KAVOD 2008 Annual Report

KAVOD 2008 Annual Report
Detailing Allocations and Activities from January 1-December 31, 2007
8914 Farnam Court • Omaha, Nebraska • 68114-4076
[email protected]www.kavod.org

Allocations, 2007: $88,173.00
Total allocations to date (’93-’07): $676.723.53
Expenses to date: $75.48

Yasher koach (great job), KAVOD supporters, on a fantastic year!

In our 14th year as a tzedakah collective, we raised an all-time high amount of over $88,000 with ZERO overhead. That’s right! Once again, 100% of all the donations we received went directly to “mitzvah heroes” around the globe who are striving to repair the world, one mitzvah at a time.

Because of the generosity of KAVOD donors, we increased our contributions to dozens of organizations helping thousands of people: therapeutic horseback riders, hungry families at a New Jersey soup kitchen, impoverished Holocaust survivors, elderly Israelis comforted by companion animals, Ethiopian Jews, beneficiaries of free-loan societies, women seeking solace at a rape crisis center, Jews in the former USSR, learning-disabled students in Jewish day schools, victims of the campaign of genocide in Darfur and many more.

The challenges that lie ahead, however, require that we redouble our efforts going forward. While our nation’s attention is drawn to the presidential election, the price of gasoline, and the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, KAVOD can take concrete actions to augment the health, happiness and dignity of our fellow human beings. Mitzvah heroes are reaching out to those in need every day and your support helps them to succeed.

In the pages that follow, you’ll learn how we distributed every dime entrusted to us.

A Few Changes as We Go Forward

In spite of economic challenges and rising costs, KAVOD is redoubling its efforts to maintain our 0% overhead. While none of your donated dollars are used for expenses, those costs continue to be covered by board members and anonymous contributors who desire to spend less on such things as postage and give more to KAVOD’s beneficiaries.

To accomplish this we are doing the following:

  1. Sending only ONE mass 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.
  2. All “repeat donations” will be acknowledged by postcard rather than a 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 six 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 2007 our KAVOD Fellows distributed over $13,923 to nine different organizations. We are extremely proud of their work and excited about growing this program. We wish a hearty mazel tov to Rabbis Erica Greenbaum Gerson and Elana Erdstein Perry on completing their fellowships. Mazel tov as well to HUC-JIR 2nd year student Brian Immerman for being chosen as this year’s Fellow. For more on the Fellowship program, see page 3.

Todah Rabbah: 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 Rosie Zweiback, who deposits 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 message; designs, produces, and distributes our beautiful KAVOD tribute cards, and handles all of the day-to-day administration. Thank you Judy for all you do for KAVOD.

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:

8914 Farnam Court
Omaha, NE  68114-4076

Now, you can also donate online at: www.justgive.org or www.networkforgood.org. (Please note that all online donations are subject to a fee from the providers—not fromKAVOD.)

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 wonderful 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.


  1. Beit Frankforter: Jerusalem Center for the Aged………………….$2,500
    Inspired by the model of Myriam Mendilow, k”z, the people of Beit Frankforter are committed to preserving the essential KAVOD of their community of elders in Jerusalem. Sima Zini and her staff have created a community center that uplifts and honors seniors who enjoy regular care not only from dentists and ophthalmologists, but also from hairdressers, reflexologists, manicurists, and yoga instructors.  Our funds this year helped support the “Sandwich for Every Child” program. 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
    [email protected]
  2. 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, #1405, NY, NY 10016
  3. Congregation   Sulam Ya’akov…………………………….$2,000
    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.
    KBY Congregations Together, Inc.
    c/o Jeff Macklis
    POB 23170
    Brooklyn, NY 11202
    [email protected]
  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, 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 develop a similar program in your community?
    Elijah’s Promise
    ATTN: Rev. Lisanne Finston
    211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ, 08902
  5. Foundation for Retinal Research…………………………….$500*
    Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LAC) is an eye disorder that can lead to vision loss. Founded in 1998 at a time when very little was known about LAC, the Foundation for Retinal Research helps researchers and families of people with LAC learn more.  The Foundation aims to help create and provide the best treatment possible so, ultimately, LAC can be prevented and cured. The Foundation shares our commitment to stretching every dollar to maximize the impact of our support.
    Foundation for Retinal Research
    ATTN: David Brint or Ronnie Schwartz,
    666 Dundee Road, Suite 1104, Northbrook, IL, 60062.
    224-927-5063, [email protected];
  6. 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

    ATTN: Jesse Glickstein,
    4144 Chase Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140.
    877-775-3873; [email protected]

  7. Humans and Animals in Mutual Assistance (HAMA)……………$1,500*
    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’ve been abused, people suffering from post traumatic stress, and survivors of the horrors of the Shoah.
    ATTN: Avshalom Beni, POB 3241, Savyon 56524, Israel,
  8. 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
    Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco
    ATTN: Edward Cushman
    131 Steuart Street, Suite 425, San Francisco, CA, 94105
    Israel Free Loan Association
    ATTN: Prof. Eliezer Jaffe
    Rehov Rivka 29
    Jerusalem, Israel 93461
  9. Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association – Mitzvah Horses (INTRA)……………………………..$6,000
    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, Hadassah Village, 40298, Israel
    [email protected]
  10. IRAC………………………….$3,000
    IRAC is the public and legal advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.  Executive Director Anat Hoffman recently shared this success story with us. After six years and with the help of IRAC’s petition to Israel’s Supreme Court, the State of Israel finally recognized John Anzola’s conversion to Judaism under the auspices of the Reform Rabbinate of Argentina. We hope the day will come when this kind of tireless work will no longer be necessary. Together we strive for the day when 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.
    ATTN: Anat Hoffman
    33 Jaffa Street, POB 31936
  11. Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center………………………………$3,000
    The Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in Memory of Linda Feldman helps survivors of sexual abuse. The JRCC also runs educational programs for Israeli high school students to raise awareness about abuse and harassment. About one third of the callers to the Rape Crisis Center hotline are under 18 years of age. So many of these young survivors are afraid to seek much needed medical and emotional help, and it is truly a blessing for them to have a safe place to find solace and counsel. 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
    [email protected]
  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
    13 King David Street, Jerusalem, Israel 94101
  13. Jewish World Watch………….$1,500*
    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
    Rabbi Harold Schulweis, Chairman
    16944 Ventura Blvd, #1, Encino, CA 91316
    [email protected]
  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 kavodof all of God’s children is protected. Our gift helped provide scholarships for families in need.
    ATTN: Rabbi Ezra Levy
    18900 NE 25th Avenue, North Miami Beach, FL, 33180
    [email protected]
  15. Lev Ramot………..………..$1,000
    Lev Ramot is, literally, the “Heart of Ramot,” a neighborhood in Jerusalem. Lev Ramot picks up left-over 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 the next client’s door. The dignity of the recipient is protected because the recipient and the one delivering the food never meet one another.[Lev Ramot, ATTN: Moshe Koth,
    Lev Ramot
    ATTN: Moshe Koth
    6 Schechtman Street
    Jerusalem, ISRAEL
  16. Maureen Kushner……………$2,000
    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. This year’s donation helped provide a new shipping container for Maureen’s traveling exhibition.
    Maureen Kushner
    122 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11217
    [email protected]
  17. 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.
    ATTN: Barbara Ribakove Gordon
    132 Nassau Street, #412, NY, NY, 10038
  18. A Package From Home…………………..$6,000
    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 L’Yisrael Street, Jerusalem, Israel, 92428
    [email protected]
  19. 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, call Misha and come down to Project Ezra to see their amazing work first-hand.
    Project Ezra
    ATTN: Misha Avramoff
    465 Grand Street, 4th Floor
    NY, NY 10002
  20. Rabbanit Bracha Kapach…………………..$8,000
    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
  21. 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.
    Three 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 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
    42 Gaza Road
    Jerusalem, Israel
  22. SHALVA (“Serenity”)…………………………$500
    Shalva was founded on the premise that mentally and physically challenged children are not just the responsibility of the families to which they were born. These children and their families need and deserve the support of the extended community. Shalva is their lifeline, providing developmentally disabled children with a loving environment that helps them reach their full potential and gives parents the ability to keep them at home, with the family.
    Shalva 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
  23. 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’s experience has shown that children learn better and feel better about themselves when they are able to come to school with properly fitting shoes and clothes, rather than worn out or ill-fitting hand-me-downs. The organization creates wish lists for particular schools and then seeks sponsors to fulfill the wishes. In this way, the sponsor purchases the exact items those children require and delivers the items to the school. Every penny spent goes directly to helping the children STF supports.
    Shoes That Fit
    ATTN: Roni Lomeli
    1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Suite 107-B, Claremont, CA, 91711
  24. 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 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.
    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
  25. Table to Table………………………$1,000*
    Table to Table works to combat hunger in Israel by making sure that leftover food doesn’t go to waste. They work to fulfill the Biblical command of Leviticus 23 which requires us to leave some of our gleanings for the hungry. Founded by Joe Gitler five years ago, Table to Table works with caterers, corporate campuses, and food manufacturers  in Israel to make sure that literally tons of perfectly good food makes its way to those in need. Table to Table also harnesses a large group of volunteers to prepare sandwiches for hungry schoolchildren.
    Table to Table
    ATTN: Joseph Gitler
    Hasadna 11, POB 2297
    Ra’anana, Israel, 011-942-9-744-1757, cell 011-972-52-876-3516
    [email protected]
  26. 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.”
    ATTN: Ronald Weingart, O.D.
    1335 Douglas Road, Montgomery, IL, 60538
  27. 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.  Many Israelis also helped the olim with language skills in the past, and many Israelis help new olim with the same tutoring today. Maimon volunteers exemplify that special, caring attention to individuality.
    Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers
    ATTN: Eiton Green
    Kibbutz Palmach Tzuba, D.N. Haray Yehuda, Israel, 90870
    [email protected]
  28. ZIV Tzedakah Fund…………………….$1,000
    Our dear friend, mentor, and teacher, Danny Siegel, has been inspiring and enabling mitzvah heroes for almost three decades. His ZIV fund has distributed over $10,000,000 in tzedakah. His books and lectures have touched the lives of thousands of people.
    However, more important than how many they’ve touched and how much they’ve given away is the menschlik way they’ve done their work. As Danny puts it: “Mitzvah heroes are our teachers in Tikkun Olam… They see, hear, and touch aspects of life that we may have missed, and they put their mind, heart, and soul into their efforts to make life good or better or even the best possible for thousands of individuals. And, they save lives that would otherwise have been lost.”
    After 27 years in business, Danny and the ZIV board decided to close down the fund and are no longer accepting donations. But Danny and Naomi and Arnie and all the good people at ZIV will continue their sacred work in other ways and we at KAVOD will be here to support them  in whatever they do. Thanks, Danny, for all you’ve done for us at KAVOD, for the Jewish People, and for all humanity. May you go from strength to strength. May we merit to do mitzvahs together for years and years to come.


