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Forbes to Discuss Impact of Economy on Philanthropy

October 14, 2010 By:
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Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes, chairman and chief executive officer of Forbes Media and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, will be the keynote speaker for a special evening of community celebration hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

The Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue will be the site of this Dec. 7 program, which is designed as "an opportunity for volunteers and donors to honor our achievements as a community, and share our vision for the future," according to Federation President Leonard Barrack.

Forbes will speak on "The Economy and Philanthropy -- What Happens Now."

His presentation is expected to include a discus-sion of the current global economic conditions and their implications on the philanthropic environment. He may also share insights into the selection process for the 48 men and women selected as "heroes of philanthropy" during the magazine's 2009 special series as part of a keynote address that might also include updates on which philanthropists have accepted the "billionaires' challenge."

This widely publicized call to action -- issued by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates -- asked more than 38 billionaires to pledge half their wealth to charity.

"Dec. 7 will be a truly memorable evening -- a time for all of us to declare that we are 'One People, One Community, One Federation,' " says Federation campaign chairman Mark Fishman.

He adds that everyone in attendance will have an opportunity to make their personal commitments to the 2011 Federation annual campaign, just like at the 2009 community event featuring President Bill Clinton.

Forbes was selected because of his extensive knowledge and experience in the field of making and managing money, be it for profit or for charitable giving.

From Cocktails to Dessert

Fishman says that the diverse ages and backgrounds of those who support Federation are reflected in the six couples who serve as event co-chairs -- Caroline Kallman and Keith Joffe, Susan and Ronald Panitch, Jayne and Ronald Perilstein, Sherrie Savett and Robert A. Rovner, Bethany and J. Brett Studner, and Phyllis and Darren Sudman.

The evening's program will begin with a cocktail reception and dinner. The program is open to those ranging from couples or individuals who contribute a gift to Federation's annual campaign of at least $10,000 or more, all the way to Legacy Society members -- families who have made planned gifts to our community of $100,000 or more. The couvert for the dinner is $150 per person.

A separate cocktail and dinner program is planned for members of the Ben-Gurion Society, a nationally recognized program for individuals ages 25-45 who make a minimum individual gift of at least $1,000 to Federation's annual campaign. Society members may participate at a cost of $75 per person.

After dinner, couples or individuals who contribute a gift of $1,000 or more to the Federation annual campaign may hear Forbes' keynote address and attend a special dessert reception, at a cost of $50 per person.

To date, sponsors for this event include Blank Rome, LLP; El Al Airlines; and Helzberg Diamonds.

"This promises to be an inspirational and informative evening," says Barrack, "and we look forward to strong community participation." 

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