KAVOD 2020 Annual Report
AFYA FOUNDATION— $3,000.00
Afya’s mission is to improve global health by rescuing surplus medical supplies and delivering them to underserved health systems around the world. The Afya Foundation is delivering vital medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPEs) around the country and across the globe during this time of crisis. Kavod’s donation, early in the Covid crisis, helped get PPEs to medical workers on the frontlines at a time of shortages, when masks and other essential equipment were hard to come by. (Founded in 2020.)
BEIT URI— $4,000.00
“For every person there is a place.” Beit Uri in Afula, Israel is home to 100 residents, ages 7-67, who live with a variety of special needs. During the pandemic, Beit Uri is focusing on making their outdoor spaces completely accessible for all residents (and their visiting families) as well as providing outdoor classrooms, including spaces for music classes with outdoor instruments for musicians of all abilities. (Founded in 1969.)
Their English website – www.bet-uri.org.il/copy-of-home
BOSTON AREA GLEANERS— $2,500.00
Boston Area Gleaners is committed to supporting an equitable, just, and sustainable local food system. By working closely with farmers, volunteers, and hunger relief agencies, they power a supply chain from farms to those in need, reduce food waste, and promote long-term farm sustainability. With volunteers and partners, they have been able to rescue and distribute over 1 million pounds of produce annually, and supply that to hundreds of hunger relief organizations in the region. (Founded in 2004.)
Usha Thakrar, Executive Director
EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE— $1,019.00
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Visit their website to learn more about their work in criminal justice reform, racial justice, and public education as well as their museum and memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, USA. (Founded in 1989.)
Bryan Stevenson, Ariela Zweiback
FOOD FORWARD— $1,019.00
Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need. Food Forward staff and volunteers rescue over 500,000 pounds of surplus produce each week from fruit trees, farmers markets and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. 100% of these fresh fruits and vegetables are donated to over 1,800 hunger relief agencies across 8 counties in Southern California.
JCAM: Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts— $1,300.00
JCAM functions as a Jewish burial society for the Jewish communities of Massachusetts, owning and managing over 120 Jewish cemeteries. JCAM honors the dead in accordance with Jewish religious practices, traditions, and beliefs. They also preserve and restore Jewish cemeteries, including abandoned cemeteries. Kavod’s donation came early in the pandemic, when JCAM Executive Director Jamie Cotel told us that their caretakers had inadequate personal protective equipment to do their jobs. We purchased coveralls, booties for shoes, masks, and more, so they could perform their crucial, essential work in the community (Jamie calls them “last responders”) in safety.
RESTORE ELIKIA— $3,000.00
Kavod Board member Rabbi Jay Moses brought this inspirational new project to our attention. “The mission of Restore Elikia is to show God’s grace by providing community development and sustainable orphan support through the provision of clean water, food, education, and medical care.” Restore Elikia strives to transform the lives of orphans and widows in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are dedicated to creating systems that become self-sustaining over time. They partner with local leaders to provide resources, training, and support to develop this project into a reality.
WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN— $2,500.00
WCK uses food to empower communities and strengthen economies. They have seen an amazing impact through our clean cookstoves initiative, culinary training programs, and social enterprise ventures. They have responded to large-scale disasters on five continents. We reached out to WCK while the pandemic was raging in order to provide Tzedakah money in two essential ways:
(1) To support people who had been devastated by the California wildfires in September 2020, and (2) To support restaurants and food-industry workers whose livelihoods had been shattered by the Covid pandemic. (Founded in 2010.)
EUDAIMONIA: A PURPOSEFUL PERIOD BAND— $2,000.00
Eudaimonia gathers some of the Boston area’s most creative musicians in the historical music field, performing chamber music that especially features the works of women composers. These concerts support grassroots Boston-based social services or initiatives. Eudaimonia organizes and executes each concert to draw attention to the partner organization’s work and to bring it recognition and financial support through audience contributions and visibility. Their concerts are extraordinary; their Mitzvah-work is sublime.
Vivian Montgomery, Julia McKenzie
GESHARIM LETIKVAH / BRIDGES FOR HOPE— $5,500.00
Our friend Rabbi Edgar Nof performs an incredible array of Mitzvot in Israel on just about a daily basis. His organization Gesharim Letikvah/Bridges for Hope works with impoverished families, kids with disabilities, new immigrants, elders, and many more people on the periphery of Israel’s social and religious communities, including Ethiopian and Russian olim and children with profound disabilities. $3000 of our contribution provided meals for impoverished children in Haifa’s schools. The remainder supported the rest of their work, including providing meaningful and honorable simchas/Jewish life cycle events for children and families.