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 a bigger and bigger 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 [email protected]. 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 Sandi Intraub’s Fellowship.”)

Note: Matt Soffer raised funds to support Progressive Judaism in Israel. Since the donations were distributed in early 2008, full details will be included in next year’s annual report.

Tzedakah Distributed by the KAVOD Fellows, 2007………………….$13,923

Erica Greenbaum Gerson directed $1,800 to AKIM, an organization in Israel that helps mentally handicapped people and their families (http://www.akim.org.il/english/); $7,058 to United Hatzalah of Israel (www.unitedhatzalah.org), a network of over 1,000 volunteer throughout Israel who are trained EMTs, paramedics and doctors. These volunteers go about their day and keep their emergency first responder gear close at hand so they can respond immediately to any crisis. Her donation purchased 2 portable defibrillators and a number of burnshield kits.

Sandi Intraub directed $1,080 to Jewish World Watch (www.jewishworldwatch.org); $296 to the Save Darfur Coalition (http://www.savedarfur.org), an organization dedicated to inspiring action and raising awareness about the genocide in Darfur.

Beth Kalisch directed $960 to Digital Divide Data (www.digitaldividedata.org), an organization that aims to use technology to improve the lives of citizens of some of least developed nations in the world; $710 to Shalva (www.shalva.org); and $725 to Yad HaChazakah: The Jewish Disability Empowerment Center, an organization run by Jews with disabilities designed to help other Jews with disabilities manage daily life, find work, and form loving relationships (www.yad-jdec.org).

Elana Erdstein Perry directed $1,114 to Accion USA (http://www.accionusa.org), an organization that provides micro-loans to low-income small business owners so they can become self-sufficient; $180 to Nothing But Nets, a grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa (www.nothingbutnets.net).

Kavod Star