Rushing To Give? Make Tzedakah a Year-Round Practice

Originally published on

created at: 2011-12-30If your inbox is anything like mine, the last two weeks have been a deluge of messages from well-meaning organizations helpfully reminding us that 2011 is about to end, and with it our last opportunity to take advantage of tax-deductable donations for this fiscal year. Each organization has kindly offered to be the recipient of any money we might need to donate in order to meet the needs of our tax accounting. How sweet of them!

I don’t begrudge any organization their chance to make however many sincere asks for donations they feel are necessary. In fact, for the years that I was chair of the board of Keshet, I was often the one writing these messages. And yet, this year I haven’t made a single year-end donation. Continue reading Four Questions with philanthropist Jay Ruderman

Originally published on

created at: 2011-10-19Jay Ruderman is the president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading funder of disability advocacy in the Jewish community and programs strengthening the relationship between Israelis and American Jews. Although originally from Massachusetts, Jay now lives in Rehovot, Israel. He blogs at Zeh Lezeh (For One Another) and is currently preparing for the second annual Advance Conference focused on funding Jewish special needs initiatives.



Why has advocacy for Jewish people with disabilities become so central to your philanthropy?

The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion of people with disabilities is essential if we are to be proud of our Jewish community. As Jews, we can’t be proud of the type of relationship we have with each other and with our brothers in Israel if some members of the Jewish community are left out, and that is exactly the situation that we face today. Jewish people with disabilities do not have the same opportunities as everyone else and that is fundamentally unfair. They don’t have the same opportunities for employment – many Jews with disabilities are unemployed – and they don’t have the same opportunities for education and even to being connected with their faith. It is not consistent with our beliefs as a community; it is not consistent with the Talmud.  Continue reading