Benevolent Societies and Tzedakah
How do you give tzedakah (charity)? Although Jewish women’s and men’s religious roles have differed for much of history, Jewish laws and teachings regarding a person’s responsibility to help those in need have always applied to both sexes. This Go & Learn guide explores different ways that American Jewish women historically—and we today—fulfill the obligation of tzedakah and gemilut chesed (acts of loving kindness).
- Jewish laws and teachings regarding a person’s responsibility to help those in need have always applied to both sexes.
- While few middle class women in the 19th century held jobs, philanthropic work was deemed acceptable because it was seen as an extension of women’s roles as caregivers.
- How did Jewish women contribute to the tradition of female philanthropy in the 19th century?
- While middle class women who engaged in philanthropy did so to help others, how did they themselves benefit from this work?
- For high school:
Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh La’Zeh: Taking Care of Our Own in a Global Community
- For family/congregational education:
Ways of Giving
- For adults:
Women’s Benevolent Societies
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Benevolent Societies and Tzedakah." (Viewed on October 3, 2023) <https://jwa.org/teach/golearn/oct05>.