Giving


Are Mitzvah Days An Excuse To Stay Away?

By Linda K. Wertheimer

Some synagogues are taking steps to make sure Mitzvah Day volunteers do not treat the one-day event as their only community service commitment each year.Read More


New Language Meets New ‘Genius’

By Gabrielle Birkner

As early immigrants to what is now Israel were learning how to communicate in a revived ancient language, the hard-of-hearing among them were creating a new language altogether. Combining signs from most all of the different countries from which the Jewish populations emigrated, Israeli Sign Language began to take shape in the 1930s. Around the same time, in a small village in Israel’s Negev Desert, another sign language was forming — one that did not grow out of older, existing sign languages, but arose, organically, out of the need to communicate with four deaf children born into one Bedouin family.Read More


Someone To Run With in Israel

By Nathan Jeffay

It had to be one of the most moving reality TV moments. On September 4, seconds before 18-year-old Holon resident Diana Golbi was crowned winner of “Kokhav Nolad,” Israel’s version of “American Idol,” program makers revealed how she had started on the road to national stardom.Read More


Study Finds Jews Donate More to Poor

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Jews make more donations than people of other religions to “basic needs” causes, which are those that focus on food, shelter and other fundamental necessities, according to a recent study comparing philanthropic patterns among Americans of different faiths.Read More


Living on Life’s Barest Edge

For the past 15 years, Sasha Chanoff has worked in refugee rescue, relief and resettlement operations in Africa and the United States. In 2004, he founded Mapendo International, a humanitarian organization that rescues and protects refugees in Africa who live in peril in war-torn communities. Despite the urgent needs of these people, in the past decade more than 200,000 slots for resettlement to the United States have gone unfilled. Mapendo International fills this gap by enabling the most vulnerable people to permanently relocate to countries where they can rebuild their lives safely and eventually attain citizenship.Read More


From Sex.com to Clean and Green

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Clean-tech entrepreneur and Jewish philanthropist Gary Kremen walked through his home in Los Altos Hills, Calif., on a recent afternoon. He held his 5-month-old son, Isaac, in one arm and gestured with the other arm to the environmentally friendly baby paraphernalia.Read More


When Kindness Counts, a Dinner To Say Thanks

By Dorothy Lipovenko

The buffet dinner hummed with a festive air: plates of fragrant chicken; amiable chatter; little gifts of scented soap and candles, opened with unrestrained glee.Read More


Three Major Grant Makers Offer To Finance Digital Media Projects

The Jewish community is full of big ideas to foster Jewish culture and community online. Now, finding money to bring those innovations to life is about to get a little easier. Three major players on the Jewish philanthropic scene — the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation and The Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation — have pooled resources to create the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund. In this inaugural year, the philanthropies are making available $500,000 to finance a range of digital media projects.Read More


Jewish Geography, the Maine Way

By Gary Shapiro

Call it two degrees of separation. Jews with connections to the state of Maine journeyed in September to a lakefront home in Westchester County, N.Y. They came from around New York to meet and reminisce about this most northeasterly state.Read More


Getting Schooled in Tzedakah

By Howard Shapiro

For Andrea Engel, giving to charity and volunteering for charity work — two basic facets of tzedakah — came as second nature. As a high school student in Birmingham, Ala., she headed her B’nai B’rith Youth Organization fundraising effort. As a Northwestern University undergraduate in suburban Chicago, she served on the executive board for the university’s huge marathon fundraiser and raised money for the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.Read More


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