Rabbi Edgar Nof
THE GOOD PEOPLE FUND— $3,000.00
Naomi Eisenberger has been among the primary inspirations for our style of grassroots Tzedakah work since we established Kavod. Since establishing The Good People Fund in 2008, Naomi’s leadership has been the exemplar of what grassroots Tikkun Olam is all about. In a time of crisis, she is often our first phone call or email for advice about how to efficiently get Tzedakah into the hands of people who will make a different. The Good People Fund lifts great organizations by making their work more visible. Not only do they provide essential tzedakah, they also make connections to an international network of people who can provide needed funding and supplies in a cost-effective and meaningful way.
HEBREW FREE LOAN SOCIETY OF NEW YORK— $2,500.00
Jews have been supporting one another through interest-free loans for thousands of years. HFLS is particularly helpful to recent immigrants. As loans are repaid, the money is “recycled” to help others rent an apartment or start a small business.
HIDDUSH – Freedom of Religion for Israel— $2,500.00
Israel’s Declaration of Independence promised religious freedom and equality to all of its citizens. Hiddush, a non-denominational, non-partisan organization, was established by our Zionist hero Rabbi Uri Regev to pursue the promise Israel as a democracy and as a Jewish state. Hiddush is on the frontlines of the perpetual fight for religious freedom and civil liberties in Israel. They commission studies of Israeli society, providing crucial date for policymakers; advocate tirelessly for women’s rights; and provide legal defense for victims of religious discrimination.
Rabbi Uri Regev
HUC-JIR SOUP KITCHEN— $500.00
The students and community members of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York go the extra mile not only to nourish hundreds of weekly guests physically, but also to nourish their sense of kavod . They provide food as well as a dynamic, welcoming community environment. HUC partners with law students from NYU as well as volunteers from local high schools and colleges in order to create an atmosphere that is joyful, uplifting, and empowering.
INTRA – Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association – Mitzvah Horses— $3,000.00
Anita and Giora Shkedi are among the first Mitzvah Heroes that Kavod began to work with when we came together in 1993, and we remain astonished by their team’s ability to put broken lives back together in such extraordinary ways. The therapists and staff of INTRA use therapeutic horseback riding to achieve astonishing breakthroughs. Every day they are changing the lives of adults and children who suffer from a variety of emotional and/or physical difficulties, including wounded soldiers and victims of terror. Anita and Giora are largely retired from INTRA now, but their work endures with the next generation of their students.
Yotam Sheffy, Executive Director
JERUSALEM RAPE CRISIS CENTER— $2,000.00
The Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in Jerusalem, in memory of Linda Feldman, helps survivors of sexual abuse. They run educational programs for Israeli high school students to raise awareness about abuse and harassment. They also provide a Rape Crisis Center hotline.
Naomi Grossman, Resource Development Coordinator
JEWISH HELPING HANDS— $2,700.00
Rabbi Joel Soffin’s foundation Jewish Helping Hands provides ground-level financial and hands-on support to projects in Africa, Israel, and the United States in an effort to meet the basic necessities of a decent life. In each community where JHH works, local residents determine what would be most helpful. JHH works by supporting projects that make a tangible, substantial difference in the lives of people in need. These projects are accomplished with modest resources—both human and financial—that can be mustered realistically with a minimum of bureaucracy and red tape. Kavod has been privileged in the past to support JHH directly, and to partner with them on special projects.
Rabbi Joel E. Soffin
Kuchinate is an Israeli non-profit that provides psychological and social support for female asylum seekers – women who have fled Darfur or Eritrea and live among the African community in Tel Aviv. These women face oppression and disenfranchisement from the Israeli government, which considers the asylum seekers to be illegal residents. Kuchinate is a collective that trains them to produce crafts as well as to acquire management skills. The organization also provides therapy and a family-like supportive environment for them to cope with trauma, past and present. Our contribution has been directed through the Good People Fund.
PROJECT EZRA— $3,000.00
Project Ezra supports older adult Jews on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They combat poverty, despair and loneliness. They treat those they serve with the utmost tenderness, love, and honor. Project Ezra augments the below-poverty-level social security of many elders. They also send art therapists to homebound elders, many of whom suffer from dementia. Therapists help them use art to communicate. Especially during the Covid crisis, we are proud to support Project Ezra as they create community that keeps these elders safe and connected.
Justine Fisher, President
TEVEL B’TZEDEK— $3,000.00
Tevel B’Tzedek is an Israeli NGO that aims to create Jewish leadership that is passionately engaged in Tikkun Olam, locally and globally. From Israeli and North American Jewish communities, Tevel’s volunteers do community development work (think: “Peace Corps,” but under Jewish auspices and with Torah-values front and center) with impoverished communities in Nepal, to enhance and advance the livelihood, capacity, and wellbeing of their members. They are the experts on the ground in doing the work of community development work, and Rabbi Micha Odenheimer is a Mitzvah Hero par excellence, as well as a zealous advocate for social and climate justice in Israel and around the world. Our contribution has been directed through PEF-Israel Endowment Funds.
Rabbi Micha Odenheimer