Giving is Not Just for the Very Rich
A How-To Guide for Giving and Philanthropy
Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson
CreateSpace, North Charleston, SC, 2012
ISBN 10: 1468111043
I looked forward to reading a new work geared to philanthropic opportunities for the average donor. Instead Dr. Gitelson has given us a hodgepodge of information cobbled together to create a “book.” Her brief opening chapter, using the editorial “we,” promises to help us better understand how to give to others effectively by citing many examples of how others give and by showing how those other than the billionaire funders are able to “make a difference.” Of course the “others” are not the very rich—merely the rich. The meat of Gitelson’s book is given over to a catalog of Major Areas for Giving followed by a cursory glance at the types of giving and broad brush listing of potential recipient areas. At one point she uses the term “tzedakah,” but fails to underline the obligatory underpinning of the term.
Yes, giving is not just for the very rich. Nor is it just for the merely rich; nor even for the merely comfortable. The poorest family has both the right and the obligation to give. Unfortunately this book falls short in making that case. I’m still looking forward to reading a new work geared to philanthropic opportunities for the average donor.
—Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 27 years.