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Giving and Goodness: The true meaning of Tzedakah

As a torch is not diminished though it kindles a million candles, so will he not lose who gives to a good cause. Midrash Exodus Rabbah

Over the past year Kol Ami gave generously to the community around us because you gave generously to Kol Ami. Tzedakah-this Hebrew word means “charity” but a more precise translation would be “giving to right the wrongs of our world”.


giving as a means to pursue justice.


giving of oneself in any way that leads to the healing and repair of our world. Tikkun Olam.


justice in the form of money or any other resources you present to the world for the purpose of justice.


the work of the righteous soul.


Kol Ami gave Jewish Family Services and Hopelink $5000 each at the start of the Pandemic. Those funds were available due to matching funds through employers like Microsoft. This money we can ONLY spend on things that have nothing to do with the practice of Judaism. We are profoundly grateful for corporations who help our members grow their Tzedakah.


Kol Ami, through our friendship with Bear Creek United Methodist Church, has developed relationships with refugees, translators for the US government, from Afghanistan to Washington. Last month Kol Ami was able to support to families in repairing and acquiring vital transportation. Without working and reliable cars the income earners in the family are not able to work. The generosity of Kol Ami families has enabled two refugee families to continue to support themselves and transport their families.

Mohammed and friend putting the tabs on a car donated by a friend of Kol Ami and repaired with funds from our Tzedakah Fund populated by corporate matching gifts.

Supporting Asher and the entire Hashash family!

Often our tzedakah is directed outside the Jewish community. But there are times when it is our obligation to support those in our own community. This is one of those times. Our beloved Asher was given the devastating diagnosis of ALS in December. He is no longer able to work and our community, Kol Ami and the greater Jewish community, have stepped up. Within the first three days of our fundraiser to provide financial support to the Hashash family we raised $48,000. Our goal for January 2021 was $10,000 to help the Hashash family remodel a bathroom to better suit Asher’s needs. Hundreds of people throughout the nation gave Tzedakah to support a family who have for so, so long supported the Jewish community.

This year Kol Ami has helped Jews and friends of the Jewish community support with rent, medical payments, home repairs and more. We are not just a synagogue! We are also a means for redistributing resources to those who need them most in our society. We turn money into goodness, into compassion and into love.

Later this month we will celebrate Purim. Giving Tzedakah is one of the primary mitzvot of Purim, in addition to hearing the story read and a festive meal. As is our custom, our big annual fundraiser is on the Saturday after Purim. This year I am being honored for 18 years in the rabbinate. The funds raised at this annual fundraiser are vital to the ongoing operations of Kol Ami. The money does not go to Tzedakah but rather to rent, salaries (including my own) and providing services and programs for anyone who wants to connect to Jewish community. Your presence and participation will be experienced as an honor by your rabbi. Your support means everything.

We are a small congregation with modest means. But the light we shine into the community is bright and the good we do makes a difference in the lives of individuals.

Thank you, each of you, for the ways that you give to make our world increasingly just, compassionate and filled with goodness.

Whoever practices charity and justice fills the world with loving kindness. Talmud, Sukkot

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