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Tzedakah and Jewish Identity: The Shefa Fund's Vision

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Publication Date: January 2001

Publisher(s): Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education

Author(s): Lawrence Bush; Jeffrey Dekro

Series: Jewish Education News, Spring 2001

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Banking and finance (Philanthropy and nonprofit sector)
Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Jewish Education; Jewish Identification; Fundraising and Philanthropy; Values

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The Shefa Fund, a national public foundation established in 1988, is pursuing a three-pronged strategy for restoring tzedakah to its role as a foundation of Jewish identity. It hopes to do so through adult education, family education and youth education. In the realm of adult education, the Fund is cultivating the perception of tzedakah as a significant form of socially responsible action. In the realm of family education, the fund is forging links between tzedakah and the themes of Jewish holidays and lifecycle events that are central to Jewish family life. In youth education, they are serving as manager for Keren Mach'ar: The Fund for Tomorrow, an innovative new program of Jewish service learning for high school students.