KAVOD

A Tzedakah Collective

KAVOD 2007 Annual Report

Detailing Allocations and Activities from January 1-December 31, 2006

8914 Farnam Court • Omaha, Nebraska • 68114-4076

kavodcollective@gmail.com • www.kavod.org

 

SUMMARY OF KAVOD’S

FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES

Allocations, 2006: $79,354.00

Total allocations to date ('93-'06): $588,550.53

Expenses to date: $75.48

Mazel tov, KAVOD supporters!

 

Our Bar Mitzvah year, 2006, saw the biggest contributions and distributions in our thirteen-year history.

 

It is gratifying to think of all of the people whose lives have been made better, at least in some small way, through the efforts of everyone who has contributed to KAVOD. However, the world is, tragically, more in need of kavod now than ever. The global degradation of human dignity continues unabated: the genocide in Darfur; war and terror in the Middle East; the growing gap between rich and poor; hundreds of millions of souls living without access to medical care, sanitation services, or clean water. But we cannot and will not give up hope. It is forbidden to despair. Instead we will continue to do all that we can to transform the world that is into our vision of how it ought to be. In ways both large and small, we will continue to change the world.

 

A Record Year

In 2006, because of your generosity, we were able to donate more tzedakah dollars than ever before: almost $80,000 with no overhead. Stamps, stationary, and duplicating costs have been paid for out of pocket by members of the KAVODvolunteer board of directors. Once again, we have been inspired by dozens of mitzvah heroes. We have been 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 entrusted to us.

 

The KAVOD Fellowship Program

We launched the KAVOD Tzedakah Fellowship Program five 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 Jewish professionals to raise and distribute tzedakah wisely and effectively. We are expanding the KAVODcommunity and planting seeds that will yield a bountiful tzedakah harvest in the years to come. In 2006 our KAVOD Fellows distributed over $14,000 to twelve different organizations. We are extremely proud of their work and excited about growing this program going forward. We wish outgoing Fellows, Rabbis Alissa Forrest and Jocee Hudson, mazel tov on their recent ordination and thank them for allowing us to be theirtzedakah partners for the last four years. 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.

 

Please tell your friends about KAVOD, and feel free to make copies of this annual report for distribution. Visit us online at www.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:

 

KAVOD

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.

TZEDAKAH

PROJECTS

1. American Jewish World

               Service...........................$2,000

Since 2003, the government of Sudan and their proxy militia, the Janjaweed, have perpetrated genocide in Darfur. They have terrorized and murdered civilians, raped women and girls, burned villages, and driven innocent people from their homes. More than 2 million people have been displaced and at least 450,000 have been murdered. American Jewish World Services is trying to stop the genocide in Darfur through advocacy, education, and lobbying campaigns. AJWS also provides direct relief to Darfuri refugees in Chad and elsewhere.

 

ATTN: Ruth Messinger,

45 West 36th Street,

NY, NY 10018-7904; 800-889-7146;

http://www.ajws.org

 

 

 

2. Beit Frankforter: Jerusalem Center

      for the Aged......................$3,000

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. Last year the elders of Beit Frankforter prepared approximately 95,000 sandwiches for local school children whose families are experiencing economic hardships.

 

ATTN: Sima Zini

80 Derech Beit Lechem, POB 10074, Jerusalem, 91100

011-9722-671-4848

frankfor@netvision.net.il

 

 

3.  The Blue Card....................$1,000

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: Elie Rubinstein

171 Madison Avenue, #1405, NY, NY 10016

212-239-2251; www.bluecardfund.org

 

 

 

4.   Congregation Sulam Ya’akov

            ..................................$1,000

 

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 10111

Zichron Ya’akov, ISRAEL

30900

011-9724-629-3113

bradfisher@charter.net

 

 

 

5.   Eden Alternative..................$500

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

607-674-5232;

www.edenalt.com

 

 

6.   Elijah’s Promise..................$1,500

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?

