Jan Koum, a Jewish immigrant from the Ukraine, was once reduced to relying on welfare. As a teen, his family lived on food stamps. He was born in Kyiv in 1976, Koum got his start in high tech working at Ernst & Young and later went over to work for Yahoo. He applied to work at Facebook in its early days, but was rejected. And then when the iPhones started rolling out he realized the potential for apps. Koum created a new messaging app, WhatsApp, and the rest is history.
In 2014 he got $9 billion in the deal when Facebook took over WhatsApp for $22 billion in cash and stock. And since then Jan Koum has put that money to good use. He now controls a multi-billion-dollar charitable foundation.
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The JTA report found that Jan Koum’s foundation donated $17 million to the European Jewish Association in recent years. And that organization has in turn used some of those funds for relief efforts related to the crisis in Ukraine. Koum also reportedly gave $10.6 million to the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS.(CIS refers to commonwealth of independent states which is what the former republics of the Soviet Union first called themselves in the years after it feel).
That organization has spent money on ambulances for the evacuation of infirmed people from war torn Ukraine. In May, that organization announced that it had started a of ten state-of-the-art brand new ambulances, equipped with modern and updated medical equipment required for making the long journey to remote areas in the country and to neighboring countries abroad.
And Jan Koum has also given plenty of money to causes in Israel too. He also donates to the Chabad organization’s efforts in working with the smaller Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.