Tzedakah and tikkun olam (the repair of the world) are critical values that help define what it means to live a Jewish life. By making charitable donations and volunteering, parents teach these values to their children.
The Jewish Community of Louisville’s B’nai Tzedek program empowers teens to make the transition from observers of their parents’ commitment to helping others to active participants in these mitzvot.
On Sunday, December 18, all teens who started B’nai Tzedek funds in 2010 or 2011 and all those who are considering starting funds are invited to the B’nai Tzedek Kickoff Event. The program will run from 2-5 p.m. and will start and end at the Jewish Community Center.
B’nai Tzedekers have small endowment funds, and each year, they get to recommend charities that will receive donations from the distributable portion of their funds. At the B’nai Tzedek Kickoff, the teens will learn about some agencies they might consider supporting. They will visit some local agencies and learn about some national and world-wide organizations. The final decision is still theirs.
Here’s how the B’nai Tzedek program works.
Each participant establishes a charitable endowment in his/her own name with the Foundation by giving a donation of at least $300 from the bat/bat mitzvah gifts he/she receives. A $200 grant from the Lewis D. Cole B’nai Tzedek Fund is added to each account. Then once a year, the teens make recommendations for making grants from their allocable dollars.
These endowments grow through additional donations as well as investment income. Anyone can contribute to a B’nai Tzedek fund at any time. Additional donations are a great way to mark birthdays, confirmations and other special occasions.
To RSVP for the B’nai Tzedek Kickoff, to receive more information about the B’nai Tzedek program or to set up a fund, contact Middle School Director and Senior High Citywide Coordinator David Siskin at 238-2701.