Elijah’s Promise

ATTN: Rev. Lisanne Finston

18 Neilson St., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901

732-545-9002

www.elijahspromise.org

 

 

7.   Free Loan Societies:

Hebrew Free Loan Society of

            New York City...............$2,000

Hebrew Free Loan Association of

            San Francisco..............$2,000

Israel Free Loan Association...$6,000

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 Society

ATTN: Shana Novick

675 Third Avenue, Suite 1905, NY, NY 10017

212-687-0188

www.hfls.org

Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco

ATTN: Edward Cushman

131 Steuart Street, Suite 425, San Francisco, CA, 94105

415-546-9902

www.hflasf.org

Israel Free Loan Association

ATTN: Prof. Eliezer Jaffe

64 Azza Street, 92384 Jerusalem, Israel

011-9722-563-0248

www.freeloan.org.il

 

8.   INTRA – Mitzvah Horses......$5,000

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 helped support Project Shleymut(“wholeness”), a response to last summer’s war in Lebanon. INTRA provided twice-weekly lessons for injured soldiers.

INTRA-Mitzvah Horses

ATTN: Anita & Giora Shkedi

Hadassah Neurim, Hadassah Village, 40298, Israel

011-9729-866-6305

agshkedi@bezeqint.net

www.intra.org.il

 

9.   IRAC...............................$3,000

Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, recently shared a success story with us: after six years and with the help of IRAC’s petition to Israel’s Supreme Court, John Anzola’s conversion to Judaism under the auspices of the Reform Rabbinate of Argentina was finally recognized by the Jewish State. We hope the day will come when efforts like these will no longer be necessary. Then religious tolerance and pluralism will truly flourish in the Jewish State.

 

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.

IRAC

ATTN: Anat Hoffman

POB 31936, Jerusalem, ISRAEL 91319

011-9722-625-6261

www.irac.org

 

 

10.  Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center....................................$2,500

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

011-9722-623-2451

jrcc@netvision.net.il

 

 

11.    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

011-9722-620-3447

www.wupj.org

 

 

12. 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.

Kesher

ATTN: Rabbi Ezra Levy

18900 NE 25th Avenue, North Miami Beach, FL, 33180

305-792-7060

kesherld@bellsouth.net

 

 

13.  Lev Ramot...........………..$1,000*

Lev Ramot (“Heart of Ramot”—a neighborhood in Jerusalem) picks up leftover food, repackages it, and delivers it to two hundred hungry families each week. Best of all is the way they feed hungry people. Arrangements are made to deliver the food to a family on a particular evening. A volunteer knocks on the door of the recipient announcing the delivery of the food and then moves on to his/her next client. The dignity of the recipient is protected as he/she doesn’t ever meet the person lending the helping hand.

 

Lev Ramot

ATTN: Moshe Koth

6 Schechtman Street

Jerusalem, ISRAEL

97225

011-9722-586-1456

 

 

 

14. 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 once again 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. Maureen recently brought the exhibition to Austria.

 

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.

Maureen Kushner

122 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11217

(718) 230-5369

maureenkushner@hotmail.com

 

 

15.  NACOEJ...........................$1,000

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. Our donation helped provide services to Ethiopian Jews living in Israel today.

 [NACOEJ, ATTN: Barbara Ribakove Gordon, 132 Nassau Street, #412, NY, NY, 10038;

212-233-5200; www.nacoej.org]

 

NACOEJ

ATTN: Barbara Ribakove Gordon

132 Nassau Street, #412, NY, NY, 10038

(212) 233-5200

www.nacoej.org

 

 

 

16.  A Package From Home......$11,617

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. During the war in the summer of 2006, Barbara sent out tens of thousands of extra packages. This year’s donation includes funds sent to us by Temple Solel in Phoenix specifically to help Barbara in her work.

A Package from Home

ATTN: Barbara Silverman

12/63 Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael Street, Jerusalem, Israel, 92428

011-9722-623-2548

emess@netvision.net.il

www.apackagefromhome.org

 

 

17.  Project Ezra.......................$6,000

Under the guidance of Misha Avramoff, Project Ezra has been a lifeline to Jewish elders on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for over 30 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.

 

We are proud to be connected to Misha and the amazing volunteers and staff at Project Ezra. Next time you’re in New York, phone Misha and come down to Project Ezra to see their amazing work first-hand.

[Project Ezra, ATTN: Misha Avramoff, 465 Grand St., 4th Floor, NY, NY, 10002; 212-982-3700; www.projectezra.org]

 

Project Ezra

ATTN: Misha Avramoff

465 Grand Street, 4th Floor

NY, NY 10002

212-982-3700

www.projectezra.org

 

 

 

18.  Rabbanit Bracha Kapach....$3,500

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 theRabbanit in providing Passover packages for over 5,500 families in need of nourishment and hope.

