David Gold Credits His Philanthropy to his Heritage and Recent Experiences

Gay philanthropist David Gold, who has been involved with Jewish Federations for decades, took his non-Jewish partner James Yiaski to see Israel. They visited both the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

David Gold (left) with his partner James Yiaski during the JFNA LGBT Israel mission last summer

For David Gold, philanthropy is his No. 1 priority. As such, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia ranks high on his list.

Gold has been involved with Jewish Federations for decades, starting in Buffalo, N.Y., in the mid-’80s. He first got involved in the small-yet-vital Jewish community there when a friend asked him to help out at a Super Sunday fundraising event. “We used to actually hand-tabulate the Super Sunday chart — this was way before automation was used widely,” said Gold.

Gold has been able to share a lot of his involvement with his partner, James Yiaski. “We’re an interfaith family, so I spend a lot more time on committee events, but Jim always comes to the Main Event and other fundraising functions,” he said.

They both went on the JFNA LGBT Israel mission last June, which was a “nationwide mission of LGBT people from the U.S., and the goal was to see how Israel is dealing with inclusion, not only in the LGBT community but in the non-Orthodox community.”

Gold said it was incredible to share that with Yiaski. “In the past he’s only seen pictures of Israel, so he actually got to see my homeland,” Gold said. They visited the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Gold’s cousins in Israel.

“That made the trip even more worthwhile,” he added.

Read the full story in the Jewish Exponent