You have probably noticed how much has been written about people’s generosity during these challenging COVID-19 times. And the Jewish community is no exception.
Over the last six months, we have had dozens of conversations with our readers and followers about how and where they can help. Some asked for suggestions of where they can donate, while others wanted to volunteer or offer their services for those in need.
At a time when so many are in dire straits, stressed, or in some cases sick or mourning a loved one, it is genuinely touching to see how our community has found so many different ways to give back. And many are redefining what that giving looks like.
If one is affiliated with a congregation or a Jewish organization, they will often find a way to give to one of those entities. But what about the 85-90% of the Jewish community who is not affiliated. Where do they put their dollars, energy and desire to volunteer?
Interestingly enough, we have found that there are two parts to this group. One segment may be considered unaffiliated by some, but they are actually strongly affiliated with a smaller Jewish non-profit that aligns with their specific interests. These organizations can be Jewish justice groups, homeless shelters, food banks, political parties, or even animal shelters that are not part of the organized Jewish community.
Then, the other segment – which makes up the majority of the Jewish community – is not connected to any Jewish organization, school, congregation or interest group. How and where are they choosing to give back?
During these conversations, we have found that even Jews with no known affiliation, often seek out some sort of Jewish entity during a crisis to offer their help.
Some may have been helped by someone Jewish or a Jewish organization decades earlier, and this experience stayed with them. In addition to their generosity to various causes, each person who, until now, was not involved with anything Jewish has sought out a way to help, and want to feel valued in the process.
What became evident is that although most of the Jewish community is not affiliated or perhaps even disenfranchised, many have come back to the fold in some way when it comes to giving during a crisis.
Be well and stay safe,
Cindy Saltzman, Publisher