“As you all are aware, Hurricane Sandy, a storm of unprecedented magnitude, struck the Eastern portion of the United States. Seeing the response of communities across the region to the devastating storm, we are awed by the strength of the American people.
The period from the end of the Jewish holidays (i.e. now) till the end of December (the end of the tax year) is peak season for non-profits raising money.
These organizations are working to help fight the Carmel fires in Israel:
Jeff Tohl endured testing, five months of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant during the three years that followed his cancer diagnosis — a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With a clean bill of health and regained strength, he thought he was out of the woods.
But when his white blood cell count dropped again in November 2009, Tohl, who was treated for mantle cell lymphoma, discovered he was part of an unlucky minority: Following a stem cell transplant, 7 percent of patients are at risk for developing leukemia. To keep the leukemia at bay, he’d need another stem cell transplant, this time from a donor. But as a Jew, he soon discovered that finding a donor would prove nearly impossible.
United Jewish Communities has set up donation drive for hurricane victims
I opened my mailbox to find several letters, a few bills and a host of requests for donations from various organizations that I have supported over the years. Because I am a stickler for organization, I sort the letters, place the bills in a folder marked "Look at me soon!" and the appeals for donations in one marked "Save the World." Between the needs of my local community, the Jewish community, our country and the world at large, I am seriously thinking about renting a storage unit for the hundreds of requests I receive annually.
Giving tzedakah is one way to achieve tikkun olam, or the Jewish obligation to repair what is broken and lacking in the world. Both affirm our responsibility to give a part of what we have to take care of others who are less fortunate. We do this because Judaism views individual wealth as neither a right nor a privilege but a form of stewardship for which we are charged to care for the world.
Some high-powered connections forged through the boys' parents landed them an appearance on Fox's "Good Day L.A." and placed some of their Lucky Pix around the necks of celebrities. Intuition, a trend-setting Web boutique known to cater to celebrities, is the sole outlet for Lucky Pix, giving the boys the kind of publicity and panache other retailers covet.
Thinking about doing something for Israel but don't have time or inclination to go there and volunteer in person?
When 5-year-old Ariela Weintraub learned about the recent Southern California fires during a family dinner discussion, she was worried. The Santa Monica resident asked her mother, Susan Weintraub, "Mommy, do you think the children who lived in those burning houses lost their toys?"
Her mother told her yes, and the youngster ran to her room and returned with a big white teddy bear. To her parents' surprise and delight, Ariela announced that she wanted to donate her cherished stuffed animal to a child who lost his or her own toys in the fires.
When Susan Weintraub told her daughter's story to Rabbi Karmi Gross, the principal of Maimonides Academy in Los Angeles, which is attended by Ariela and her older sister, the 5-year-old's generosity inspired a school toy drive for local children affected by the fires.
If you're concerned that the money you donate to Los Angeles Jewish charities is eaten up by administrative and fundraising costs, fear not.
Most Jewish charities in Los Angeles have a favorable rating for the amount of dollars spent on their projects compared to dollars spent on costs, according to Charity Navigator, a new philanthropic watchdog. The group assessed some 130 Jewish nonprofits, including seven from Los Angeles, among 2,500 charities across the United States. It then rated the groups based on the Form 990 tax returns that all nonprofit charities, except religious institutions, must provide annually to the IRS.
Eat-4-Israel was the brainchild of Monique Grunberger, a high school senior at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, who developed the idea with two local Yeshiva University of Los Angeles students, Yitz Novak and Zvi Smith.
It's a balmy night as we join those filing into the basement social hall of the venerable Libertad Synagogue in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires. It resembles any Friday night service crowd anywhere in the United States, except that it's standing-room only. An elderly man sings Yiddish songs in a still-strong tenor followed by a young duo on saxophone and clarinet playing selections from "Fiddler on the Roof."
Programs will continue at the various Jewish Community Centers (JCC) around the San Fernanado Valley, albeit not all under the same umbrella.
What You Can Do.
Mitzvot, acts of loving kindness or just plain charity:Whatever you call them, Jews are commanded to do more than simplypray for good things -- they have to do good themselves in order tohelp repair what is wrong in the world.