Future philanthropists at work at Strelitz International Academy

by | Feb 10, 2022 | Trending News

Tzedakah is more than a financial transaction. Giving builds trusting relationships and includes contributions of time, effort, and insight. Tzedakah—philanthropy and charity—as well as Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) are concepts and values that are carried throughout one’s entire life. It is a form of social justice in which donors benefit from giving as much or more than the recipients. When it comes to the next generation, where does the conversation begin?

The fourth and fifth grade students at Strelitz International Academy recently discussed these important topics with Naomi Limor Sedek, president and CEO of Tidewater Jewish Foundation.

Sedek began the lesson by introducing the Rambam’s ladder of tzedakah, which provides a guide to the significance of a charitable gift. The further one goes up the ladder, the more virtuous and meaningful the gift. She then followed up with what Jewish values teach about philanthropy such as how much, where, and why tzedakah should be given. This sparked a wonderful conversation with the students who were excited to share the causes that matter to them most, as well as how many people donate to the different causes they care about.

After the conversation with Sedek, students participated in a project where they learned about dividing money for saving, spending, and giving. The program concluded as the students created their own three-part Tzedakah box to put the lessons they learned into action. It was a hit.

Students at SIA begin learning about the importance of tzedakah in the Early Years program, collecting money as a class every Shabbat and learning about the various causes where they choose to donate their money. In this recent lesson with Tidewater Jewish Foundation, the students realized their responsibility and power as individual donors. SIA hopes the program inspires and guides many meaningful conversations and acts of tzedakah throughout the students’ lives.

To make a contribution to Strelitz International Academy, contact Andie Eichelbaum, SIA director of development, at aeichelbaum@strelitzacademy.org or call 757-424-4327 ext. 4188.

Andie Eichelbaum