KAVOD 2006 Annual Report
SUMMARY OF KAVOD’S FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES
Allocations, 2005: $64,444.00
Total allocations to date (’93-’05): $509,196.53
Expenses to date: $75.48
Making the world a better place by protecting and uplifting human dignity is both easy and difficult. It takes the ability to think big and the ability to think small. It requires long-term, strategic thinking as well as the capacity to respond immediately to a cry for help.
- It’s as easy as buying a new pair of shoes or a warm coat for a kid in need (see #20 below).
- It’s as difficult as trying to change the state of long-term care in America (#4).
- It’s as big as stopping genocide in Darfur (#6).
- It’s as small as a new ping-pong table for at-risk youth (#25).
- It’s as long-term as shaping and changing an entire culture (#10, #18).
- It’s as immediate as responding instantly to the cries for help from the survivors of Hurricane Katrina (#6).
Our task is monumental, and we go about it every day in ways large and small, strategic and immediate. Thank you for being a part of the work we do.
Mazel Tov! cuy kzn
This year (2006) marks KAVOD’s Bar Mitzvah. Over the course of the last thirteen years, it is has been our incredible honor and good fortune to distribute on behalf of our supporters more than $500,000. We have been inspired by dozens of mitzvah heroes. We are humbled by the tasks to which we have dedicated our work: protecting human dignity; operating our collective as efficiently and effectively as possible, according to the values of our tradition; and inspiring others to do the same through our Fellowship program.
In the pages that follow, you’ll learn how we distributed every dime you entrusted to us. We once again did it all with no overhead.
It should go without saying that if you wish to honor us on the occasion of our Bar Mitzvah, no fountain pens or Game Boys—just donations to KAVOD, please.
The KAVOD Fellowship Program
We launched the KAVOD Fellowship Program four years ago. Our goals are ambitious: in partnership with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), we are training the next generation of rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators to raise and distribute tzedakah wisely and effectively. We are expanding the KAVOD community and planting seeds that will yield a bountiful tzedakah harvest in the years to come. In 2005 our KAVOD Fellows distributed almost $17,000 to seventeen different organizations. We are extremely proud of their work and excited about growing this program going forward. For more on the Fellowship program, see page 3.
Some Words of Thanks
We are grateful to everyone who makes our work possible. We offer a special thanks to Mike Abramson, our pro bono accountant and lawyer, Miles Nelson, who provides us with envelopes on his dime, and Rosie Zweiback, who deposits and tracks all KAVOD donations. Thanks to Rabbi Jay Moses for guiding us in our allocations process. Most of all, we thank Judy Zweiback, our volunteer administrator. Judy donates hundreds of hours a year to KAVOD. She writes every acknowledgement, designs, produces, and distributes our beautiful KAVOD tribute cards, and handles all of the day-to-day administration. She continues to be the backbone of our collective.
We thank outgoing KAVOD board members, Rabbi Dennis Eisner, Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Rabbi Zoe Klein, and Rabbi Felicia Sol. We are grateful for their many contributions and comforted to know that they will continue to be part of our collective.
We welcome new board members, Alysa Hantgan, Rabbi Michael Mellen, Rabbi Sydney Mintz, Rabbi Sarah Reines, and Dan Siegel. Their wisdom and guidance will help us immeasurably.
Please tell your friends about KAVOD, and feel free to make copies of this annual report for distribution. Visit us online at KAVOD.org to learn more. Think of us when you want to make a donation in honor or memory of a loved one or friend. If you would like to make a bequest to KAVOD as part of your estate plan, please let us know. Tax-deductible donations (tax ID # 47-0789888) can be made any time, to:
8914 Farnam Court
Omaha, NE 68114-4076
To our supporters, we say yishar ko’ch’chem, ofjuf rahh, all the more strength to you! We hope you will enjoy reading about the projects and programs that your gifts have supported. Many will be familiar, as we generally have continued our commitments to groups we have supported in the past. Additionally, there are wonderful programs (indicated with an asterisk) to which KAVOD contributed for the first time this year.
