Today’s Need for a Tzedakah Social Network
JChoice.org was developed to meet the following needs and realities of today’s giving climate:
1. Decline in Jewish Relevance among Youth
Traditional Jewish causes find themselves increasingly devoid of support from a constantly fractured and disinterested Jewish community. Viewing the Mitzvah of Tzedakah from a meaningful and relevant Jewish perspective, continues to decline among young Jews. As long as Jewish youth feel that being Jewish leaves them alienated, the reason to give charity from a “Jewish” perspective will steadily decay.
2. The Rise of Online Social Media
The Internet has become the fastest-growing form of media. Moving far past email, social networking is indeed the “lingua franca” for this new generation. Jewish teens need a safe social network that answers their need to be involved and contribute to the world from a meaningful Jewish perspective.
3. Lack of accessible Tzedakah Resources
A growing consciousness is evolving in teenagers and young adults to give their time, talents and voice, as they get involved with community service in meaningful ways. Yet there are few cohesive and accessible resources that guide them in giving Jewishly.
4. The Need for Personal Expression
Although JChoice.org makes it very simple to give, deciding where to send a donation is rarely an easy endeavor. JChoice.org provides a forum for peers to dialogue about their chosen causes, and with the programs themselves, directly learning the impact of their donations.
5. Strengthening the appeal of Traditional Jewish Causes
Many people in western culture (both young and old) view anything religious such as following a commandment to give Tzedakah, as superstitious and dogmatic. Instead, the popular notion is to relate to helping others through the recognition of humanist ideals.
At JChoice.org, we recognize this growing demand to help those less fortunate in more inclu- sive ways. Thus we have expanded our definition of “Jewish causes” as charities and programs in which Jewish values are identified and found within their missions. The idea is not to reduce giving to traditional Jewish causes, but to expand the relevance of the arena in which they are found. Underserved traditional Jewish causes will gain needed exposure because they exist in equal footing on JChoice.org with other non-traditional causes. Additionally, one third of our causes are found in Israel.
6. Current Economic Challenges
Still spiraling from the turmoil of the economic recession and scandals of recent times, many Jewish causes and foundations were forced to close down or severely cut back their budgets. Jewish causes need a place now, more than ever, to be showcased from a Jewish perspective.