KAVOD 2010 Annual Report

KAVOD 2010 Annual Report
Detailing Allocations and Activities from January 1-December 31, 2009
8914 Farnam Court • Omaha, Nebraska • 68114-4076
[email protected]www.kavod.org

2009 Allocations:   $41,100.00
Total allocations to date (’93-’09): $787,653.99
Expenses to date: $75.48

The days grow shorter. The temperature drops. Winter is upon us. For many of those whom we serve, it is the most vulnerable time of year.

In the midst of it all comes our holiday of hope—Hanukah. From the depths of despair, in the shadow of the darkest night, there is light. There are miracles and wonders: a hand reaching out to lift up the fallen; a heart turned toward the other in love; a hot meal; an interest-free loan; a big brother to play with; a care package that says, “You are not alone.”

With your help, through your donations, we at KAVOD have once again partnered with Mitzvah Heroes to bring hope and healing. And especially in these challenging  times, our Heroes continue to inspire us by the ways they reach out to others with commitment and love. In the pages that follow, you’ll learn how we distributed every dime you entrusted to us during the past year.

Thank you all once again for giving us the opportunity to help. Please enable us continue our work by returning the enclosed envelope today with a check made out to KAVOD.

Online donations can be made at  www.KAVOD.org, at www.justgive.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 (please 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.

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:

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 fees 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. Please note that some donations to specific KAVOD beneficiaries are donor-directed.

This winter and throughout the year,  we can bring warmth, kindness, and dignity to a great many people in need. Thank you for all your efforts.


  1. Beit Frankforter: Jerusalem Center for the Aged………..$3,500
    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 this year, 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;
    011-972-2-671-4848; [email protected]; http://frankfor.bizhat.com/centre.html]
  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,
    [email protected]; 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………..$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,
    18 Neilson St., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901. 732-545-9002; www.elijahspromise.org]
  5. Emergency Assistance…..$350
    We provided direct financial assistance for one Jerusalem family in need.
  6. Free Loan Societies:
    Hebrew Free Loan Association of  San Francisco……………..$3,500
    Israel Free Loan Association……………………………………….. $3,500
    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 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. 011-972-2-563-0248; 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
  8. Humans and Animals in Mutual Assistance (HAMA)……………$2,000
    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. 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; 011-972-9-866-6305; www.intra.org.il]
  10. Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)…………………………….$1,500
    IRAC is the public and legal advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.  The people at IRAC work to make the State of Israel  more democratic and pluralistic. They 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.[IRAC,  13 King David Street, POB 31936, Jerusalem, Israel 91319; 011-972-2-620-3323; www.irac.org]
  11. Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center (JRCC)……………………………$2,000
    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: Michal Rosin, P.O.B. 2549, Jerusalem, Israel, 91024; 011-9722-623-2451; [email protected]; jrcc.1202.org.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; 011-972-2-620-3447; www.wupj.org]
  13. 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]
  14. 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. 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; [email protected]]
  15. 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 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………………………………$1,500
    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;
    011-972-2-623-2548; [email protected]; www.apackagefromhome.org]
  17. 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. 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……………………………$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;
  19. 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.
    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; 011-972-2-648-2757, www.rhr.israel.net]
  20. 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. They are currently building a fantastic new center in Jerusalem which will include a park designed especially for people with different abilities.[SHALVA, ATTN: Rabbi Kalman Samuels,
    POB 34449, Jerusalem, Israel, 91344;
  21. Ta Shma…………………….$1,000
    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;
  22. 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]
  23. Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers………………………………..$2,000
    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.
    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.
    011-975-4-563-7920; [email protected]]

Kavod Star

Texts from the 2010 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

To follow the Most High is to know that nothing is of greater importance than the approach made towards one’s neighbor, the concern with the fate of the ‘widow and the orphan, the stranger and the poor person’, and that no approach made with empty hands can count as an approach… The traumatism of my enslavement in Egypt constitutes my very humanity, that which draws me closer to the problems of the wretched of the earth, to all persecuted people.

Emmanuel Levinas

“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 committed 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

To know God is to know what must be done.

Emmanuel Levinas