Statement of Purpose: KAVOD is a non-profit tzedakah collective. We create new programs and fund existing programs that help Jews and non-Jews living in theUnited States, Israel, and around the world to live in dignity and honor. As a tzedakahcollective, we try to personalize our giving by visiting all of our beneficiaries and encouraging our donors to do the same. We strive to operate as close to 0% overhead as possible and to support programs that similarly demand efficiency.
- Beit Frankforter: Jerusalem Center for the Aged………………………$2,500
Inspired by the model of Myriam Mendilow, k”z, the people of Beit Frankforter are committed to preserving the essential KAVOD of their community of elders in Jerusalem. Sima Zini and her staff have created a community center that uplifts and honors seniors who enjoy regular care not only from dentists and ophthalmologists, but also from hairdressers, reflexologists, manicurists, and yoga instructors. Our funds this year helped support the “Sandwich for Every Child” program. Every day the elders of Beit Frankforter prepare approximately 500 sandwiches for local school children whose families are experiencing economic hardships.
Beit Frankforter –
ATTN: Sima Zini
80 Derech Beit Lechem, POB 10074, Jerusalem, 91100
- The Blue Card……………………$700
For over seventy years, the Blue Card has distributed funds to Jewish Holocaust survivors who live in poverty. The Blue Card was established in 1934 to help Jews who were suffering economically because of Nazi oppression. Blue cards were distributed to American Jews who donated funds to support their brothers and sisters in Europe. With each donation, these American Jews received a small stamp of commemoration which they could place in their “Blue Card” to track their giving. Our gift was used to provide monthly rent subsidies for survivors in need.
The Blue Card
ATTN: Sandra Wiesel171 Madison Avenue, #1405, NY, NY 10016
- Congregation Sulam Ya’akov …………………….$750
Congregation Sulam Ya’akov was founded in 1996, the first and only progressive congregation in Zichron Yaakov, a pioneer town settled in the 1880s during the first wave of aliyah. The congregation is building a wonderful, vibrant community of committed progressive Jews. Such communities, despite receiving no governmental support, provide an essential Jewish framework for social action, inclusiveness, and celebration, serving thousands of modern Israelis whose needs have long been unmet.
Kehilat Sulam Ya’akov –
ATTN: Brad Fisher
POB 10011, Zichron Ya’akov, Israel, 30900
- Eden Alternative………………..$1,000
The Eden Alternative seeks to eliminate the three plagues of the long-term care institution—loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. They know that companion animals, the opportunity to care for other living things, and the variety and spontaneity that come from an enlivened environment can succeed where pills and therapies fail.
Dr. Bill Thomas teaches that the Eden Alternative “is a new way of thinking about long-term care that has the potential of remaking facilities all over the country. However, before that can happen, we need to teach others about what the Eden Alternative is and how they can use it to transform the facilities in which they work.” Thanks to Dr. Bill’s vision, the principles of the Eden Alternative have taken hold at more than 300 homes nationwide. Our support this year helped to develop resources that will make it easier for existing long-term care organizations to “Edenize.”
The Eden Alternative
ATTN: Dr. William Thomas
742 Turnpike Rd., Sherburne, NY, 13460
- Elijah’s Promise…………………..$1,000
Rev. Lisanne Finston runs this model community soup kitchen that not only serves meals, but also provides nourishment for life. Elijah’s Promise in New Brunswick, New Jersey fulfills the highest level of tzedakah, enabling people to become self-sufficient and to need tzedakah no longer. Guests at Elijah’s Promise are offered nutritious meals, health screening, counseling and referrals, job training, and more. Most exciting for us is “Promise Jobs,” the culinary school they opened several years ago which teaches the art of food preparation to some of the soup kitchen guests. Graduates of the program have been placed in restaurant jobs throughout New Jersey, including positions in some of the state’s finest restaurants. Our donation helped purchase new knives for the culinary training program. Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick hires Elijah’s Promise to cook all of its kosher Shabbat dinners. Why not work to develop a similar program in your community
ATTN: Rev. Lisanne Finston
18 Neilson St., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
- Emergency Relief:
As the need arises, KAVOD provides direct emergency assistance to communities and individuals in need. Through our support for the outstanding efforts of the American Jewish World Service (ajws.org), we provided emergency relief for those targeted for genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Our friends at the Shefa Fund (shefafund.org) helped us provide support to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Through a matching grant of the Greater Miami Federation , we were able to stretch an additional Katrina Relief allocation even further.
