KAVOD

A Tzedakah Collective

KAVOD 2012 Annual Report

Detailing Allocations and Activities from January 1-December 31, 2011

8914 Farnam Court • Omaha, Nebraska • 68114-4076

kavodcollective@gmail.com • www.kavod.org

 

SUMMARY OF KAVOD’S

FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES

2011 Allocations: $44,300.00

Total allocations to date ('93-'10): $888,953.99

Expenses to date: $75.48

 

The Hebrew month of Kislev always comes at the darkest time of the year (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). Although the name is actually of Babylonian origin, we can read it in Hebrew as a compound-noun: kis (“pocket”) – lev (“heart”). The lesson of Kislev is that we must respond to darkness by opening our pockets and our hearts to those in need

 

Because of your support, we were able to bring a little more light into the world last year.

•We helped elderly Jerusalemites find community, warmth and meaningful activity with our friends at Beit Frankforter.

•We helped Holocaust survivors live in dignity through our work with Blue Card.

•We provided interest free loans to those in need.

•We helped new immigrants to Israel from Ethiopia with their absorption into Israeli society with our friends from Ya’akov Maimon volunteers.

 

Our Ongoing 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.

 

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 (please keep them coming) are 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.

 

Todah Rabbah: Words of Thanks

 

We are grateful to everyone who makes our work possible.  We thank Mike Abramson, our pro bono accountant. We thank 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 recording, depositing, and lovingly acknowledging each and every gift. They carry on the work that was performed in the early days of KAVOD by Hermene Zweiback, of blessed memory.

 

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. (Please note that all online donations are subject to fees from the providers, not from KAVOD.)

 

We hope you will enjoy reading about the projects and programs your gifts have supported over the past fiscal year (2011).  Many will be familiar, as we strive, especially in these challenging economic times, to continue our commitments to groups we have supported in the past. Please note that some donations to specific KAVOD beneficiaries are donor-directed.

 

 

TZEDAKAH PROJECTS

 

1.  American Jewish World Service...............................$1,000

 

American Jewish World Service, a co-founder of the Save Darfur Coalition, continues to work tirelessly to put an end to the genocide in Darfur.

 

Our donation supported the Sudan Relief and Advocacy Fund which supports communities displaced by the conflict who are living along the border between Sudan and Chad. AJWS programs aim to prevent sexual violence against women, improve access to clean drinking water, create educational opportunities, and support community-led initiatives to build local capacity.

[AJWS, ATTN: Ruth Messinger,

45 West 36th Street,

NY, NY 10018

www.ajws.org]

 

2. Beit Frankforter: Jerusalem Center for the Aged...........$3,000

 

Inspired by the model of Myriam Mendilow, z"l, 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 (including Isa, Ariela, and Naomi Zweiback), and yoga instructors.  Our funds this year once again helped support the “Sandwich for Every Child” program. Last year the elders of Beit Frankforter prepared approximately 125,000 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; http://frankfor.bizhat.com/PresentationE.html]

 

3.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel ...................................$2,000

 

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/ ]

 

4. The Blue Card................$1,500

 

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]

 

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

 

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 equipment 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,

211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901

732-545-9002; www.elijahspromise.org]

 

 

6. Emergency Assistance.....$1,800

We provided direct financial assistance for one Jerusalem family in need.

 

7.    Free Loan Societies:

            Hebrew Free Loan Association of  San Francisco......................$1,500

        Hebrew Free Loan Society of New York.......................................$1,500

        Israel Free Loan Association.......................................................... $4,000

 

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

ATTN: Edward Cushman, 131 Steuart Street, Suite 425, San Francisco, CA, 94105;

415-546-9902;  www.hflasf.org;

Hebrew Free Loan Society, ATTN: Shana Novick, 675 Third Avenue, Suite 1905, NY, NY 10017; 212-687-0188; www.hfls.org

Israel Free Loan Association

ATTN: Prof. Eliezer Jaffe,

64 Azza Street, 92384 Jerusalem, Israel. 011-9722-563-0248; www.freeloan.org.il]

 

8. Ganei Hayyim........................................................$2,500

Our good friend Udi Cohen, director of the wonderful Jerusalem nursery-school, Ganei Hayyim, has created something beautiful and loving and, unfortunately, extraordinary: a special nursery school class for the children of refugees and foreign workers from the Sudan and the Philippines. Our Torah commands us to love the stranger for we were strangers in the land of Egypt. Go visit Ganei Hayyim and see this mitzvah in action.

[Ganei Hayyim

ATTN: Udi Cohen

13 King David Street, Jerusalem, ISRAEL

ganim@impj.org.il]

 

 

9.  The Good People Fund............................$1,000

 

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]

 

10.   Humans and Animals in Mutual Assistance (HAMA)...............$2,500

 

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]

 

11.    Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association – Mitzvah Horses (INTRA).....................$1,500

 

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. We helped sponsor the “adopt a rider” program, providing therapeutic riding sessions for people who otherwise would not be able to participate due to financial reasons.

 

[INTRA-Mitzvah Horses,

ATTN: Anita & Giora Shkedi, Hadassah Neurim, 40298, Israel;

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

 

 

12.    Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center (JRCC).................................$2,500

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: Michal Rosin,

P.O.B. 2549, Jerusalem, Israel, 91024; 011-9722-623-2451; jrcc.1202.org.il; jrcc@netvision.net.il]

 

13. KESHER (“Connection”)......................$1,000

 

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]

 

14. Maureen Kushner....................$1,500

 

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. Her “Peace through Humor” project has been displayed in over 180 cities in the U.S. and Canada and 14 European countries. We are proud to have worked with Maureen since our inception.

[Maureen Kushner,

122 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11217; 718-230-5369; maureenkushner@hotmail.com]

 

15.    The North American Coalition of Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ)........$1,500

 

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 after-school tutoring for kids from Ethiopia in Israel.

[NACOEJ,

ATTN: Barbara Ribakove Gordon,

132 Nassau Street, #412, NY, NY,10038; 212-233-5200; www.nacoej.org]

 

16.  A Package From Home....................................$1,000

 

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]

 

 

17.    Project Ezra..................................$2,500

 

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. Project Ezra recently merged with Selfhelp and we are currently learning more about what this might mean for both organizations from Misha.

 

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

 

18.    Rabbanit Bracha Kapach.................................$3,000

 

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]

 

19. Rabbis for Human Rights Yeshiva................................$1,000

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.

 

Five 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 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]

 

20.     Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity (VOSH).....................$500

 

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]

 

21.    Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers...........................$4,500

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 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.

 

Our friend, Yoel Dorkam, 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]