 

The Rabbanit Bracha Kapach

12 Lod St. Jerusalem

011-9722-624-9296

 

 

 

19. 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.

 

Two years ago 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. Our donation provided a scholarship for Yuli Ben-Dov, a student at the Hebrew University training to become a teacher of Jewish studies.

 

Rabbis For Human Rights

ATTN: Rabbi Avi Deutsch

42 Gaza Road

Jerusalem, Israel

011-9722-563-7731

www.rhr.israel.net

 

 

 

20.  SHALVA (“Serenity”)..........$1,500

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 founders Kalman 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

011-9722-651-9555

www.shalva.org

 

21.  Shoes That Fit.....................$250

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’sexperience 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

909-482-0050

www.shoesthatfit.org

 

 

22.  Ta Shma............................$1,750

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: Shlomit Naor

Box 10156; Jerusalem, ISRAEL; 91101

02-621-6168

www.tashma.org

 

 

23.  VOSH...............................$1,000

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, aChicago 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.”

VOSH

ATTN: Ronald Weingart, O.D.

1335 Douglas Road, Montgomery, IL, 60538

630-844-0908

www.vosh.org

 

 

24.  Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers

            ..................................$2,500

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’svolunteers 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

011-9754-563-7920

eiton@tzuba.org.il

 

 

25.  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

011-9722-538-6460

 

 

26.  ZIV Tzedakah Fund..........$1,000

Since 1981, ZIV has distributed over $10,000,000 to tzedakah. In 2006 alone, ZIV distributed almost $2,000,000. More important than the numbers though, is the way ZIV goes about doing its work.

 

Danny Sigel, ZIV founder and chairman, writes that  “Mitzvah heroes are our teachers in TikkunOlam... 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. Danny and Naomi are true mitzvah heroes and it is our honor to be able to help them in their sacred work.

ZIV

ATTN: Naomi Eisenberger

384 Wyoming Ave., Millburn, NJ, 07041

973-763-9396

www.ziv.org

 

THE KAVOD TZEDAKAH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

Here’s how the Fellowship program works: All 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 kavodcollective@gmail.com. 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, 2006

      ....................................$14,237

 

Ana Bonnheim directed $736 to the Kleine-Levin Syndrome Foundation, an organization that funds research and raises awareness about KLS, a medical disorder that is characterized by episodes of excessive sleep.

 

Alissa Forrest directed $2,749 to the Kreuzberger Initiative gegen Antisemitismus - KIgA e.V., an organization in Berlin’s Turkish neighborhood of Krezberg that educates youth about antisemitism.

 

Erica Greenbaum directed $1,400 to the New Israel Fund; $1,150 to the American Friends of the Jaffa Institute (a child welfare agency in Jaffa, Israel that helps over 4,000 children each year); $1,150 to Marpeh LaNefesh-Amutat AMAL (an organization that helps people with mental illness to live on their own); and $900 to Face to Face/Faith to Faith (a multi-faith, youth leadership program).

 

Jocee Hudson directed $700 to the Challenger’s Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles; $700 to the Midnight Mission (dedicated to helping homeless people in Los Angeles get back on their feet); $900 to the American Jewish World Service; and $640 to the Ozarks Food Harvest.

 

Elana Perry directed $1,350 to American Jewish World Service; $782 to PATH (a global health organization); $630 to Beit Teshuva (a drug and alcohol treatment program in Los Angeles); and $450 to Bet Tzedek (a legal service organization in Los Angeles).

 

TEXTS FROM THE 2006 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.

Leviticus 19:9-11

 

"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.

Ba'al HaTurim (14th century)

 

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.

Deuteronomy 15:7-8

 

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.

Rabbi Moshe Alshikh (16th century) explaining in God's voice the obligation to leave the corners of your field for those in need

 

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.

Mishneh Torah, Gifts to the Poor, 7:1

 

You do the right thing because it's the right thing to do.

Max Frankel

 

Ben Zoma teaches: "Who is worthy of kavod?  The one who treats other human-beings with kavod."

Pirkei Avot, 4:1

 

The more tzedakah the more peace.

Pirkei Avot 2:7