- Free Loan Societies:
Hebrew Free Loan Society of New York City…………………$1,500
Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco…………..$1,500
Israel Free Loan Association……………………………………..$5,000
Jews have been supporting one-another through interest-free loans for thousands of years. Free loan societies were and continue to be particularly helpful to recent immigrants. Many of these newcomers, desperately in need of support, have difficulty qualifying for a bank loan. Free loan societies offer a helping hand to those in need. As loans are repaid, the money is “recycled” to help others rent an apartment or start a small business. KAVOD is a big fan of this model and supports free loan associations in NYC, San Francisco and Israel. Recipients are often startled to discover that the loans are interest free. Whether it’s for college tuition, expenses related to the adoption of a child, or emergency assistance for a family that has suffered through a fire or debilitating illness, free-loan societies are there to lend hope and dignity to those in need.
Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco, ATTN: Edward Cushman, 131 Steuart Street, Suite 425, San Francisco, CA, 94105; 415-546-9902; hflasf.org;
Hebrew Free Loan Society
ATTN: Shana Novick
675 Third Avenue, Suite 1905, NY, NY 10017
Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco
ATTN: Edward Cushman
131 Steuart Street, Suite 425, San Francisco, CA, 94105
Israel Free Loan Association
ATTN: Prof. Eliezer Jaffe
64 Azza Street, 92384 Jerusalem, Israel
- INTRA – Mitzvah Horses…………..$3,500
Anita and Giora Shkedi continue to do their breathtaking work with INTRA (Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association), utilizing the tools of therapeutic horseback riding to achieve astonishing breakthroughs where other forms of physical therapy fail. Anita and Giora open up new worlds to people with a wide array of emotional and/or physical difficulties (including wounded soldiers and victims of terror). If you never have seen therapeutic horseback riding in person, by all means find a center near you (or, even better, arrange a trip to Israel to meet Anita, one of the world’s acknowledged experts on the subject). The results are sublime, inspirational, and nothing short of miraculous. Our donation subsidized riding sessions for children suffering from cerebral palsy.
ATTN: Anita & Giora Shkedi
Hadassah Neurim, Hadassah Village, 40298, Israel
Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, recently received the following note from one of the people for whom IRAC advocates: “Only your intervention allowed my wife to receive Israeli citizenship. Before you came onto the scene, we struggled for two years by ourselves and were on the brink of despair. Thank you.”
IRAC is committed to promoting equality, social justice, and religious tolerance in Israel. Through its numerous court battles and advocacy efforts, IRAC has helped new immigrants cut through bureaucratic red tape, enabled liberal Jews to celebrate their faith more freely, and demanded just treatment for foreign workers in Israel. Visit their website to learn more about their incredible work.
ATTN: Anat Hoffman
POB 31936, Jerusalem, ISRAEL 91319
- Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center………………………………$2,000
The Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in Memory of Linda Feldman helps survivors of sexual abuse. The JRCC also runs educational programs for Israeli high school students to raise awareness about abuse and harassment. About one third of the callers to the Rape Crisis Center hotline are under 18 years of age. So many of these young survivors are afraid to seek much needed medical and emotional help, and it is truly a blessing for them to have a safe place to find solace and counsel. Our donation was used to provide a 16-session supervised support group for 11 teenaged survivors of rape and incest. The JRCC remains the only organization offering this kind of support in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center
ATTN: Jane Jacobs
P.O.B. 2549, Jerusalem, Israel, 91024
- Jewish Life in the Former Soviet Union: WUPJ……………$1,000
After 70 years of oppression, Jews in the Former Soviet Union can once again celebrate their Judaism. The World Union for Progressive Judaism works hard to ensure that there are liberal options for these Jews. One of the best ways to make this happen is by training young people to become Jewish educators, communal leaders, and rabbis. At the Machon Institute in Moscow, a new generation of community leaders is being trained to serve throughout the Former Soviet Union. Our sponsorship will help a student pay for tuition, books and supplies, transportation, and room and board in Moscow while attending the Machon. These students are engaged in tikkun olam of the highest order: they are bringing whole communities back to a life of Torah.
