When the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that 11 more wealthy individuals and families have signed on to the Giving Pledge, I am moved. Not simply because I have dedicated my professional career to the pursuit of philanthropy and making the world a better place. Or because many of those who have pledged to give away at least half of their wealth to charity - inspired by Bill and Melinda Gates' and Warren Buffett's appeal for intensified generosity - are Jewish.

Ultimately, I am moved because it's about selflessness and impact. The selflessness of those whom I've had the privilege of knowing and working with who have signed on to the pledge (including several JDC Board members and donors), and more importantly for me, the profound impact on those who will ultimately benefit as a result of this incredible commitment.

It is one thing to give and dedicate oneself to a cause – and likely we all could be doing more, no matter what our financial or time capacity. But it is quite another thing, and one that I admire greatly, to publicly put one’s guaranteed commitment to philanthropic giving and tikkun olam out there to serve as models and an inspiration to others.

That does not, of course, negate Maimonides' teaching about the power of anonymous giving and its place in the tradition of Jewish philanthropy - a model on which I was raised and also strongly value. After all, giving can take many forms.

Just this past week, our community lost a most valued professional, Stanley Abramovitch (z"l), a person who gave of himself entirely and embodied the notion that we are all responsible for one another. For 65 years, Stanley devoted his life to serving JDC and the Jewish people with distinction, giving his time, energy, and professional expertise to Holocaust survivors in DP Camps in the 40’s, to Jewish education in North African communities in the 60’s and in Israel in the 80’s, and finally to the Jews of the former Soviet Union by helping to rebuild Jewish life in that region even up until his death at age 93. That, I would say, was his 'giving pledge.' His legacy and work, too, serves as a model and reality from which we all benefit.

That's because whatever our ability or position – seasoned philanthropist, volunteer, lay leader, or professional – each one of us has an obligation and a responsibility to make the world a better place. And not just for the next generation or to serve as an example to our children, colleagues, or community. But for the one person whose life we change through a single act of generosity and kindness. It reverberates when we increase those acts, but it's always best to start with one gesture — our own version of the giving pledge.

Laura Spitzer, a Wexner Heritage Alumna from NewYork I, serves as JDC’s Assistant Executive Vice President for Strategic Partnerships.  Laura can be reached at laura.spitzer@jdcny.org.