July 18, 2024

The Power of Jewish Philanthropy in Times of Global Crisis

Colel Chabad Tzedakah Boxes

The Jewish community is known for its charitable giving, acts of loving kindness, and philanthropic endeavors. Beyond simply giving charity to the poor, our people embrace a lifestyle of altruism driven by the concept of Tzedakah. It’s no wonder why there are so many Jewish charities in Israel; from organizations that fight hunger and charities that support health care, organizations for children’s education, and groups dedicated to orphans and supporting widows, every cause deserves attention.

The power of Jewish philanthropy is particularly apparent during times of global crisis. Our history is filled with examples of times we’ve stepped in to offer help when it was needed most. Looking back on the impacts Jewish non-profit charity organizations have had over the years, there’s no doubting the impact one can have by donating to Israeli charitable organizations like Colel Chabad. Let’s take a closer look at these many stories of giving.

Addressing Global Crises 


The world was forever changed on March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The highly infectious respiratory illness spread like wildfire around the world, bringing nations to their knees and causing unimaginable loss of life.

As countries scrambled to contain the virus, governments implemented strict lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing measures in a desperate attempt to slow down the spread of the disease. Schools closed, businesses shut down, and hospitals were overwhelmed with patients. It was a time of great uncertainty and fear as the world struggled to cope with this new enemy.

Yet amidst all the chaos, the Jewish community stood strong. OLAM, an organization established by Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies in 2015, initiated a robust campaign to raise awareness and support for vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic.

Non-governmental international humanitarian aid organization IsraAID also made a big impact through its efforts to promote vaccine availability abroad. They provided support to local communities in Eswatini and other countries, ensuring that the most vulnerable populations were not left behind.

The Climate Crisis

There’s no doubt about the fact that the world is currently facing a climate crisis. Climate change, caused primarily by human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, has led to rising global temperatures, extreme weather events, and damage to ecosystems. This is a problem that scientists have warned us about for years – as early as the 1970s. The issue’s relevancy continues to grow as we see its effects in our daily lives. In 2019, the United Nations released a report stating that we have just 11 years to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.

While large companies play a significant role in reducing global emissions, individuals and communities can make meaningful impacts as well. Jews firmly believe in shomrei adamah (guardians of the earth) – it is our responsibility to take care of our planet and preserve it for future generations. This Jewish belief aligns with the values of many Jewish non-profit charity organizations that have been actively working towards combating climate change through initiatives like green energy, sustainable agriculture, and environmental education.

The Holocaust and Beyond: Yad Vashem

During the Holocaust, when Jews were facing persecution and genocide at the hands of Nazi Germany, organizations like Yad Vashem worked tirelessly to document and remember those who lost their lives. The organization not only serves as a memorial to those who perished but also as an educational center and research institute. Through donations, Yad Vashem has been able to continue its important work of preserving the memory of the Holocaust and educating future generations about its atrocities.

The Jewish Agency for Israel 

The Jewish Agency for Israel has been a major player in supporting Jews around the world, especially in times of crisis. In 1948, during the establishment of the State of Israel, they helped facilitate the immigration of Jews from around the world to their ancestral homeland. Today, they continue to provide aid and support for communities in need across the Jewish diaspora, including emergency relief efforts during natural disasters and political conflicts.

Israel-Hamas Conflict

Violence and hatred escalated into the worst humanitarian crisis Israel has ever seen on October 7th, 2023, when militants from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip launched a series of brutal attacks on Eastern Israeli communities. Hundreds of women and children were killed, and thousands more were wounded. The ensuing months have been nothing short of chaotic as displaced families seek shelter and safety from the ongoing conflict.

Luckily, Jewish community organizations and international aid groups are stepping in to provide much-needed support and resources to victims of the violence. Those looking to help Israel now can do so in a number of ways – most effectively through Operation Iron Sword. A joint response team between long-standing Jewish charities in Israel like Colel Chabad and the federal government, donations go towards providing food, shelter, and medical care for those affected by what’s happening on the ground.

Donate Now and Support Those in Need 

If you’ve been searching for the best Jewish charity to donate to, let us make a suggestion. Colel Chabad is the oldest philanthropic organization of its kind in all of Israel with over a century of experience in supporting Jewish families in need. Our unique approach to Jewish philanthropy encompasses everything from supporting low-income households to volunteering during times of international crisis. By taking action and getting involved, you can help us continue our mission of promoting the Chabad philosophy.

Don’t wait – support Colel Chabad’s non-profit charitable programs and fundraising efforts by choosing a way to donate today. 


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בַּעֲבוּר שֶׁבְּלִי נֶדֶר אֶתֵּן צְדָקָה