KAVOD

A Tzedakah Collective

KAVOD 2009 Annual Report

Detailing Allocations and Activities from January 1-December 31, 2008

8914 Farnam Court • Omaha, Nebraska • 68114-4076

kavodcollective@gmail.com • www.kavod.org

 

SUMMARY OF KAVOD’S

FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES

2008 Allocations: $69,830.46

Total allocations to date ('93-'08): $746,553.99

Expenses to date: $75.48

 

 

We have always measured our work at KAVOD in terms of the impact of the mitzvah heroes we support, the kindness with which they do their work, and the grace they bring into the world.

 

In all of these ways, 2008 was an extraordinary year. Yashar koach (great job!) to all of you for the ways you've enabled KAVOD to help those organizations and people included in this year's report to do their sacred work.

 

In a time of economic distress for millions, our heroes have redoubled their efforts to reach out to those in need of dignity, healing, and support. As always, in the pages that follow you'll learn how we distributed every dime entrusted to us.

 

Thank you all once again for giving us the opportunity to join in making a difference with these amazing people and organizations.

 

Responding to the Challenge

 

Due to the economic situation, giving to KAVOD and thus to the tzedakot (righteous organizations) we support, was down in 2008. While this is certainly consistent with the experience of many other non-profits, it is the first time in KAVOD's history that we collected and distributed less last year than the year before. And while, as we've noted many times in our annual reports, we don't measure our impact or success by how much we raise or give away, we are a tzedakah collective, after all, and raising and distributing funds to those in need is our primary purpose.

 

So once again we turn to you and ask you to help us do this work. We need your generosity and support  to ensure that the amazing work detailed in this report will continue.

 

Please use the donation envelope enclosed to mail in a donation today. Online donations can be made at  www.kavod.org or through Facebook  causes.

 

Our Efforts to Be More Efficient

 

Both to conserve our planet's resources and to save on postage, we now only send ONE KAVOD mailing each year--this annual report. Since you will not receive a year-end letter, please let this serve as your reminder to give generously to KAVOD. We need your help, now more than ever. A donation envelope is enclosed.

 

Please know that KAVOD board members continue to cover all overhead expenses so that every dollar you contribute goes directly to the organizations we support.

 

To further reduce postage costs, all “repeat donations” to KAVOD (keep them coming!) will be acknowledged by postcard rather than by letter. First time contributors will receive a letter and a copy of the report and cards will be sent for all tributes and memorials as before. Due to privacy concerns related to the use of postcards, no amounts will be included. If you need a tax letter, please note it with your contribution and we will gladly supply it.

 

The KAVOD Fellowship Program

 

We launched the KAVOD Tzedakah Fellowship Program seven years ago. Our goals are ambitious.  In partnership with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), we help train the next generation of Jewish professionals to raise and distribute tzedakah wisely and effectively. We continue to expand the KAVOD community and plant seeds that will yield a bountiful tzedakah harvest in the years to come.

 

In 2008 our KAVOD Fellows distributed over $11,000 to eight different organizations. We are extremely proud of their work and excited about growing this program. We wish a hearty mazel tov to Rabbi Ana Bonnheim on completing her fellowship. For more on the Fellowship program, see page 3.

 

Todah Rabbah: Words of Thanks

 

We are grateful to everyone who makes our work possible.  We thank Mike Abramson, our pro bono accountant. Thanks to Rabbis Robert Davis and Jay Moses for guiding us in our allocations process. Most of all, we thank Judy Zweiback and Rosie Zweiback for their daily efforts to make sure that the work of KAVOD continues. They donate hundreds of hours each year to KAVOD making sure that every gift is recorded, deposited, and lovingly acknowledged.

 

Please 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 sent at any time, to:

KAVOD

8914 Farnam Court

Omaha, NE  68114-4076

 

You can also donate online at justgive.org or through facebook.com (causes, key word, KAVOD) or at networkforgood.org. (Please note that all online donations are subject to a 3% fee from the providers, not from KAVOD.)

 

We hope you will enjoy reading about the projects and programs your gifts have supported.  Many will be familiar, as we strive to  continue our commitments to groups we have supported in the past.  Additionally, there are programs (indicated with an asterisk) to which KAVOD contributed for the first time this year. Please note that some donations to specific KAVOD beneficiaries are donor-directed.

