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Why #GivingTuesday Should Matter to All of Us

Why #GivingTuesday Should Matter to All of Us

Today is #GivingTuesday.

Founded in 2011 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. Fueled by social media and collaboration and following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of individuals, organizations, and communities to foster philanthropy and to celebrate giving back worldwide.

Philanthropy is intrinsic to Judaism. It’s what we, as Jews, do, based on the mitzvah (commandment) of tzedakah, a form of the Hebrew word tzedek, meaning justice. #GivingTuesday offers us an opportunity to take action and share that message within our communities and the world at large. On #GivingTuesday and throughout the year, our donations of time, talents, and financial resources provide us with important forums for activism and advocacy.

Our Jewish beliefs and values compel us respond to causes that inspire us. This kind of leadership catalyzes change in our own communities and around the world.

Last year, more than 30,000 organizations in 68 countries came together on #GivingTuesday, boosting donations of volunteer hours and financial investment and generating real, constructive global change.

#GivingTuesday knows no bounds. Everyone, everywhere can participate by inspiring collaboration in their local communities and supporting causes that matter to them. It is a day with one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

As a community, we can do more together than we can ever do alone. #GivingTuesday provides us with an opportunity to focus our philanthropy and involve ourselves and our congregations in the causes that inspire us toward a more just and compassionate world. Together, we can and do affect change at home and across the world.

This unique global forum offers an opportunity for you, me, and all of us to contribute to tikkun olam, the repair of our world. By engaging with the Reform Jewish community – whether by volunteering, advocating, or otherwise supporting our work – you can give and give back to yourself and others in ways that are personally meaningful to you:

  1. Make your voice heard on issues that matter, from civil and human rights to immigration, environmental justice, and more.
  2. Encourage the young people in your life to participate in our network of youth programs, though which they will build and nurture strong Jewish identities and make important, lifelong connections.
  3. Give yourself the gift of Jewish learning by signing up for Ten Minutes of Torah, a daily email that brings the Jewish world to your inbox.
  4. Partner with us to ensure a vibrant Jewish future and to create a more just, compassionate, and whole world.

This #GivingTuesday, I’m supporting causes that matter to me – and I encourage others to do the same. Won't you join me?

Tamar M. Copeland is the Union for Reform Judaism’s chief philanthropic officer.

Tamar M. Copeland

Published: 12/01/2015

Categories: Jewish Life
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