World Union for Progressive Judaism
ATTN: Rabbi Uri Regev
13 King David Street, Jerusalem, Israel 94101
- KESHER (“Connection”)……………$500
Why can’t Jewish children with learning disabilities attend Jewish day schools? Why can’t they experience the warm sense of community that so many of these schools provide? These are the questions that inspire Kesher. Each year Kesher assists eighty kids with special needs who otherwise would be unable to attend Jewish day schools . This program ensures that the kavodof all of God’s children is protected. Our gift helped provide scholarships for families in need.
ATTN: Rabbi Ezra Levy
18900 NE 25th Avenue, North Miami Beach, FL, 33180
- Maureen Kushner………………..$1,000
Maureen Kushner channels her immense creativity into empowering children to share, explore, and understand their own extraordinary histories. She helps Ethiopian Jews create art that celebrates and documents their long, heroic journey, and helps Jewish and Arab children address their prejudices through art.
This year our contribution helped with Kushner’s “Peace Through Humor” workshop for Jewish, Arab, Druze, and Bedouin children. It gives kids a creative outlet to express their feelings while teaching tolerance and understanding through jokes. Maureen travels on foot and by bus all over Israel presenting this workshop. “When kids listen to the inside of their hearts and discover the best part of themselves, peace will be possible,” she says. We have KAVOD cards available featuring artwork created by Ethiopian Jews in Maureen’s programs. The cards themselves were produced through a special donation for this purpose made by a KAVOD supporter. For more information about the cards, contact Judy Zweiback, 8914 Farnam Court, Omaha, NE 68114, 402-397-1975, judyz@KAVOD.org.
122 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11217
In 1981 twelve North American Jews went on a mission to Ethiopia that was to change their lives and those of Ethiopian Jews forever. Riding on mules, this small group made their way up the Semien Mountains in northwest Ethiopia to remote villages where Jews lived, isolated from the rest of the Jewish world for 2,000 years. The appalling poverty, illness, and hunger they saw there, coupled with a deep commitment to Jewish life, so moved the participants that they returned home wholly devoted to the rescue of this phenomenal Jewish community. Shortly thereafter, the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) was born. This grassroots movement has four mandates: to help Ethiopian Jews survive in Ethiopia, to assist them in reaching Israel, to aid in their absorption in Israel, and to preserve their unique and ancient culture. In Ethiopia today, NACOEJ provides food, education, employment and religious facilities to over thousands of Jews awaiting aliyah.
ATTN: Barbara Ribakove Gordon
132 Nassau Street, #412, NY, NY, 10038
- A Package From Home…………………$3,000
For many years now, Barbara Silverman has been helping soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces live a bit more comfortably. Her project, A Package from Home, delivers thousands of care packages each year to those who risk their lives in defense of the Jewish homeland. It’s extraordinary what a pair of warm socks, a wool hat, long underwear, a few chocolate bars, and some toiletries can do to lift a soldier’s spirits. Each package also includes a handwritten note from an American or Canadian religious school student. This year KAVOD adopted a Border Patrol Unit that helps to make Jerusalem a safe place to live and visit.
A Package from Home
ATTN: Barbara Silverman
12/63 Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael Street, Jerusalem, Israel, 92428
- Project Ezra………………………$3,000
Under the guidance of Misha Avramoff, Project Ezra has been a lifeline to Jewish elders on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for the past 25 years. They combat poverty, despair and loneliness, and treat those they serve with the utmost tenderness, love, and honor. From augmenting the below poverty level social security of many elders, to creating community and nurturing curiosity and spirituality through visits to museums and synagogues, to sending art therapists to homebound elders, many of whom are suffering from dementia, Project Ezra is there. Misha Avramoff writes that Project Ezra’s partnership with KAVOD is a “wonderful psychological support for me, because having the trust of people who are committed and involved in Jewish life convinces me that what we at Ezra do on the Lower East Side is unique and exceedingly necessary.” Indeed, what could be more necessary than ensuring that the kavod of the weakest among us, the most vulnerable, those who made our very lives possible—our elders—is attended to every day?
