Giving to charity in the name of your departed loved ones is a tremendous source of merit for the soul. Here are a few worthy organizations.
Partners in Torah
Partners in Torah's signature phone study program gives Jewish adults of all backgrounds across North America a cost-free learning opportunity to discover Judaism – its culture, history, and traditions – at their pace and their schedule. Jewish men and women who have an interest in Jewish study but who may lack the academic background, are matched, one-to-one, with a carefully selected personal Torah trainer or mentor for up to an hour a week of over-the-phone study and discussion. Participants can choose any topic including Hebrew, Jewish philosophy, or history. In its decade and a half of operation, Partners in Torah has engaged more than 30,000 intellectually curious Jews across North America, and today supports some 13,000 weekly study partnerships.
Alongside its successful TelePartners program, Partners in Torah publishes "The Jewish Spirit", a quarterly magazine, and "Parsha Partner", a weekly Torah portion newsletter. Partners in Torah also runs a full range of exciting study programs including personalized community-based learning, celebrated Shabbatons and unforgettable retreats. A cohesive team of 26 qualified professionals work out of offices in New Jersey and Jerusalem. One of the most important aspects of the study program is clearly Partners in Torah's involvement and ongoing support offered to each of its participants – week in and week out. In addition to making Jewish knowledge accessible to Jews no matter where they may live, Partners in Torah aims to foster unity among Jews of all backgrounds and denominations.
Yad Eliezer is the largest anti-hunger agency in Israel, with an annual budget of more than $20 million that is funded by the donations of caring individuals.
Yad Eliezer began in 1980 in the kitchen of the Weisel family of Jerusalem. They prepared a food basket for a neighbor who could not feed her children, and were soon delivering monthly food baskets to hungry families. Yad Eliezer has now grown to encompass 15 primary economic and social service programs that impact tens of thousands of individuals.
Yad Eliezer's cadre of 10,000 volunteers enables the organization to maintain limited overhead and administrative expenses. Indeed, 95% of funds raised go directly to needy families. This achievement has earned Yad Eliezer the coveted "4-Star Exceptional" rating from Charity Navigator, which rates organizations based on how effectively and responsibly they utilize donations, and to what extent the charity is growing in terms of programs and services.
Families of children with serious illness face a host of challenges on numerous fronts, challenges that immeasurably compound the difficulty of their arduous struggle of combating the disease itself. Chai Lifeline addresses the full spectrum of needs, from logistical to social, recreational to psychological. Chai Lifeline reaches out not only to patients, but also to parents, siblings, classmates, school faculty, and the community as well.
Despite our size, Chai Lifeline is an organization comprised of caring, compassionate individuals who are sensitive to the unique needs of each individual they help. When families feel alone and overwhelmed, Chai Lifeline staff members extend a helping hand, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on - and a loving heart. Because, at the end of the day, that is what Chai Lifeline is all about - fighting illness with love.