Businessman Israel (Yummy) Schacter (left) with US billionaire and friend Stewart Rahr. Schacter answered a contest question from Rahr quickly enough to get a$5,000 donation for Torah High from Rahr, which became $20,000 thanks to UJA.
Sometimes it pays to check your email during meetings.
Businessman Israel (Yummy) Schachter was in a meeting recently when he received an email that he could not ignore.
It was from American billionaire Stewart Rahr, who regularly sends friends an email containing a photo of himself with a celebrity, plus a few, related trivia questions. The first five people with the correct answers get $5,000 for the charity of their choice. Rahr has awarded almost a million dollars this way.
This particular contest featured musician Kenny G. and Schachter won in a flash, while fending off the complaints of Rabbi Glenn Black, CEO of NSCY Canada and Torah High, with whom he was meeting.
“As I started looking at the email and answering, Rabbi Black goes, ‘Could you put your Blackberry away?’” Schachter recalled with good-humoured laughter. “I said, ‘No, this is actually important, because it may get you money.’ He said, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before; put it away…. Could you focus?’ That was actually funny. So I answered the email and two minutes later, when Stewart [Rahr] wrote back to me, ‘Well done, congrats,’ I told Rabbi Black, ‘Okay, I just got you $5,000.’”
It took a few minutes to convince the rabbi he was serious.
“This is the most unusual donation we’ve ever gotten and in the most unusual way,” said Rabbi Black. “And it’s significant: the timing couldn’t be better.”
That’s because, thanks to the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s WOW! Project, the $5,000 was quadrupled to $20,000, and Rabbi Black wants everyone to know that every donation made to Torah High until Dec. 31 will either be matched or multiplied in a similar way.
Rahr said the contest allows him to share the fun of giving.
“Giving charity shouldn’t be a negative, painstaking event but a positive and fun experience,” said Rahr. “This email contest regularly reminds my friends of the importance of charitable giving and how fun it can be. As an added bonus, this little game allows me to support dozens of charities that I otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. The people included in these emails are people that I hold in high regard – individuals who care deeply for their communities.”