ATTN: Misha Avramoff
197 E. Broadway, NY, NY, 10002
- Rabbanit Bracha Kapach………………$3,000
The Rabbanit Bracha Kapach, an Israel Prize winner, feeds the hungry, provides for poor brides, and makes sure poor youngsters get to experience the joy of summer camp. She distributes educational material for children, helps couples finance their marriage, supports old and lonely people with food, clothing and trips, and embraces all of those who seemed to have slipped through the holes of the “safety net.” She draws needy people near and gives with generosity and love. Once again, we assisted the Rabbanit in providing Passover packages for over 5,500 families in need of nourishment and hope.
The Rabbanit Bracha Kapach
12 Lod St. Jerusalem
- Rabbis for Human Rights Yeshiva………$1,500
Rabbis for Human Rights is the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, struggling to fulfill the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” They promote justice and freedom, while campaigning against discrimination and inhumane conduct. Last year they launched one of their most ambitious projects: the creation of a Human Rights Yeshiva, a place for dedicated young people to come to learn about and then do the sacred work of Tikkun Olam. Twenty students participated each week in the inaugural year, exploring such topics as: the principle of equality and the value of human life in the Bible, different approaches to relationships with the “other,” responding to sexual violence, slavery, and our obligations to immigrant laborers. Students volunteer with existing projects and some have developed a new program to provide help for teen runaways. Plans are underway to expand the program as it builds upon this successful first year.
Rabbis For Human Rights
ATTN: Rabbi Avi Deutsch
42 Gaza Road
- SHALVA (“Serenity”)………………$500
Shalva was founded on the premise that mentally and physically challenged children are not just the responsibility of the families to which they were born. These children and their families need and deserve the support of the extended community. Shalva is their lifeline, providing developmentally disabled children with a loving environment that helps them reach their full potential and gives parents the ability to keep them at home, with the family. Shalva foundersKalman and Malky Samuels dreamed of a state-of-the-art center for mentally and physically challenged children that would instill pride in those who came through its doors. This dream became a reality with the opening of the Shalva Children’s Center, which offers fantastic programs such as hydrotherapy, music, art, computer, psychodrama and pet therapy. Visit their website and read the testimonials from families whose lives have been changed by this extraordinary organization.
SHALVA : Rabbi Kalman Samuels
P.O.B. Box 35199 Jerusalem, Israel, 91351
- Shoes That Fit…………………$500
Shoes That Fit is all about kavod, protecting human dignity. STF provide new shoes and/or clothes to children in need so that they can attend school in comfort and with pride. STF’s experience has shown that children learn better and feel better about themselves when they are able to come to school with properly fitting shoes and clothes, rather than worn out or ill-fitting hand-me-downs. The organization creates wish lists for particular schools and then seeks sponsors to fulfill the wishes. In this way, the sponsor purchases the exact items those children require and delivers the items to the school. Every penny spent goes directly to helping the children STF supports.
Shoes That Fit
ATTN: Roni Lomeli
1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Suite 107-B, Claremont, CA, 91711
- Ta Shma……………………….$1,000
Ta Shma provides Hebrew and English speaking Jews of all ages with educational programming that conveys the excitement and relevance of Jewish texts and tradition. Recognizing that diversity is one of the Jewish community’s greatest assets, Ta Shma offers a model of multi-voiced Jewish learning that emphasizes the importance of constructive disagreement. TaShma’s educators have developed an educational methodology based on a deep belief that Judaism’s vitality is rooted in the contemporary meeting of many frequently dissonant voices.
At each Ta Shma event, faculty members of different ‘flavors’ of Judaism — Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, unidentified, and undefined — join together to plan and execute the program in its entirety. This offers young adults in Israel opportunities to explore Jewish texts from a uniquely pluralistic perspective, resulting in a powerful Jewish learning experience. We at KAVOD are proud to support a program that seeks to unite brothers and sisters over Torah, with respect for each student’s beliefs and background. Our funds were used to defray the expenses of a weekend seminar for American students studying at Israeli universities, covering half of the seminar’s cost.
