Rallying behind Mila Kunis, Jews in entertainment raise millions for Ukraine


Louis Keene, The Forward

This story was originally published on Feb. 8 by the Forward. Sign up here to get the latest stories from the Forward delivered to you each morning.

A Ukraine fundraiser launched by Ukrainian-American Jewish actor Mila Kunis has racked up $17 million in donations in four days — and some of the biggest Jewish names in the entertainment industry are atop the donor list.

Since Kunis and her husband, her “That ‘70s Show” co-star Ashton Kutcher, launched the GoFundMe page — vowing to match the first $3 million — over 44,000 people have donated.

The money will go to two organizations, FlexPort.org and Airbnb.org, that are providing relief supplies and housing to refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.

Kunis isn’t the only Jewish actor to started their own Ukraine fundraiser. “West Wing” star Joshua Malina is donating proceeds from videos on the platform Cameo to HIAS, the refugee aid organization — he’s raised a few thousand dollars so far. (Not that it’s a competition!)

The list of celeb donors to Kunis’ fundraiser could probably double as a Jewish Walk Of Fame — it includes venture capitalists, philosophers, LinkedIn influencers, and a Trump-suing lawyer. Below, the donors and how much they gave to Kunis’ fundraiser, plus other facts about their wealth, philanthropy and activism.

Yuri and Julia Milner Foundation: $2.5 million

Yuri Milner, a Russian-born Israeli entrepreneur with major holdings in 23andme, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and many other companies, has funded a number of Jewish causes through the foundation he started with his wife, including a $3 million donation to Magen David Adom. Milner is also a physicist and is behind one of the world’s largest scientific awards, known as the Breakthrough Prize.

In addition to the $2.5 million to Kunis’ fundraiser, the Milner Foundation donated $3 million to the Conference of European Rabbis to help Jewish refugees from Ukraine.

Milner is also on the list of wealthy Russians who could be targeted for sanctions on “Putin’s List.”

Guy Oseary: $100,000

Guy Oseary, an Israeli-American talent agent who represents Madonna, Amy Schumer and others, is also Ashton Kutcher’s business partner in a venture capital firm.

Gary Vaynerchuk: $50,000

“Gary Vee,” a businessman and media influencer who might be the most famous user of LinkedIn, was born in the former Soviet Union in what is now Belarus.

Scooter Braun (and family): $25,000 to Kunis’ fundraiser

Your move, Taylor Swift.

Sam Harris: $25,000

Born to a Jewish mother and a Quaker father, Sam Harris became one of the world’s most famous (and controversial) atheist philosophers by debating the likes of David Wolpe, Ben Shapiro and Deepak Chopra. He’s the author of “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason.”

Amy Schumer: $10,000

If you are on this webpage you probably know who Amy Schumer is. The first season of the comedian and actor’s new Hulu series (with surprisingly non-Jewish co-star Michael Cera), “Life and Beth,” premieres on Hulu March 18.

Marc Benioff: $10,000

That’s the Hawaiian-shirt-favoring CEO of Salesforce with a net worth of $8 billion, not the writer of Game of Thrones. (That’s David Benioff.)

Steve Levitan: $5,000

The creator of “Modern Family,” who has been outspoken on liberal politics in the past, pitches in.

Roberta Kaplan: $2,500

Kaplan is the progressive attorney who sued former President Donald Trump, led the prosecution in the Charlottesville trial of the “Unite the Right” protesters. She also argued the Supreme Court case that defeated the Defense of Marriage Act.