 

TZEDAKAH PROJECTS

 

1. Beit Frankforter: Jerusalem Center for the Aged..............$3,500

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

[Beit Frankforter, ATTN: Sima Zini,

80 Derech Beit Lechem, POB 10074, Jerusalem, Israel, 91100;

011-9722-671-4848; frankfor@netvision.net.il]

 

2.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel ....................................$1,000*

Many children grow up in Israel today in single-parent homes. An ongoing one-on-one relationship with a caring, responsible adult can help children deal better with loneliness and receive the stability, guidance and modeling necessary for their healthy development. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel recruits and supports mentors who commit to meeting weekly with a child from an isolated single-parent home over an extended period of time. Volunteers are provided with ongoing professional support and training. KAVOD partnered with the Good People Fund (see #7 below) to purchase a gas barbeque grill and provide monthly barbeques for kids and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Libby Reichman, executive director, told us that the barbeques were "a real crowd-pleaser, with everyone eating, playing ping- pong and foosball, Pictionary, and in general having a great time."

 [Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel

ATTN: Libby Reichman

84 Golomb Street

Jerusalem. Israel. 96903,

`011-9722-561-2131

info@bigbrothers.org.il ;

http://bigbrothers.org.il/len/]

 

 

3. The Blue Card....................$2,500

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, Suite 1405, NY, NY 10016,

212-239-2251; www.bluecardfund.org]

 

 

4.    Elijah’s Promise..............$2,000

Reverend 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, so that they 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 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 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]

 

 

5.    Faiths United for Sustainable Energy (FUSE)......................$1,000

FUSE aims to educate, mobilize and unite communities of faith to act on the increasingly harmful effects of our society’s dependence on fossil fuels.To achieve its mission, FUSE consults with congregations of all faiths to develop educational programming, congregation-wide conservation initiatives, and energy-saving facility-management practices.  FUSE raises awareness and catalyzes social and political action based on the following shared principles:

* Respect for the earth and all of creation

* Care for the health and well-being of humanity

* Commitment to protecting and preserving human rights throughout the world

 [FUSE; ATTN: Jesse Glickstein,

701 SW 27th Avenue

Suite 1204

Miami, FL  33135

877-775-3873; info@fusenow.org; www.fusenow.org]

 

 

 

6.    Free Loan Societies:

Hebrew Free Loan Society of

    New York City.....................$4,000

Hebrew Free Loan Association of

    San Francisco....................$4,000

Israel Free Loan Association..........................$4,500

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;

 

Hebrew Free Loan Association

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]

 

 

7.  The Good People Fund...$3,000*

Here's how our friend and teacher, Naomi Eisenberger, describes the work of the Good People Fund: "Many people work quietly and diligently, often below the radar screen and with shoe-string budgets, to better our world in untold numbers of ways. It is to these people, small entities or individuals whose efforts don’t benefit from glossy brochures or promotions, or help from adequate staff or large organizational structures, that we direct our attention. Their success is our mission — by making them and their work visible and viable to others who will provide needed funding through tzedakah that is given in a cost-effective and meaningful way. One might call those that do this work social entrepreneurs or tzadikim (the righteous ones). We choose to call them simply good people."

 

It's an honor for us to be able to partner with Naomi to support these good people--Naomi is certainly one of them!

[The Good People Fund, Inc.

ATTN: Naomi Eisenberger

384 Wyoming Avenue

Millburn, New Jersey 07041

973-761-0580

www.goodpeoplefund.org]

 

8.   Humans and Animals in Mutual Assistance (HAMA)...............$2,000

Our friends at ZIV brought the amazing work of HAMA to our attention. Avshalom Beni helps people who are in physical or emotional pain to feel better and to be better. Using animal-assisted therapy, Avshalom and his team work with people who have experienced trauma, economic reversals, and other forms of extreme distress. Avshalom and his animal helpers make a tremendous difference in the lives of hundreds of clients including children with autism or ADD, children who have been abused, people suffering from post traumatic stress, and survivors of the horrors of the Shoah.