Ta Shma: Pluralistic Jewish Learning
ATTN: Rabbi Leon Dow
Box 10156; Jerusalem, ISRAEL; 91101
Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity is an association of eye care professionals who travel to impoverished communities all over the world providing free eye care to those in need. They also serve the eyesight needs of people in several homeless shelters. Our funds were used to provide eyeglasses for approximately thirty people connected with Hesed House, a Chicago area shelter.
VOSH has conducted missions to every major continent during its existence, as well as domestic missions at homeless shelters. VOSH operates with zero overhead because the doctors cover their own expenses and equipment is donated. Ronald Weingart’s recent letter to us is music to our ears: “No donated funds are used for administration or fund raising. We have no paid staff and we pay our own expenses when we go on missions. We strive to operate as close to 0% overhead as possible.”
ATTN: Ronald Weingart, O.D.
1335 Douglas Road, Montgomery, IL, 60538
- Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers……………$1,500
In the early days of the State of Israel, it was not unusual for locals to be approached on the street by an energetic man who would ask what they could do for the new immigrants who were arriving daily. That man was Ya’akov Maimon, and he believed that every individual had a unique gift that they could offer each new arrival — whether in the form of language tutorial, lessons on how to balance a checkbook, babysitting, or teaching a trade. That special, caring attention to individuality is what marks the Maimon volunteers, and is lived out every day by their director, Yoel Dorkam. He is our first resource for questions and concerns about the compassionate absorption of new immigrants into Israeli society. Yoel’s volunteers ease the transition to life in Israel for today’s immigrants, from Russia, Ethiopia, South America, Eastern Europe, and the rest of the Jewish world.
Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers
ATTN: Eiton Green
Kibbutz Palmach Tzuba, D.N. Haray Yehuda, Israel, 90870
- Yad Ezra (“Helping Hand”)………..$500
One of the most neglected segments of any society is the mentally ill. For almost fifty years,Yad Ezra has been dedicating itself to seeking out, screening, and extending “a helping hand” to the mentally ill and the needy in Israel. Yad Ezra offers its assistance through a network of special supermarkets, dental clinics, workshops, soup kitchens, hostels, and day-care centers.Yad Ezra also has a soup kitchen in which “a unique group of people, some homeless, others stricken in spirit or by poverty, or by a broken home, comprise about 100 men and women who visit these premises daily. For 40% of the visitors, these premises have become their home. Along with the three meals offered daily, a delicate balance of educational lectures, guidance classes, and common prayer sessions have been introduced to strengthen and feed the spirit of visitors. A library on the premises offers a large variety of selected books and a quiet and calm atmosphere to soothe the painful spirit of many of its visitors.”
Yad Ezra – Samuel Katz
P.O.B. 7199, Jerusalem, Israel
- Youth at Risk…………….$1,000
Nira Peled and her dedicated staff at the p’nimiah (state sponsored boarding school for youth at risk) at Kibbutz Bahan provide unconditional love and opportunities for growth to boys who have seen too little of both. These children come from the some of the most troubled family environments imaginable: this boy’s mother is a prostitute, this one’s father is in prison for dealing drugs, this one was sexually abused, and this one’s mother was murdered by his father. In order to provide an opportunity for healthy play, KAVOD purchased two ping-pong tables for the boys.
The P’nimiah at Kibbutz Bahan
ATTN: Nira Peled
- ZIV Tzedakah Fund………………$750
Danny Siegel, founder of Ziv writes that “Mitzvah heroes are our teachers in Tikkun Olam… They see, hear, and touch aspects of life that we may have missed, and they put their mind, heart, and soul into their efforts to make life good or better or even the best possible for thousands of individuals. And, they save lives that would otherwise have been lost.” We are grateful to Danny and to Naomi Eisenberger, ZIV’s Managing Director, for their constant support, advice, wisdom, and love that guide us in our work.
