Opening the Dor
Connecting teens and seniors through philanthropy, Jewish identity and heritage.

By Lauren Silva for Jookender Community Initiatives, Inc. as seen on Jewish Boston 

Tzedakah. In English, the word translates to “righteous giving.” While many might equate the term to the American concept of “charity,” it is different in the sense that it does not imply one is fulfilled by giving to others beyond what is expected by society. Instead, giving is a requirement and a responsibility, a pillar of the path to justice for all. The concept of tzedakah has been deeply ingrained in Jewish traditions and customs for centuries. But how do we make decisions on what to give, and who to give it to? How do we ensure our giving is meaningful and has made an impact on the world?

To answer these questions, we must first go back to the foundation of what makes us who we are: our stories, traditions and values. As we grow, our families pass these things down to us, and they play a large role in shaping our identity. Focusing on our values, why we have those values and how to best serve the world based on those values is key to making informed decisions and fulfilling our responsibility of tzedakah.”