[HAMA , ATTN: Avshalom Beni, POB 443

Givat Haim Ichud, Emek Hefer,38935 ISRAEL, 011-972-4-636-9443;

www.hama-israel.org.il]

 

9.    Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association – Mitzvah Horses (INTRA).....................$1,000

Anita and Giora Shkedi continue to do their breathtaking work with INTRA, 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.  Even better, Anita would welcome your visit during your next trip to Israel.  How else will you meet 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, 40298, Israel;

011-9729-866-6305; www.intra.org.il]

 

10.    Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)......................$3,000

IRAC is the public and legal advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.  Executive Director Anat Hoffman leads IRAC in its efforts to make the State of Israel  more democratic and pluralistic. Anat and her team continue to make progress--slow to be sure but progress nonetheless--in their efforts to move the government and society of the state of Israel ever closer to the realization of equality and harmony in the State of Israel between women and men, Jews and Arabs, gay and straight, secular, orthodox, and progressive.

 

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 progressive Jews to celebrate their faith more freely, and demanded just treatment for foreign workers in Israel. It is an honor to be associated with their good work.

[IRAC, ATTN: Anat Hoffman,

33 Jaffa St., POB 31936, Jerusalem, Israel 91319; 011-9722-625-6261; www.irac.org]

 

11.    Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center (JRCC).....................$3,000

The Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in Memory of Linda Feldman provides support to survivors of sexual abuse. The JRCC also runs educational programs for Israeli high school students to raise awareness about abuse and harassment. Approximately one-third of the callers to the Rape Crisis Center hotline are under eighteen 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. The JRCC remains the only organization offering this kind of support in Jerusalem.

[JRCC, ATTN: Jane Jacobs,

P.O.B. 2549, Jerusalem, Israel, 91024;

011-9722-623-2451; jrcc.1202.org.il jrcc@netvision.net.il]

 

12.    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 helps a student pay for tuition, books and supplies, transportation, and room and board in Moscow while attending the Machon.

[World Union for Progressive Judaism, ATTN: Shai Pinto, 13 King David Street, Jerusalem, Israel, 94101; 011-9722-620-3447; www.wupj.org]

 

13. Jewish World Watch........$2,000

Rabbi Harold Schulweis founded Jewish World Watch in 2004 as a Jewish response to the genocide in Darfur. Jewish World Watch brings together synagogues of all denominations in Southern California to educate, advocate, and provide relief.

[Jewish World Watch, ATTN: Rabbi

Harold Schulweis 16944 Ventura Blvd, #1, Encino, CA 91316, 818-501-1836, info@jewishworldwatch.org; www.jewishworldwatch.org]

14. 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 kavod of 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; www.kesher-nmb.org]

 

15. Maureen Kushner...........$3,000

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. The artwork on the KAVOD tribute cards comes from this beautiful project.

 [Maureen Kushner,

122 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11217;

 718-230-5369; maureenkushner@hotmail.com]

16.    The North American Coalition of Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ).................................$500

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,  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]

 

 

17.  A Package From Home....................................$4,000

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. During the war in the summer of 2006, Barbara sent out tens of thousands of extra packages.

[A Package from Home,

ATTN: Barbara Silverman,

12/63 Keren Kayemet, Jerusalem, Israel,92428;

011-9722-623-2548; emess@netvision.net.il; www.apackagefromhome.org]

 

18.    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 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, call 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]

 

19.    Rabbanit Bracha Kapach.................................$2,000

The Rabbanit Bracha Kapach, an Israel Prize winner, feeds the hungry, provides for impoverished brides, and makes sure economically disadvantaged 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 existing “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, Israel;

011-9722-624-9296]

 

20. Rabbis for Human Rights Yeshiva................................$1,500

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) 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.

Three years ago, RHR  launched one of its 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 run-aways. 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,

9 Rehov Harekhavim, Jerusalem, Israel, 93462; 011-9722-648-2757, www.rhr.israel.net]

 

21. To Save a Life.................$500*

We teamed up with "To Save a Life" to support the work of our teacher and friend, Danny Siegel. Danny's ZIV Fund closed operations last year, but Danny is still active in teaching about and doing tzedakah. Our donation helped Danny bring together Israel-based mitzvah heroes for a special dinner that enabled them to make connections, collaborate, dream, and tell each other "yashar koach" (great work!) for their many mitzvahs.

