HOPE & Giving Jewishly

Posted on February 24, 2010

Last week with the help and support of Targum Shlishi, a Raquel and Aryeh Rubin Foundation we launched a new Jewish teen philanthropy program at Yeshivat Noam called H.O.P.E. -Helping Organizations Provide Essentials. At the first session we had an awesome conversation on what it means to give Jewishly. The text and questions below can be used to help address these issues and engage participants in an important and timely conversation.

Succa 49b
Our Rabbis taught: Deeds of loving kindness are superior to charity in three respects. Charity can be accomplished only with money; deeds of loving kindness can be accomplished through personal involvement as well as with money. Charity can be given only to the poor; deeds of loving kindness can be done for both poor and rich. Charity applies only to the living; deeds of loving kindness apply to both the living and the dead.

  • If according to the Talmud chesed (deeds of loving kindness) is better than tzedakah (charity) why does the Jewish community often emphasize tzedakah instead of chesed?
  • How is chesed incorporated into Jewish teen philanthropy programs?
  • How do you incorporate these values into your life on a daily basis? Is it possible to do so?

Questions to Think About…

  • Do you have a Jewish quote or teaching that guides your philosophy to giving?
  • How does your Judaism impact your giving?
  • What does “giving Jewishly” mean? Is it required?
  • If one is Jewish, how does “giving Jewishly” differ from “giving”, if at all?

In the coming weeks I hope to share other activities and resources that can be incorporated into teen philanthropy as well as other informal and educational programs.

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