The Art of Giving
The Foundation is often asked the question: “How do you determine which organizations or projects will receive a grant?” This simple question has puzzled humanity for more than two thousand years. Aristotle once said: “To give away money is an easy matter … and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter. Hence, it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy and noble.” The Jewish Foundation interprets this quote to mean philanthropy should be effective—it should have maximum impact, solve problems, create opportunities, and have tangible results.
This pragmatism is then tempered by the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah, the Hebrew word for charity. In our faith, the highest level of giving is that which helps another person to become self-supporting and makes it unnecessary for that person to become dependent on others. These are the guiding philosophies used by the Foundation to make decisions about which organizations and projects will receive grant funding. Considerable thought and effort is invested in each of our grant decisions—sometimes a grant will impact the many, while at other times it will impact the few. Our intent is always to be effective and help others toward self-sufficiency.