What is a Tzedakah Fund?
How shall we best celebrate a simkha, or express our appreciation for someone else’s graceful presence in our lives? How mark our sense of time and loved ones passing, or take a meaningful stand for our values? Jewish tradition responds with one word: tzedakah, the Jewish word for a donation to a good cause.
In shuls in our own day those causes are identified by Tzedakah Funds:
- To pay tribute to a young girl’s work to be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah, one might send tzedakah to Shir Tikvah’s Torah fund.
- To commemorate a loved one’s yahrzeit (anniversary of a death), tzedakah could be donated to any one of Shir Tikvah’s funds that best expresses that person’s life and values: Life Long Learning, Children’s Activities, Prayer Book, Festival celebrations, Music, Judaica…
- To help your fellow congregants quietly and effectively, send tzedakah to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. Rabbi administers that fund herself for the benefit of those who need help among our congregational family.
- To express your commitment to building a strong community, you can honor a simkha or commemorate a loved one by sending tzedakah to the Kiruv Fund, which supplements dues for those who are temporarily unable to pay, or the Cemetery fund, to help us do the mitzvah of caring for those who can no longer care for themselves.
In Jewish tradition, tzedakah tatzil mimavet, “tzedakah saves from death” (Proverbs 10.2). The giving of tzedakah will not keep someone from dying, no; but the act of tzedakah given in someone’s honor causes that person’s existence to make a difference for good in the world. Tzedakah, then, saves from the death which is the absence of the creation of good, of caring, and of justice.
Our community is as good, caring and just as the support each of us gives it. Please consider Shir Tikvah’s Tzedakah Funds when you want to give tzedakah.
Ten strong things were created in this world –
a mountain is strong, but iron cuts through it.
Iron is strong, but fire causes it to bubble.
Fire is strong, but water extinguishes it.
Water is strong, but clouds contain it.
Clouds are strong, but the wind (ruakh) scatters them.
Breath (ruakh) is strong, but the body holds it in.
The body is strong, but fear breaks it.
Fear is strong, but wine dissipates its effects.
Wine is strong, but sleep overcomes its power.
Death is harder than any of them.
But tzedakah saves from death, as it is written:
“Tzedakah saves from death”. Babylonian Talmud, Bava Batra 10a
To see a complete listing of all the different funds, click here.
To download a form for donating, click here.