews to rebound from discrimination, deprivation and persecution for 3,500 years.”
There are only 12.9 million Jews in the world.
Israel is home to 5,313,800 of them.
America is home to 5,272,000. This is only 1.7 percent of our population.
But when Businessweek published its list of The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists, 15 of the 50 were Jewish. Similarly, a study of American mega-donors (people who give more than 10 million dollars in a single year) revealed that 24.5 percent of all mega-donors are Jews.
So why all the jokes about the tight-fisted Jew?
It’s simple. Jews hesitate to hand over cash because they’re taught from a young age that a shortage of money is merely the symptom of a bigger problem. “To give money and walk away is the easy way out. If you really care, you will do what is necessary to make sure this person never again has a shortage.”
We see this hesitation and mistake it for selfishness. But the Jewish mind is trained to look for sustainability. Mark Charendoff, president of the Jewish Funders Network, says that Jewish donors see their contributions as social and cultural investments, not as gifts, and the biggest donors demand solid business plans from soliciting institutions. They want to know their gift will make a long-term difference. They want to know they're truly making the world a better place.
Every Jew knows Rabbi Maimonides said the highest and best level of charity, real love, was to help a person before they become impoverished,
1. by offering a substantial gift or loan in a dignified manner, or
2. by helping them find employment or
3. by helping them establish themselves in business.
“Is the solution sustainable?” is the question that presses upon the Jewish mind.
Lao Tzu was thinking like a Jew when he said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Tibor understands sustainability. This is why businesspeople seek him out when they find themselves in financial trouble. Likewise, his knowledge of the basic nature of money is how he knew the price of gold would soon increase.
Would you like to meet Tibor? Hear his thoughts? Ask him a few questions? I haven't done it yet, but I'm thinking about asking Tibor if he'd be willing to travel to Austin to appear for an hour or so as a special guest in Adrian Van Zelfden's next session of Businesscraft: 5 Secrets to Building a Practically Perfect Business. If you'd like to hear Tibor's interesting ideas regarding business and money, send Tamara@WizardAcademy.org a quick email. If enough people email Tamara, I'll call Tibor and see if I can make it happen.
Roy H. Williams