ATTN: Naomi Eisenberger
384 Wyoming Ave., Millburn, NJ, 07041
THE KAVOD TZEDAKAH FELLOWSHIP
Under the leadership of Allison Lee, a member of our volunteer board of directors, and with input and guidance from our Fellows, we are making improvements to the program. We received a generous grant this year to provide training to our fellows and to create a resource booklet for them. We believe that the Fellowship program is the most generative, impactful initiative of our collective. We are thrilled with the achievements of current fellows and look forward to working with the newest KAVOD fellows, Sandi Intraub and Matthew Soffer.
Here’s how the Fellowship works: Students at HUC-JIR who have completed the year-in-Israel are eligible to apply. The KAVOD board reviews the applications and awards four-year Fellowships to the most promising candidates. Each year KAVOD Fellows receive an up front allocation of $250 that they can distribute to the tzedakah of their choice. All of their selections must be approved by members of the KAVOD Board. In addition to the up front sum, a 1:1 matching challenge grant is offered. That grant grows each year, creating a bigger and bigger incentive for the Fellow and his/her supporters. Each fellowship “costs” KAVOD $6000 over four-years ($1,000 in up-front grants and $5,000 in matching grants). The total tzedakah yield, assuming the Fellow makes the match, will equal $11,000 (that is, the $5,000 matching grant will yield $10,000 in tzedakah + the $1,000 up-front grant). And if the Fellow surpasses the challenge grant (as a few have already done), s/he can donate more than $11,000 over the course of her/his fellowship.
If you know someone who would like to fund a Fellowship in honor or memory of a loved one or simply because it’s a great tzedakah investment, please direct them to us at KAVOD@KAVOD.org. Most of the funds for this program come from donors who wish to sponsor a full, four-year Fellowship. Additional funds, as needed, come from the KAVODgeneral account. If you are interested in supporting the work of a particular Fellow, please make sure to note that on your donation (e.g., “For Erica Greenbaum’s Fellowship.”)
Tzedakah Distributed by the KAVOD Fellows, 2005………………….$16,944
Ana Bonnheim, Jocee Hudson, Alissa Forrest, Erica Greenbaum, and Elana Erdstein—our first, second, and third year KAVOD Fellows—directed donations to the organizations below:
- American Jewish World Services—works to end the genocide in Darfur
- Amutat A.M.A.L. Marpeh Lanefesh—responds to mental health needs
- Beit T’shuvah—supports Jews in recovery
- Chai Lifeline—provides support for families dealing with mental illness
- Dome Project—supports at risk teens in NYC
- Fernside: A Center for Grieving Children—supports children who have experienced the death of a parent
- JACS—helps Jewish alcoholics and drug-addicts in recovery
- The Jaffa Institute—helps the children of Jaffa live drug-free lives
- KARA Grief Center—supports kids, spouses, and parents who are grieving the death of a loved one
- One Family Fund—supports families in Israel who have been victimized by terror
- Ozark Food Harvest—delivers food directly to those in need
- Progressive Jewish Alliance—fights for economic and criminal justice
- Project Ezra (see #16 below)
- Sova Children’s Book Harvest
- Union for Reform Judaism—Hurricane Katrina Relief
- Yad L’kashish (Lifeline to the Aged)—helps Jerusalem’s elderly to continue to live productive lives
Visit KAVOD.ORG for more information about these organizations.
TEXTS FROM THE 2005 REPORT
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I the Eternal am your God. You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another.
“You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger” is put next to “You shall not steal” (Leviticus 19) to warn the owner not to steal from what belongs to the poor. Similarly, the poor person is warned not to steal from the owners by taking more than what is appropriate.
If there is a needy person among you, one of your kinsmen in any of your settlements in the land that the Eternal your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman. Rather, you must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs.
You shouldn’t think that you are giving to the poor person from your own property, or that I despise him by not giving bread to him as I have given to you. For he is also my child, just as you are, but his portion is in your produce.
It is a mitzvah, a religious obligation, to give tzedakah to the poor. Anyone who averts his eyes from a beggar so as not to see him, and does not give him tzedakak, he has transgressed a prohibitive command.
You do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
Ben Zoma teaches: “Who is worthy of kavod? The one who treats other human-beings with kavod.”
The more tzedakah the more peace.