Just-Giving in Action

— simple and fair, with thoughtful adjustments as appropriate — becomes possible when we commit to a regular percentage of income. As we continue to set our chosen percentage of money aside, there are many ways to practice the action / reflection of disbursing it.

The possibilities below respond to recent events that reflect ongoing challenges of healing and justice. They are offered as suggestions and inspiration for the process of developing your own individualized giving plan. Please contact us for further guidance.

Life After Hate
"We are committed to waging peace. With your financial support, we can succeed."

Deadly ideological violence in Charlottesville, VA has sent shock waves throughout the nation. While many are analyzing the words of public statements, few are aware that a vital organization countering extremism on the front lines has lost federal funding.

Please join the grassroots funding support for Life After Hate, created by former members of the American violent far-right extremist movement. "Whether working with individuals who wish to leave a life of hate and violence or helping organizations (community, educational, civic, government, etc.) grappling with the causes of intolerance and racism, Life After Hate works to counter the seeds of hate we once planted."

Also consider a donation to the Heal Charlottesville Fund, established to support both immediate needs and longer-term reconciliation efforts.

Fair Food ProgramSome of the most vulnerable immigrants — as well as native-born Americans — in the U.S. today are the front-line workers who plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell our food.

Please support the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund for Immokalee and Florida Farmworker Communities. Immokalee, Florida is the source of nearly all winter tomatoes grown in the U.S. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work. Although no farmworker lives were reported lost in Hurricane Irma — thanks in part to CIW's preventive efforts — the farmworker communities are in need of vital funds to rebuild their homes and lives.

Also consider a donation to the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA), composed of member organizations like the CIW across the country which have joined forces to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain.

In NYC, consider supporting Brandworkers, a FCWA member organization which brings local food production workers together to organize for good, dignified jobs and a just and sustainable food system.

syrian_refugeesWe are facing the worst global refugee crisis since World War II, with 65 million people uprooted from their homes. Consider supporting:

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) of the Urban Justice Center, which has developed a high-impact model of legal advocacy on behalf of refugees to the U.S.;

Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, which defends the rights of migrants and refugees in Israel and combats human trafficking;

HIAS, whose core mission is to assist refugees — "not because they're Jewish, but because we are" — and a key resource for additional ways to help;

 Coalition for Disaster Relief
, which includes HIAS and many other organizations in its multi-national support for Syrian refugees in particular;

Nonsectarian organizations such as Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS)Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), and Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees.

Defend the SacredThe largest gathering of Native American tribes in more than a century has come together to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota as Water ProtectorsThe Water Protectors are committed to nonviolent efforts to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for interstate transport of crude oil. The current DAPL route threatens the Standing Rock water supply and sacred sites. The Water Protectors represent a centuries-old history of Native American resistance to broken treaties.

Please consider a donation to Indigenous Environmental Network or Honor the Earth, two organizations at the forefront of solidarity with the Water Protectors; to the Water Protector Legal Collective which works on-site at the #NoDAPL resistance camps; or to Earthjustice, which is providing general legal representation to the Standing Rock Sioux. Various crowdfunding sites also seek support for specific needs.

Ted Jackson-Nola.com-the Times-PicayuneThe wave of shootings by and of police officers across the United States has been extraordinarily painful for all involved. It also reflects one of the most emotionally-charged yet urgent realms of just-giving.

More than 70 black nonprofit leaders have connected to share grief and foster healing, self-care and mutual support, while resources are shared for the difficult road ahead.

As the U.S. Department of Justice launched a civil rights investigation into the killing of Alton Sterling, 23,980 donors contributed $714,448 to a scholarship fund for his children. This outpouring of support speaks to the range of vital opportunities for just-giving through these wrenching times. While established charitable funds are accepting donations for families of the slain police officers, the legacy of Montrell Jackson points to additional possibilities.