[To Save a Life

ATTN: Jerry Klinger

16405 Equestrian Lane,

Rockville, Md. 20855;

www.tsal.org]

 

22. SHALVA (“Serenity”).....$250

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, ATTN: Rabbi Kalman Samuels,

POB 34449, Jerusalem, Israel, 91344;

011-9722-651-9555;

www.shalva.org]

 

23.    Ta Shma.........................$1,500

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-vocal Jewish learning that emphasizes the importance of constructive disagreement. Ta Shma’s professionals 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.

 

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, ATTN: Shlomit Naor;

POB 10156; Jerusalem, Israel, 91101;

011-9722-621-6168;

www.tashma.org]

 

 

24.     Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity (VOSH).................................$1,000

VOSH 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 optometry 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.”

 

[VOSH, ATTN: Ronald Weingart, O.D.,

2075 Wiesbrook Rd

Oswego, IL   60543

630-844-0908; www.vosh.org]

 

25.    Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers

        ......................................$4,000

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 arriving daily.  That man was Ya’akov Maimon.  He believed that every individual had a unique gift to offer each new arrival.  At his request, individuals offered all kinds of help by offering practical lessons like how to balance a checkbook or actually babysitting the children of olim (new immigrants".  In Ya'akov Maimon's day, many Israelis also helped the olim with language skills, work that continues through Maimon Volunteers to this day.

 

Yoel Dorkam (who just celebrated his 80th birthday!) was the director of the organization for many years. Today, his friend and mentee, Eiton Green, serves as volunteer director. We continue to work with Maimon volunteers and Eiton to connect students in the Year-in-Israel Program at HUC-JIR with new immigrants from Ethiopia for weekly visits which provide opportunities for volunteers and kids to learn with and from one another.

 

[Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers,

ATTN: Eiton Green,

Kibbutz Palmach Tzuba,

D.N. Haray Yehuda, Israel, 90870.

011-9754-563-7920; eiton@tzuba.org.il]

 

The KAVOD Tzedakah Fellowship Program

 

Here’s how the Fellowship Program works: All students at HUC-JIR who have completed the year-in-Israel program 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 an increasing incentive for the Fellow and his/her supporters. Each fellowship “costs” KAVOD $6,000 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). 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 KAVOD general 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 Sandi Intraub’s Fellowship.”)

 

Tzedakah Distributed by the KAVOD Fellows, 2008...$11,080.46

 

Rabbi Ana Bonnhim gave $1741.87 to American Jewish World Service (www.ajws.org), an organization dedicated to using Jewish values to guide them in alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world; and $580.63 to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center (#11 below),which provides a comprehensive response to the suffering of local women subject to the trauma of sexual violence.

 

Sandi Intraub directed $904.85 to the Jericho Project (www.jerichoproject.org), a New York based organization that provides a holistic solution to homelessness; and $904.85 to Picture the Homeless (www.picturethehomeless.org), a grassroots organization founded and led by homeless and former homeless people.

 

Rabbi Beth Kalisch directed funds to anti-hunger organizations that are under increasing strain during the recession: $1000 to Table to Table, which transports excess, unserved food from catering halls, bakeries, farmers, and manufacturers around Israel to organizations serving those in need; $1000 to the Food Bank for New York City; $1355.26 to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger; and $300 to the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen on the New York campus.

 

Matt Soffer directed $3593 through the Ride4Reform to support Reform Judaism in Israel. Sponsored by the IMPJ (Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism), the 5-day ride starts in the North in Metula and ends overlooking the Mediterranean at Zichron Ya'akov. Funds raised support progressive Judaism in Israel through synagogues, kindergartens, youth groups, and educational programs.

 

Texts from 2009 Annual 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 tzedakah, he has transgressed a prohibitive command.

Mishneh Torah,

Gifts to the Poor, 7:1

 

Never doubt that a small group of commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

 

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

 

KAVOD Fellows

Rabbi Ana Bonnheim

Brian Immerman • Sandi Intraub

Rabbi Beth Kalisch

Matthew Soffer