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Image by David Holifield

Tzedakah Action to Support Democracy in Israel

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During the High Holiday season, it is traditional for the Jewish community to increase its charitable contributions. We encourage people to contribute directly to organizations supporting democracy and the rule of law in Israel or directly to the protest movement in Israel through Matte HaMavak. However, when it comes to your other tzedakah in Israel, it is important to know whether the organizations you support are normalizing the anti-democratic actions of the current coalition government and its attack on civil and human rights. 

You have the right to know where your money is going. Merely asking questions like the ones below forces the institutions in Israel to know that world Jewry is not going to sit idly by and continue to fund organizations that are tools of the current coalition government’s encroachment on civil rights and attempts to dismantle democracy and the rule of law. This is not only putting money where your mouth is but putting your mouth where your money is! 

Here is a series of questions you can ask before you give: 

❖ Is the organization supportive of equality of women in civil society? If not directly, is it upholding illegal gender segregation or the erasure of women in the public sphere? 

❖ Does the organization support religious pluralism, and respect all segments of Jewish society, including Conservative and Reform and other non-Orthodox or even non-affiliated Jewish communities? If not directly, is it inclusive of and does it serve non-Orthodox Jews? 

❖ Does the organization support civil and human rights for minorities in Israel, including the Arab communities, the LGBTQ+ community, the Ethiopian community and others? 

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, consider giving to other organizations which are more aligned with these values; you can let the organization know why you are giving elsewhere.  

Shana Tovah L’Kulam – we wish you all a healthy, joyous, and democratic New Year!

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