Where Do You Give?

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Mar 24, 2012 by Sasha  | 

JChoice.org is a website that provides a Jewish platform for giving. It’s also an entry in our Where Do You Give? Design Competition!

Please briefly describe your design:

JChoice .org is focused on engaging the next generation of Jewish youth to learn about the importance of philanthropy and giving in Jewish life by providing an online platform by which to personalize one’s Tzedakah from a Jewish perspective. These “one-to-one” giving opportunities allow a donor to advocate, choose and communicate directly with their “favorite” cause(s) and utilize a social network format with their peers and family.

The JChoice.org social network is similar to the Facebook type platform with a most distinct difference: anonymity and donor data is protected by the creation of a screen name. JChoice members choose how much of their information is shared with their favorite causes. Each “cause page” on JChoice is updated and maintained by the causes themselves, which are classified and cross-referenced based upon their Jewish values.
There are now countless charity websites, but JChoice.org is the only one that provides Jewish values-based educational tools and a free, Jewish values-based, media-enriched, donor advised fund. JChoice.org features a no-cost “pass-through” for allocations. Yes! 100% goes to one’s Jewish cause of choice. Yes! Also note that JChoice causes in Israel, as a rule, comprise 30% of JChoice selections.

How does your design reimagine the future of giving? How will your design spark a national conversation about the obligation to give, where to give, to whom and why?

JChoice.org will empower Jewish youth to consistently give Tzedakah donations throughout their lives, which will have a great impact on Jewish causes. As a result, JChoice.org users will deepen their Jewish connections and commitments, and ultimately strengthen their Jewish identity.

Our overarching goal is to “Make Tzedakah Happen,” which will be measured by the following three broad impact areas in which we aim to accomplish over the next five years:

• Raise $10 million for Jewish organizations.
• Help Jewish organizations become more sustainable
• Expand Jewish identity & Israel support of next generation of Jewish youth

JChoice creates and implements innovative educational programming that make giving through a Jewish lens meaningful and relevant. We have two primary objectives for engaging the next generation of Jewish philanthropy:
• Uniting the Jewish community online
• Engaging communities “on-the-ground” through grassroots, educational efforts.

Recent programmatic initiatives include: the creation of a “Mega-Cause Prototype” for our organizational partners—American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and Jewish National Fund (JNF); interactive Jewish values pages threaded through causes; creation of a mitzvah project database; and the development of a centralized B’nai Mitzvah Resource.

On-the-ground educational activities include the writing and teaching of original, open source Tzedakah curricula and workshops. JChoice is currently teaching over 1,000 students philanthropic programmatic initiatives at 20 different pilot sites that include: Jewish camps, Hillel alumni, family education lessons at synagogues, day schools and teen giving clubs. JChoice has also partnered with ShalomTV to produce a variety of video productions intended to excite the next generation about Tzedakah.


Sasha Feldstein is a program associate in the education and community engagement department at AJWS, where she manages WhereDoYouGive.org. Aside from wanting to be and play outside all of the time, she is interested in radical reconceptualizations of ancient traditions and in deeply exploring why we give, where we give, how we give and what it means to define giving tzedakah as pursuing justice. Sasha can be reached at sfeldstein@ajws.org.

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