Think Like A Philanthropist This High Holy Day Season

Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 

The High Holiday Season is upon us, which means that High Fundraising Season is upon us as well. The value of tzedakah (charity) is a central one among Jews of all denominations. In Devarim 26:12, the Torah famously mandates Jews to donate 10 percent of their crops to the poor. And later sources suggest 10 percent as the baseline, encouraging as much as 20 percent of one’s income as an ideal allocation of one’s philanthropic dollars.

Rachel Cyrulnik

Don't Forget The Non-Profits

Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 

With election season just around the corner we are likely to hear the same debate that usually intensifies during this part of the year, between those that promote the role of business (usually Republicans) and those that champion the functions of government (usually Democrats.) Most of us are already familiar with the argument and points of view from each political camp. The pro-business side will tell us, as they usually do, that only business’s are able to create value, wealth, and serve society in the most efficient manner. The pro-government side will dispense their own vision of the world in which it is government agencies that provide necessary services to those in need and the role of government (and taxes) needs to be increased so that everyone is cared for. What many people overlook in the business versus government debate is the role that not-for-profits play in our life.

Gennady Favel

Bukharian Young Adults Getting A Lesson In Giving

Leadership training program looking to impart concept of tzedakah to those not used to it.

Staff Writer

Some were born in the former Soviet Union, and came to the United States as children with their families. Some were born to émigré families here. Typical of Jews who grew up in households where education about Judaism was minimal, they had learned little about fundamental Jewish beliefs.

Including tzedakah.

A few weeks ago a dozen of them started their remedial education.

At the first meeting of Kalontar, a Forest Hills program for Bukharian Jews, participants learned the basics of tzedakah. SL

Letting His Hair Down For Tzedakah

Staff Writer

Gil Adler isn’t a rebel — he just looks like one, with that crazy mane. Appearances to the contrary, he’s a licensed accountant and he served on a reconnaissance unit in the Israeli Defense Forces.

And oh, yeah, he’s growing his hair to make wigs for child cancer patients, and in memory of a childhood friend who died of cancer.

The friend, Eitan Shapiro, died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma just two months after his graduation from Frisch, a yeshiva high school in Paramus, N.J., in 2002.

Gil Adler before (bottom, with his mom Ayala) and after growing his hair for Locks of Love.

Hands-on Tzedakah Education

In the classroom and extra-curricular activities, local Jewish schools are teaching today’s students to be tomorrow’s givers.

Staff Writer

In the Yeshivah of Flatbush’s Sephardic Beit Midrash, faculty member Sara Ovadia is leading a few dozen students in a lunch-hour discussion about charity late one recent morning.

While the students, members of the school’s Tzedakah Commission, an educational-activist project, quietly pick at pizza and pasta in the crowded study hall, Ovadia outlines several upcoming programs for which she will need volunteers. A food pantry. A scavenger hunt. Pledges for teachers racing in a fund-raising marathon.

Sara Ovadia, faculty adviser to Yeshivah of Flatbush’s Tzedakah Commission.

Razoo Changes Policy on Israeli Credit Cards

If you didn't receive numerous email solicitations from non-profit organizations during the final week of 2010, then your email server was likely down.

A few complaints led Razoo to change its policy on accepting credit card donations from Israel.

Grappling With Prayer

A new crop of books offers insights
into making a spiritual connection.

Staff Writer

Although Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are familiar times for most Jews, the machzor, or High Holy Days prayer book, is terra incognita. The Hebrew words, even when rendered into English or any other language, present a barrier: the pray-ers don’t know the prayers.

For a Jewish community that largely has embraced the precept of tzedakah, or giving charity, and respects the concept of teshuvah, or making spiritual amends this time of year, tefillah is largely unknown territory.

Rabbi Mike Comins’ “Making Prayer Real” contains contributions from nearly 50 rabbis and thinkers across the religious spectrum.

Twitter & Jewish Non-Profits

 Twitter may very well be the social media site that everyone counted out as not having any utility, but is actually thriving. That is because Twitter users are finding new and innovative ways to use the application.

Using Twitter for Philanthropy

A Pioneer Of Tzedakah Steps Down

Editor and Publisher
Danny Siegel, sometimes known as The Pied Piper of Tzedakah or The Mitzvah Heroes Man, whose one-time decision to collect and distribute charitable funds for Israel turned into a three-decade, multi-million-dollar effort to seek out and help individuals and groups committed to personalized acts of kindness, is calling it quits. Sort of.
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