Tzedakah 101

Brush up on the basics of tzedakah.

Giving and Doing

Charity is directed to the poor; benevolence is the expression of goodwill to all.

Tzedakah in Jewish Tradition

How one gives may be as important as how much one gives.

Choosing a Mitzvah Project

Suggestions on how to select appropriate tzedakah and social action projects.

Teaching Tzedakah

Using your common cents.


History of Tzedakah

The development and history of charitable giving in Judaism.

Tzedakah in the Bible

Exhortations to assist the poor plus laws that gave poor people a claim to a share of society’s wealth.

Traditional Priorities

Helping others, emulating God.

Maimonides' Ladder

The best forms of charity make the recipient self-sufficient.

Modern Tzedakah

A group of Jewish women from Seattle began Hebrew free loan societies.

Guidance for Giving

Investigating Recipients

How much to ask about a person who solicits us for tzedakah--or whether to give to all who request our help.


It is necessary to set priorities for allocating funds for tzedakah.

Medical Research

Does giving money for research count as charity?

Charity Before Breakfast

One spiritual leader's approach to the relationship between giving and taking.

Preventing Dependency

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

Social Action

Seeking Out the Poor

The lives of Abraham and Job provide us with two models for confronting poverty.

The Corners of Our Fields

Rabbinic commentators interpreted this law in light of their own concerns about the poor.

The Gemach

A Jewish institution that takes the shame out of sharing.

Providing Housing

Jewish law demands that everyone have adequate and permanent housing.

Helpful Organizations

Resources for alleviating poverty.