Tzedakah and giving are words that have different meanings to each of us. For me, the idea of giving started when I was young and saw my parents involved in community. While at that age, I did not know that giving of their time also came with giving of their resources. I was born in Richmond and have lived here most of my life. I can clearly see the benefits that came from my parents and others who gave of themselves before me, building this community, Israel and the world.
Richmond is a community I am proud to call home. Proud to have raised my own family here and proud to have my children and their families visit and maybe come back to settle in Richmond one day. That pride comes from watching this community grow and mature during my time here. While we may not be large in number, the Richmond Jewish community is here, growing and is working together to take care of those who not only live here but across the U.S., Israel and the world.
I give because the need is there. There is no option; we must help those who need us. We would all like to think that there are no Jews, whether here in Richmond, somewhere else in the U.S., in Europe or Israel, who are in need. Unfortunately, the needs are there right here at home and across the world. I am compelled to do what I can to make a difference for someone who I may never meet. I would like to think that my contribution just might improve one person's life.
The need is not only in helping Jews with food, shelter or even medicine, but the need is also there to make sure we maintain communities like Richmond so Jewish life will continue grow and flourish for future generations. Our community needs the Jewish infrastructure in order to grow as a people. It is my obligation to follow my parents and their parents' actions so our children can raise their children in a safe, Jewish environment.
Giving and Tzedakah are just part of who I am, what I do, and what makes me feel complete and happy. Knowing my children had a Jewish childhood right here in Richmond, Virginia is what motivates me to make sure we, as a Jewish people, not only survive but also flourish and grow. I am proud that my children had the opportunity to attend a Jewish preschool, attend Jewish day school, had the privilege of taking Jewish classes, ate in a Sukkah during Sukkot, and felt they could express their pride for being Jewish. Without those who gave of their time and money to build this, my family would not have had these opportunities.
I want to make sure the generations to follow have those same opportunities, and more, to lead a Jewish life, wherever they are.