Supporting Palestinian Children Through Stock Giving

A career in investment banking leads to engagement with the Middle East

I was born in Chicago over 91 years ago. I studied at Princeton University and then got an MBA from the University of Chicago. After my studies, I went to work for The First National Bank of Chicago. I worked my way up, and in the 1970s I became their chief investment officer. I first went to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in 1976 for First Chicago. That was my introduction to the Middle East.

After a few years, I moved to New York and went to work in the international banking department at Chase Manhattan Bank, where I again became Chief Investment Officer. Through this job I traveled a great deal, mainly to the Middle East. Chase has a strong position in the Middle East because of its private banking connections. I left Chase in 1990 to form my own company, Falcon Real Estate Investment Company, where I worked until I retired a few years ago.

Hearing the stories of displaced Palestinians

Because of my time in the Gulf, I met a great many people in Kuwait, the Emirates, and Bahrain who were from Palestine and had had to relocate because of the events of the 1940s. One could not help but be sympathetic when people told their stories about how they’d had to leave their businesses or had their homes taken from them. I heard these stories many, many times over the years. An old friend, Odeh Aburdene, introduced me to Anera, and I was impressed with their work and their transparency.

I really like to support the various projects Anera runs. Supporting children, in particular, is important to me. Even if I can’t see them in person, seeing pictures of the kindergartens I’ve helped make happen is extremely rewarding.

Children gathered at the opening of the new preschool for refugee children in Gaza.
Preschoolers gather in front of their new school that Howard Hallengren funded in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza.

Stock giving is a great way to donate

For those who have investments in the stock market, I encourage you to look at those stocks as a source of your gifts to Anera. There are some big financial advantages in stock giving, since the US government permits you to take the full market value of any stock that you give as a deduction on your annual income tax.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you give 100 shares of Apple that you originally bought at $100 per share, and each of those shares is now worth $1,000. If you sell those shares, you would have to pay capital gains tax on the appreciated amount of $9,000. However, if you donate them to charity, you will avoid paying the capital gains tax, and you can claim the full appreciated amount as a tax deduction on your annual tax return. So it’s a win-win situation, not to mention the impact you will have on the people you help.

With the stock market having recovered sharply since the decline during the pandemic, many people have substantial capital gains today. If you’ve benefited from these capital gains, there are real tax incentives to giving appreciated securities to support the great work that Anera does in aiding the people of Palestine.

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