Consider supporting organizations like Together Baton Rouge, which takes a grass-roots, community-based approach to accountability and citizen leadership across lines of diversity. TBR also plays a leading role in Louisiana flood recovery advocacy. In NYC, consider supporting Communities United for Police Reform.

Fonkoze Hurricane MatthewThe devastation of Hurricane Matthew highlighted the vulnerability of the hardest-hit — especially in Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the world, where top-down assistance efforts have been notoriously unsuccessful over the decades.

Consider a donation to Fonkoze ("Shoulder to Shoulder Foundation"), a family of organizations working together for more than two decades to provide financial and related mutual support services that empower more than 200,000 Haitians — primarily women — to lift their families out of poverty. Fonkoze is at the forefront of grassroots hurricane response efforts in hard-to-access rural areas.

NCF_Orlando_NCFIn the midst of the June 2016 LGBTQ pride celebrations, a gunman killed 49 mostly Latino/a people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and left 53 others wounded. Consider making a donation to the National Compassion Fund, which is partnering with Equity Florida to ensure fair and transparent distribution of all donations received in support of the victims.

Community philanthropy expert Dr. Jason Franklin offers broader reflections on Philanthropy in the Aftermath of Disaster.

Rabbi Louis Rieser
Rabbi Louis Rieser
 is living through treatment for a brain tumor.  He and his wife Connie Rieser decided to give tzedakah for each initial week of treatment:

"Tzedakah is on behalf of healing, for ourselves and for our doctors, and for all of our helpers.  

"The first Tzedakah recipient is Sawyer Shore. Sawyer is the one year old baby of our dear friends, Sarah and Cantor Stephanie Shore. Sawyer is currently undergoing chemotherapy for Wilm's Tumor. We encourage anyone who wishes to support them as well....

"Our tzedakah for [the second] week goes to Talia Agler Girls Shelter (TAGS) in Nairobi. On January 27, 2012, Talia, the daughter of our colleague and friend, Rabbi Richard and Mindy Agler, was struck by an automobile and fatally injured. According to the website created by her family, 'Tali sought to better the world and she succeeded in doing so — through her work, through her wit and through her love'."


Shira Banki ZL_copy
Shira Banki was murdered while supporting LGBTQ friends and others at the 2015 March for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem. The first anniversary of Shira's death was commemorated among 25,000 participants at the 2016 Jerusalem march, where her bereaved parents reaffirmed their call from her funeral "to hate less and love more":

"The lesson that we have to learn from the murder of Shira, and from the national destruction of 2,000 years ago, is that moderation is a virtue for all of us — because extremism, no matter the kind, is a sure path to destruction. ...It's not too late for you. Don't let hatred, ignorance, and prejudice sweep you away. Get up and stand for your right to live in a tolerant and moderate society. Thank you."

In the midst of their initial grief, Shira's parents — like the parents of Talia Agler — made the decision to donate their daughter's organs to save the lives of others.  Learn about Jewish anatomical donations, and consider helping to make more of these gifts of the body available to the millions of people whose lives depend upon them.

2015-08-03_Dawabsheh Family
18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was murdered in July 2015 when his family's home in the West Bank village of Duma was firebombed while they slept.  Father Saad Dawabsheh and mother Riham Dawabsheh subsequently died of their wounds. Brother and orphaned survivor Ahmed Dawabsheh, 4 years old at the time of the attack, was finally discharged after an extended hospitalization and numerous surgeries.

Before the 2015 / 5776 High Holy Days, the Israeli grassroots coalition Tag Meir called for donations to support the orphaned Ahmed and his surviving family.  The month-long fundraising campaign brought in the equivalent of nearly $100,000 in Israeli shekels, the average donation being the equivalent of $37.

Consider a donation to the Parents Circle - Families Forum, a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization made up of more than 600 bereaved families who have chosen a path of reconciliation. Also consider supporting Healing Across the Divides, which supports health initiatives in Israel and the West Bank that promote the health of Israelis and Palestinians while helping to forge inter-agency cooperation and mutual understanding.