July, 2004

The Board has unanimously approved the following distribution of Or Shalom's Tzedakah ( $3,500):



     25% ($875) to the Hebrew Loan Society, including membership. The rationale: as Rabbi Shawn Zevit reminded us at the Retreat, the highest form of giving is not to hand a person a fish but to offer a fishing rod. An outright gift of this magnitude to the Hebrew Loan Society will enable them to expand their outreach to ensure that more guarantors come forth to help people achieve autonomy and independence with financial support.


     20% ($700) to Bayit Patuach: Open House Centre in Ramle . The rationale is: the centre (recommended by one of our own members) is among the most successful and long-running co-existence programs for Arab and Jewish families in Israel. Every dollar we contribute will be matched by one of their staunchest supporters.


     20% ($700) to the Jewish Community in Argentina. The rationale is: 55% of the Jews of Argentina live below the poverty line, more than 35% are unemployed and some 300 Jewish children are now living on the streets of Buenos Aires. The Tikkun Olam Committee has started to research specific individuals and organizations that will enable us to contribute in a grassroots way with minimal loss in administrative or overhead costs.


     20% ($700) to the Polyclinic of Hope, Rwanda. The rationale is: our contribution makes a difference to this center for women victims of abuse. The director has expressed great gratitude for our previous support and clearly puts our dollars to good use to alleviate a situation that remains unimaginably grim.


     10% ($350) to Kidsafe. The rationale is: this program serves our immediate neighbourhood by providing a safe and nurturing environment as well as developmental programs for 350 of Vancouver’s most at-risk children.


     5% ($175) to the East Side Fund. The rationale is: This program provides food in a way that reflects important Jewish values - do not strip a person of human dignity. Through this program, a person may go to a restaurant and order a meal without any stigma. In this we spare the person from shame and we are consistent with the high order of Tzedakah written by Maimonides which requires that both donor and recipient remain anonymous.



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