Sergey Brin Donates $1 Million To Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Posted Oct 25, 2009

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founder Sergey Brin is giving back to an organization that gave to him about 30 years ago. Sergey Brin and his family arrived in the United States with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). Brin is now giving the Society $1 million for helping his family back then. THe Society helped families escape anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union.

?I would have never had the kinds of opportunities I?ve had here in the Soviet Union, or even in Russia today,? stated Brin in an interview with The New York Times. ?I would like to see anyone be able to achieve their dreams, and that?s what this organization does.?

Even though the $1 million is not much compared to Brin’s personal wealth, it is an indication that the Google co-founder and his wife are engaged in philanthropic initiatives. Brin pointed out that Bill Gates was highly criticized for not engaging in philanthropy until much later of his career. ?While everyone was criticizing him, he was generating a whole lot more money for his foundation, and ultimately, when he got serious about philanthropy, he did it really well,? said Brin about Gates. ?I?d like to learn from that example.?

Brin and his wife have given away $30 million in charities with a majority of that going towards the Michael J. Fox Foundation and other organizations that focus on Parkinson’s disease.

When Brin’s family was immigrating to the U.S., HIAS paid for their tickets, gave them money, and helped the family apply for visas. Sergey’s mother Eugenia is on the board of HIAS and helped the organization digitize their archives and launch a social network.