Though there’s very little most Jews agree upon, tzedaka- charitable giving – is widely accepted among Jews of all stripes to be a core Jewish value. But how we choose to give – to whom, how much – can get a bit trickier. How do we, as Jews, prioritize our giving? How can our historical experience and tradition inform these decisions?
Ruth W. Messinger is president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the world’s leading Jewish organization working to end poverty and realize human rights in the developing world. Ruth came to AJWS in 1998, after a 20-year career in public service in New York City. As a leading activist for human rights around the globe, Ruth lectures widely and holds leadership roles in the faith-based advocacy arena. She currently sits on the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and co-chairs the Sub-Working Group on Social Justice. Ruth has been honored by many national Jewish organizations and has been named on lists of the world’s most influential Jews and religious leaders by The Jewish Daily Forward, The Jerusalem Post and The Huffington Post.
Shoshana Boyd Gelfand is a senior member of the London-based Pears Foundation. She provides strategic direction for the foundation’s operating programme, JHub, as well as working closely with the Pears Foundation team on international development initiatives, interfaith projects, and Jewish identity programmes in the UK. Shoshana represents Pears Foundation as one of the founding board members of OLAM.