KAVOD 2021 Annual Report

Detailing Allocations and Activities from
January 1-December 31, 2021
8914 Farnam Court • Omaha, Nebraska • 68114-4076
[email protected] • www.kavod.org

2021 Allocations:  $65,500.00
Total allocations to date (’93-’21): $1,660,001.15
Expenses to date: $75.48

We first connected to the AFYA foundation at the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020, when we were searching for grassroots Tzedakah projects to get medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPEs) into the hands of people who needed them most urgently. We’ve continued to stay connected to them, as the pandemic continues and other crises have emerged. Afya’s mission is to improve global health by rescuing surplus medical supplies and delivering them to underserved health systems around the world. Kavod’s donation supported their work all around the world, and especially in Haiti after the August 2021 earthquake and in Kentucky after the devastating December tornado.

Danielle Butin, CEO
Afya Foundation
140 Saw Mill River Road, Yonkers, NY 10701


Anita and Giora Shkedi were among the first Mitzvah Heroes that Kavod worked with when we came together as a Tzedakah Collective. They are the pioneers of therapeutic horseback riding in Israel, a form of physical therapy that achieves astonishing results in putting back together broken bodies and broken lives. The number of miracles that Anita and Giora have achieved over the years is simply awesome. Now Anita has branched out, writing and teaching online seminars to students all over the world. Her 2021 book, Horses Heal PTSD: Walking New Paths is not just for specialists; it is full of extraordinary testimonies of people whose experiences with hippotherapy have helped them recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. Our donation paid for a Hebrew translation of the book, so that Anita’s disciples throughout Israel will be able to continue their lifesaving work.

Anita Shkedi
Tel Mond, Israel


BEIT URI— $4,500.00
“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. Throughout the pandemic, Beit Uri has been 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. The community that they have built in Afula is dignified, compassionate, and full of light.

Beit Uri
4 Rehov Tzukit, Afula, Israel
Jeanette Koll, Resource Development



Leket – the Biblical injunction to rescue the gleanings of a harvest and distribute them to people in need – is happening in Massachusetts. Boston Area Gleaners supports 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 over 1 million pounds of produce annually and deliver it directly to hundreds of hunger relief organizations in the region.

Boston Area Gleaners
240 Beaver Street, Waltham, MA  02452
Paul Franceschi, Development & Outreach Coordinator



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 justice 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.

Eudaimonia, A Purposeful Period Band
Cambridge, MA
Vivian Montgomery and Julia McKenzie, Founders



FOOD FORWARD— $2,000.00
Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce and 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. One hundred percent of these fresh fruits and vegetables are donated to over 1,800 hunger relief agencies across eight counties in Southern California.

Food Forward
7412 Fulton Ave., #3, North Hollywood, CA 91605
Jen Cox, Chief Development Officer



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. A portion of our contribution provided meals for impoverished children in Haifa’s schools. The remainder supported the rest of their work, including creating meaningful and honorable simchas/Jewish life cycle events for children and families.

Gesharim Letikvah
44 Rehov Leon Blum, #20, Haifa, Israel
Rabbi Edgar Nof



Naomi Eisenberger has been among the primary inspirations for our style of grassroots Tzedakah work since we created 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 difference. The Good People Fund lifts up 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.

The Good People Fund
384 Wyoming Avenue, Millburn, NJ 07041
Naomi Eisenberger, Executive Director



New York’s Hebrew Free Loan Society was founded by leaders of the Jewish immigrant community in 1892. A perfect illustration of Maimonides’s highest level of Tzedakah, HFLS is supporting people in need in a wide variety of ways: education bills, health care, housing, starting new businesses and vocational training, recovering from the financial impact of Covid, and much more. As loans are repaid – their repayment rate is 99.9%! – the money is “recycled” to help others navigate financial emergencies and land on their feet.

Hebrew Free Loan Society
675 Third Avenue, Suite 1905, New York, NY 10017
Rabbi David Rosenn, Executive Director



HIDDUSH – Freedom of Religion for Israel— $4,000.00
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 of 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 (including their Annual Israel Religion & State Index), providing crucial data for policymakers; advocate tirelessly for civil rights throughout Israeli society; provide legal defense for victims of religious discrimination; and host powerful and informative education programs and webinars.

Hiddush: For Religious Freedom and Equality
24 Rehov HaOman, Jerusalem
Rabbi Uri Regev



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. And they have adapted admirably during the Covid pandemic, to make sure that hundreds of New Yorkers continue to be fed.

HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen
Brookdale Center, One West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012


INTRA – Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association— $3,000.00
In February we made our final donation to INTRA, one of the very first Mitzvah projects that Kavod supported. Sadly, last summer INTRA closed its doors after many years of providing hippotherapy to adults and children suffering from a wide variety of emotion and/or physical disabilities. Fortunately, the legacy of Anita and Giora Shkedi will go on, through Anita’s new projects (see “Anita Shkedi’s New Book,” above) and their multitude of students throughout Israel and around the world.


The JRCC, in memory of Linda Feldman, is another Kavod project that we have been involved with since our inception. Through the empowerment of women from all backgrounds, they provide a myriad of support and services to survivors of sexual assault. They run a 24-hour hotline, conduct workshops and support groups, provide accompaniment to legal proceedings, and conduct educational programs for Israeli high school students to raise  awareness about abuse and harassment.

Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center
PO Box 7815, Jerusalem, Israel
Naomi Grossman, Resource Development Coordinator



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 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 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.

Jewish Helping Hands
90 Riverside Drive, Apt. 4C, New York, NY 10024
Rabbi Joel E. Soffin, Founder and President



KUCHINATE— $4,000.00
Kuchinate, the African Refugee Women’s Collective, is an Israeli, women-led 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.

104 Sderot Har Tziyon, Tel Aviv
Orli Fridkes, Operations Manager



Kavod board member Rabbi Susan Lippe connected us to this great group of people who are doing extraordinary work with people on the edge in Austin, TX. TOOF is a grassroots homelessness services organization that provides shelter, support, food and medical care, access to showers and other basic necessities of human dignity, and case support in a unified effort to move people from dependence to independence. Their reach and compassion are impressive and powerful. The fact that their name is an allusion to one of the greatest of Grateful Dead songs is purely a bonus.

The Other Ones Foundation
9411 Lightwood Cove, Austin, TX 78748
Jared Slack, Development Director



PROJECT EZRA— $1,000.00
Since 1972, Project Ezra has supported Jewish elders on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, providing companionship and community and enabling them to live with dignity with a myriad of programs and services. Especially during the Covid crisis, we are proud to support Project Ezra as they create community that keeps these elders safe and connected.

Project Ezra
387 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002
Justine Fisher, President



Kavod Board member Rabbi Jay Moses brought this inspirational project to our attention. Restore Elikia is the vision of Nicole and Will O’Brien, two extraordinary people whose deep faith inspired them to build better lives for the women and orphans of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC has an estimated 5 million orphans, who are at serious risk of becoming the victims of sexual violence, child trafficking, or becoming child soldiers. Restore Elikia seeks to transform lives by partnering with local leaders to develop stabilizing and safe institutions. We’ve been watching the evolution of the medical clinic and school that they are building, and it is simply astonishing. Our donation helps the construction of these projects, as well as job training, parenting education, providing food necessities, and other sorts of community development.

Restore Elikia
71 S. Merkle Road, Bexley, OH 43209
Nicole & Will O’Brien, Founders



A new Kavod project in 2021, Shelter Music Boston performs classical music concerts and cultural events in shelters and organizations that serve individuals who are homeless or in recovery. Just consider: For a homeless or recovering person, an interactive, dignified concert can deliver the therapeutic power of classical music and provide hope, self-worth, and renewed energy to address the challenges of dependency. Their performances are truly inspiring. In 2019 they performed a chamber opera called “Florence Comes Home,” celebrating 20th Century African American composer Florence Beatrice Price, who wrote more than 300 works and was the first woman to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra. In 2022, they will be presenting a new initiative with three Boston-based African-American poets, pairing them with local African-American classical musicians, to create a program that will increase the representation of what classical music can be. By all means, check out their YouTube site and see their amazing performances – the very essence of what kavod is all about.

Shelter Music Boston
1337 Massachusetts Avenue #116, Arlington, MA 02476
Erin Merceruio Nelson, Director of Development & Operations



The Social Cog is a South Florida based non-profit that is helping adults with autism and other developmental and social challenges to form community and build friendships. They provide regular outings and activities with an accepting peer group, as well as personalized attention and guidance with a “social coach.” Kavod has long been enamored with the personalized connections and the pure love that they are providing to their community.

The Social Cog
540 West 51st Terrace, Miami, FL 33140
Nicholas Maccarrone, Executive Director



TEVEL B’TZEDEK— $3,000.00
Tevel B’Tzedek is an Israeli NGO that is developing young Jewish leadership that is passionately engaged in Tikkun Olam, locally and globally. Drawing young volunteers from Israel and North America, Tevel has developed a unique community development model (think: “Peace Corps,” but under Jewish auspices and with Torah-values front and center), working with impoverished communities in Nepal to provide sufficient nutrition, clean water, housing, and basic health and education. They are the experts on the ground doing the work of community development and Founding Director 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. We are proud to support their work—and encourage those in their 20s and 30s in Kavod’s audience to explore volunteer opportunities with Tevel in Nepal.

Tevel b’Tzedek
PO Box 20110, Tel Aviv, Israel
Yonatan Bram, Director




Since its inception in 2010, World Central Kitchen has used food resources to empower communities and strengthen economies on five continents. Their scale is a bit larger than most of Kavod’s recipients, but we reached out to WCK while the pandemic was raging in order to provide direct support with our Tzedakah. We were especially inspired by their work in supporting restaurants that have been devastated in the Covid economy. The power and reach of their Mitzvah-work is truly global.

World Central Kitchen
1342 Florida Ave., NW, Washington DC, 20009
Erin Gore, Senior Vice President, Development



YAD ELIE— $2,500.00
Yad Elie is alleviating food insecurity by providing school meals to hungry students in both East and West Jerusalem and by promoting nutrition education in some of the poorest parts of the city. Currently, they work with 12 different programs across the city. We partnered with our friends at Jewish Helping Hands to help Yad Elie provide food and tutoring in Jerusalem for all children in need—with a special eye on their outreach to Ethiopian-Israeli children.

Yad Eli
Rehov Meir Nakar 27/2, Jerusalem