A New York moment:
Last year I wrote a profile of a Jewish philanthropist here in Manhattan who gives millions of dollars to Christian mission hospitals in Africa. Mark Gerson considers these mission hospitals to be doing high-quality healthcare for a bargain price, so he believes he’s making a smart philanthropic investment and having a massive impact on African health in the process.
Now Gerson has recruited another prominent Jewish philanthropist, Barry Segal, to give to these Christian hospitals. Segal is the founder of Bradco, a massive building material supply company. The Gerson family had offered a $100,000 matching grant, and the Segal Family Foundation met the match. The Segals’ $100,000 gift will go to construct housing for family medicine trainees in Malawi and for faculty doctors in Uganda.
Gerson’s African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), which he started with his college friend, missionary doctor Jon Fielder, gives to specific projects or needs at mission hospitals. AMHF sometimes funds a residency for a surgeon or builds a new wing at a hospital. Fielder, who lives and works at a mission hospital in Kenya, is the eyes and ears on the ground for what mission hospitals need.
The Segals specialize in giving lots of small grants to local community organizations in Africa, and some of their grantees are Christian groups. Their foundation gives about $15 million a year to African organizations, but its maximum grant is $100,000, the amount it designated for AMHF.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, we like to find small operations where a little money can help them grow and expand,” Segal has said.
Gerson often describes the current era as the historic peak of Christian-Jewish friendship, and those bonds seem to be growing, with the friendship of at least two prominent Jewish families extended to Christian missionaries.
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SOURCE: WORLD Magazine, Emily Belz