Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Friendly, Participatory, Egalitarian Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Tzedakah Havurah

Purpose: The Tikvat Israel Tzedakah Havurah was started in 1987 by members of (then) Beth Tikva Congregation. We are a small group of volunteers whose purpose is to receive funds contributed by members of the congregation and distribute those funds to various Tzedakah projects. We define “Tzedakah” as pure, decent caring or, simply put, “just doing the right thing.” As a constituent organization of Tikvat Israel, we operate under the umbrella of the synagogue’s tax-exempt status.

Based upon Jewish tradition, the Tzedakah Havurah funds both Jewish and non-Jewish programs. Because the members of Tikvat Israel have other ways to contribute to the synagogue itself and its various subsidiary organizations, we do not distribute funds within Tikvat Israel itself. It is our explicit goal to distribute funds in our local community, elsewhere in the United States,in Israel and wherever in the world there is need-and to inspire others to follow this example.

 Our vision: 

  • We represent the larger congregation of which we are a part by selecting recipients who are worthy of the congregation’s donations in terms of their needs and their ability to use those donations.
  • We believe that even small contributions can change people’s lives for the better, restore dignity, provide jobs, food, freedom, well-being for desperate people, and, most of all, offer hope.
  • Our primary interest is seeking out lesser-known organizations who make things happen-with exceptional fiscal responsibility and a minimum of bureaucracy.

Our goals:

  • To support worthy and effective users of donated funds in their philanthropic work.
  • To provide timely assistance whenever warranted by current events.
  • To allocate the congregation’s donated funds in ways that maximize the benefit to those in need.
  • To provide guidance for members of our congregation seeking to spend their Tzedakah money wisely and efficiently.

Activities (past and present): The Tzedakah Havurah discusses and allocates the monies received from donations to the Pushka as well as during Purim at Tikvat Israel. Our meetings and discussions are primarily conducted via e-mail and deal with choosing what kind and how much our allocations should be.

Seeking new members: Anyone interested in philanthropy.

Contact persons: David Gantz, Hope Kott, Robbi Cohen, Dan Jacobs, or Elyse Bernstein