I have heard it far too many times to count, my gift won’t really matter. My gift is so small? How could my gift make a real impact? The needs are so great!
At the end of every Jewish worship service, the Aleinu prayer states a goal of the Jewish people to “perfect the world under the sovereignty of God.” The term “perfect the world” in Hebrew is Tikkun Olam , which also means to fix or repair the world. The Torah also claims “there will never cease to be needy ones in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11).
So, why does Federation spend so much time focused on every dollar, every donor and every gift? Let’s explore our history and the realities of today.
In the Hebrew language the closest word to philanthropy is Tzedakah. While the word is used interchangeably for charity, Tzedakah is seen as a form of social justice provided by the donor as well as those who utilize the support to do their work and those who allow the support into their lives.
As is the case with justice, this critical social responsibility cannot be done to someone – rather, it must be done with someone. In Hebrew, the word meaning “to give” is Natan. In Hebrew and in English, the word can be read forward and backward, so when we think about philanthropy and idea of “to give” it is also about “to receive.”
So much more than a financial transaction, philanthropy in the spirit of Tzedakah builds trusting relationships and recognizes that everyone can contribute to our communal strength. Tzedakah has two aspects: one with the hand and one with the heart.
Let’s look at a recent example of the power of each gift. Our Ukraine Emergency Fund has raised over $350,000, more than 95% of those gifts were under $250 and many were under $100. Look at all we have done, and this was only through April 15:
- In the first month of the Crisis in Ukraine you helped serve 32,000 needy Jews in Ukraine with home visits, medical and food assistance and more (pre-war the number was 37,000)
- Sent over 200 tons of humanitarian aid
- Provided temporary housing for 18,600 people
- Fed 31,300 people with meals
- Treated 1,800 people via Israeli telemedicine
- Evacuated 11,900 Ukrainians to other countries
- Handled 15,300 emergency calls across 11 hotlines
- 12,100 refugees (both Jewish and Non-Jewish) have been fed and housed
- 7,000 refugees have received on-the-ground support in Ukraine
- 5,500+ Jewish Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Israel
- 7,800 beds have been rented
- 55,000+ calls have been received at various hotlines
- Served as the lifeline for 18,000 Jewish elderly and 2,500 poor Jewish children
So does you gift matter! Yes, because without you, we aren’t as strong.
For more information and to donate to the Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund, visit: