Nearly a dozen Jews have accepted Gates’ and Buffett’s giving challenge

The initial list of those who have accepted “The Giving Pledge” challenge issued by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet earlier this year was made public Wednesday.

In June, Gates and Buffet issued to the world’s richest families a challenge to give away half of their fortunes in what is an unprecedented push to increase philanthropic giving.

The move was put in motion in 2009, when the two richest Americans presided over a secret meeting of billionaires in New York. Some 40 philanthropists are among the early acceptors of the challenge, according to a website established Thursday.

Among them, at least 11 are Jewish, and several, such as Lorry Lokey, Bernie Marcus and Sanford Weill, have given huge dollars to overtly Jewish causes in the past.

Here is a list of the Jews on the list. A number of the philanthropists who have accepted the challenge published letters about their giving. Links have been provided when available:

Michael Bloomberg
Eli and Edith Broad
Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg
Larry Ellison
Joan and Irwin Jacobs
Lorry Lokey
Bernie and Millie Marcus
Bernard and Barbro Osher
David M. Rubenstein
Herb and Marion Sandler
Jeff Skoll
Sanford and Joan Weill