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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
100 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY roBert h. n. ho family foundation The philanthropic history of Robert Ho’s family can be traced back several generations to his grandparents, who were known in Hong Kong for their charitable donations. A successful journalist and newspaper owner, Ho moved to Canada at the end of his career but maintained a deep connection to his Chinese cultural heritage. Carrying on in the generous footsteps of his family, he founded the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation in 2005 as an independent philanthropic organization. The foundation is dedicated to fostering an appreciation for Chinese arts and culture, as well as the applica tion of Buddhist insights in contemporary life. “We ’re not a Buddhist organization per se, but the philanthropic values of the family are Buddhist values,” says Ted Lipman, CEO. The Ho Family Foundation supports a Buddhist chaplaincy pro gram at Harvard University that trains chaplains from around the world. Alongside the Khyentse Foundation, the Ho Family Founda tion supports the Buddhist Universal Digital Archive’s preservation of Buddhist texts. While Khyentse is financing the digitization of Pali and South Asian texts, the Ho Family Foundation has focused on the digitization of texts in Chinese and Sanskrit. The foundation is currently funding a threeyear exhibition at Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery that highlights artworks spanning Buddhist traditions, including a recreation of a Tibetan Buddhist shrine room and a film demonstrating presentday worship at a stupa in Sri Lanka. “We ’re trying to present the history of Buddhism with as little jargon as possible,” says Robert DeCaroli, Buddhist art historian and cocurator of the exhibit. “The Ho Foundation has been supportive and engaging as collaborators in this process—the