The following two reflections are from students in our Grade 7 B’nei Mitzvah class, who had an opportunity to learn more about tzedakah by actually allocating the Youth Education Centre’s Tzedakah funds to various organizations in our community and in Israel.
What I learned from the Tzedakah activity tonight: November 7, 2016
Tonight in our Youth Education Centre class I learned a lot about Tzedakah and how it benefits the global community, and communities closer to home. I also learned about how to choose who to give our Tzedakah to, and what charities can do with the money we give them.
Some of the charities I learned about were Ve’ahavta, Save A Child’s Heart, Jewish Immigrant Aid Service and Holy Blossom Temple’s Out of the Cold program. Ve’ahavta and Out of the Cold both do amazing things for homeless people in Toronto to help feed them and to provide them with a place to sleep. Save A Child’s Heart is a charity that performs free open heart surgeries in Israel to children throughout the Middle East who couldn’t otherwise afford it, and wouldn’t survive. Jewish Immigrant Aid Service helps families who are moving to Toronto settle into the city by helping them get OHIP cards, education for their children, and English classes. There are so many charities that do great things for people all around the world, so it’s so challenging to decide which charities to give money to.
In the activity where we had $200 of our own Tzedakah money and had to decide which charities to give the money to, and how much to give them. I learned that there are many factors when deciding who to give money to. Should you give money to the global community, or your city? Should you give money to your family, or someone else in need? If you had the option of giving money to a Jew or a non-Jew, which person are you supposed to give your Tzedakah to? When choosing where to donate our money, I learned that everybody had a different opinion on these questions so it was hard to come to an agreement on where to donate the money. Lastly I learned that it is so important to give Tzedakah and all charities can benefit from what we give.
On November 7th, the grade 7 students had a session about different charities. For the first hour, we learned about how there are more than one way to give, and donate. We learned that you don’t just have to donate money, but you can also donate your time, by volunteering for example, at a retirement home.
In the second hour, we were put into 3 different groups, and were handed $200 to choose what charities we want to donate to, and how much. It took a while, but eventually we decided, and I’m proud of our decisions.