Tzedakah Collective

A congregation's Tzedakah Collective demonstrates the synagogue's dedication to social justice through its various activities.


Temple Emanuel
1101 Springdale Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Target Groups: Multi-Generational Social Action Program, Adults

September 11, 2001 was a traumatic time for all of us. As a way with dealing with our grief and sense of helplessness, Temple Emanuel followed a suggestion from the Union of Reform Judaism in the development of a Tzedakah Collective. The Collective started humbly, and has grown to be a central part of the synagogue's commitment to social action. With no funds directly contributed from the synagogue's budget, the Collective has donated over $6,000 in the past two years to local charities, as well as funding specific cases for Israel, and it is pledged to donate another $4,000 in the coming months. The purpose of the Collective is to encourage Temple family members to contribute in a Jewish and meaningful way to the greater community's good. The Collective provides the synagogue with a focus that has far reaching effects.

One of the ways that the Collective is funded is through an annual Family-Walk-A-Thon. The congregation asks for a small family donation of $18, which goes directly into the Fund. The Walk starts at the local Holocaust Memorial, which is in front of the former site of Temple Emanuel. This brings a certain awareness to congregants about the memorial and its roots in the history of Temple Emanuel. The attempt is to involve every level of synagogue membership into the Walk, but are particularly pleased that there are many families with young children participating. The Walk gives the families an opportunity to teach children basic concepts of charity.

The Tzedakah Collective has established excellent relationships with local charities. This allows the Jewish community to be viewed by these charities in a positive light and gives Temple Emanuel an opportunity to be counted on for its support. Some of the organizations include:

  • Caring Hearts Ministries (Helping children and families with AIDS)
  • Food Bank of Southern New Jersey
  • Shalom House
  • Volunteers of America
  • Group Homes of Camden County
  • Israel--Argentina Campaign
  • Israel Emergency School Bus Campaign
  • Magen David Edom

A number of other local and national organizations have benefited from the Collective as well.