KAVOD 2014 Annual Report

KAVOD 2014 Annual Report
Detailing Allocations and Activities from
January 1-December 31, 2013
8914 Farnam Court • Omaha, Nebraska • 68114-4076
[email protected]www.kavod.org

2013 Allocations: $40,100.00
Total allocations to date (’93-’13): $966,353.99
Expenses to date: $75.48

Thank you all for being our partners in another year of tzedakah (righteous giving-צדקה) and hesed (חסד-love). Below is a report of how we invested every dollar of your contributions. Once again, we operated at 0% overhead and supported tzedakot that strive for the same efficiency.

Our Ongoing Efforts to Be More Efficient and Mindful

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:

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 (2013).  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.


  1. American Jewish World Service………………………….$1,000
    American Jewish World Service, a co-founder of the Save Darfur Coalition, continues to work tirelessly to protect human dignity around the world.
    Our donation supported a project in Cambodia designed to empower local communities to understand and demand their land and natural resource rights by organizing communities, raising awareness, developing advocacy skills and teaching community members how to use media effectively.[AJWS, ATTN: Ruth Messinger,
    45 West 36th Street,
    NY, NY 10018
  2. Beit Frankforter: Jerusalem Center for the Aged………..$2,500
    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 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]; frankfor.bizhat.com/PresentationE.html]
  3. The Blue Card…………….$1,000
    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………..$1,000
    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. Our donation this year supports the “Let’s Cook” program which teaches hands on cooking and nutrition education classes with the goal of improving the health of the community. The four part cooking class series teaches individuals how to cook nutritious family friendly meals on a budget.  “Let’s Cook” includes a series of four weekly classes led by a certified Chef from the Promise Culinary School. This is a hands-on cooking class in a commercial kitchen. All classes and ingredients are free and are designed to improve the diets of members of the local community.[Elijah’s Promise:
    ATTN: Rev. Lisanne Finston,
    211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
    732-545-9002; www.elijahspromise.org]
  5. Free Loan Societies:
    Hebrew Free Loan Association of  San Francisco………………….$2,500
    Hebrew Free Loan Society of New York……………………………….$2,500
    Israel Free Loan Association……………………………………………….$2,500
    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;
    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. 011-972-2-563-0248; www.freeloan.org.il]
  6. Ganei Hayyim………………………………………………$1,800
    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
    [email protected]]
  7. The Good People Fund……………………….$2,500
    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)……………$1,500
    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;
  9. Harpswell Foundation……………………………….$1,800
    Founded by Professor Alan Lightman, the Harpswell Foundation is devoted to the mission of empowering a new generation of women leaders in the developing world, chiefly in Cambodia. By providing stipends, training, and support for some of the best and brightest young women in Cambodia, Harpswell is helping a country rebuild from the horrors of a genocide focused primarily on annihilating the educated class. Their work is inspiring and their graduates are changing the face of Cambodia in exciting ways.[Harpswell Foundation,  ATTN: Alan Lightman,
    P.O. Box 163, Concord, MA, 01742
  10. 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;
    011-972-9-866-6305; www.intra.org.il]
  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; 011-972-2-623-2451; [email protected]; jrcc.1202.org.il]
  12. 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]
  13. Kehilat Kol Haneshama………………………………$1,000
    Kol Haneshama is a Reform synagogue in the heart of Baka in Jerusalem dedicated to heartfelt prayer, community, egalitarianism, and social justice. We partnered with our friends at Kol Haneshama to support foreign workers living in Jerusalem.[Kol Haneshama, ATTN: Rabbi Levi Weiman Kelman,
    1 Asher Street, Jerusalem, 93470
  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………………………………$1,000
    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;
    011-972-2-623-2548; [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…………………………$1,000
    The Rabbanit Bracha Kapach, an Israel Prize winner, died this year at age 90 but her legacy lives on. We are honored to have been able to support the Rabbanit’s work for the past 24 years and grateful for the opportunities we had to be in her presence. The Rabbani fed the hungry, provided for impoverished brides, and did everything she could to live a life of hesed (compassion). To learn more about her amazing life, click here.[The Rabbanit Bracha Kapach,
    12 Lod St., Jerusalem, Israel;
  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; 011-972-2-648-2757, www.rhr.israel.net]
  20. The Social Cog*………………………………………$500
    Created by our friend Natalie Davis, The Social Cog addresses previously unmet needs for independently functioning adults with developmental and learning disabilities. The Social Cog creates connections and community for the participants. The goal of the activities is to create social connections between participants and create a sense of community through enriching experiences.[The Social Cog
    ATTN: Natalie Davis,
    540 West 51st Terrace, Miami, FL 33140;
    305-501-2323, thesocialcog.org]
  21. 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]
  22. Ya’akov Maimon Volunteers…………………….$3,000
    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, Meir Zaraya, 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: Meir Zaraya,
    Kibbutz Palmach Tzuba,
    D.N. Haray Yehuda, Israel, 90870
    [email protected]]

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