9 Best Jewish Charities Making an Impact (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Jewish Charities Making an Impact (Complete 2024 List)

By
Quynh Nguyen

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Antisemitic incidents are on the rise, including those against Jewish people, with a 69% increase in targeted attacks on Orthodox Jews in 2022 alone. Fortunately, many Jewish charities, driven by their faith, compassion, and values, are dedicated to providing essential support and bringing hope to those facing adversity and interfaith understanding. So, we had to ask: What are the best Jewish charities making an impact?

The best Jewish charities making an impact are Repair the World and the Jewish Family Service. Charities such as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and the Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County work with various Jewish communities to provide spiritual and physical support. 

Whether you want to help people in need, combat antisemitism, or make the world a fairer, healthier, and better place for all religious communities, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best Jewish charities are, how they work, and what your best way would be to contribute.

Here’s What All the Best Jewish Charities Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia, supporting Jews, especially the poor, elderly and war victims, as they strive for a prosperous, healthy, and happy life. 

Many of the charities on this list focus on improving the spiritual and emotional health of Jews. Others provide material assistance and relief.

Yet they all share the same goal of empowering individuals and building strong communities, often extending to people of all faiths and backgrounds. 

These Are the 9 Best Jewish Charities Making an Impact in 2023

Below are our favorite Jewish charities (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Repair The World: Service and Learning For a Just World 

Logo for Repair the World
"Tangible change": A Chicago Service Corps story

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Their transparency & ratings:

Repair the World holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We mobilize Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world.”

Repair the World

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What they do:

Repair the World empowers young adults to make a difference in their communities. They do this by offering service and learning programs for episodic participants, part-time volunteers, and full-time fellows. Their programs enable participants to deepen their connection to the community, take action for social change, and engage in Jewish learning and professional development. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Repair the World has mobilized and inspired young adults in meaningful service and learning across the US. For example, volunteers, through their various 2022 programs, contributed a total of 106,937 hours of service and learning. Their acts were equivalent to $3.2 million in value toward meeting the needs of service partners across the country. Furthermore, in 2021, 100 Campus Corps Members recruited 4,843 peers in service, catalyzing 5,312 acts of service and learning, and contributing 26,299 hours of service to partner organizations

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Repair the World directly through their website. Other ways to get involved include volunteering at their events or in the Service Corps, or becoming a fellow

2

Jewish Family Service: Foster Equity by Helping People in Need 

Logo for Jewish Family Service
Person by person. Family by family. This is how you make a difference.

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Jewish Family Service holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We are committed to fostering equity, removing barriers to access and opportunity.”

Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County 

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What they do:

The Jewish Family Service helps individuals and families facing various challenges regarding their physical and emotional health, including Jews. They do this via many programs focusing on the older population and families as a unit. These incentives offer counseling, life skill training, bonding activities for communities and families, as well as a comprehensive system of care. They also run a food pantry program and a financial assistance incentive to further assist struggling communities and individuals. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Jewish Family Service has impacted the lives of millions of individuals and their families, including Jews, helping them overcome life challenges. For example, they distributed $174,473 in emergency financial assistance in 2022. Such support enabled 352 individuals and families to keep their homes. Additionally, they provided 2,344 hours of affordable mental health counseling in 2022. In the same year, 351 people participated in Older Adults programs that promote healthy aging. Another 4,696 people were supported via their Alex & Sally Lebwohl Food Pantry

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Jewish Family Service directly through their website. Other ways to help are joining the Chai Society, becoming a Monthly Mensh, or volunteering

3

Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County: Grants For Positive Change and Great Impact

Logo for Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County
Together We Guarantee a Jewish Tomorrow - Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We seek to guarantee a Jewish tomorrow through the creation of a culture of legacy within our Jewish community.”

Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County 

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What they do:

The Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County gathers endowments and funds to use for the betterment of the Jewish community in Orange County, US, and the world as a whole. They do this by providing grants for their local Jewish communities to ensure the continued vitality of important institutions that promote Jewish identity. They also run community-wide programs to improve various life aspects within the community. These programs include Create a Jewish Legacy, Endowment Book of Life, and Recognized Charitable Advisor.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County has distributed millions of dollars in grants and scholarships, empowering individuals and organizations to make a positive difference. For example,within a 5-year period, they distributed $41 million to more than 1,200 charitable organizations to improve the empowerment of Jewish communities. Additionally, through their Create a Jewish Legacy and Endowment Book of Life initiatives, their donors have created over 800 new legacy commitments

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County directly through their website. Other ways to give include creating legacy gifts or making cryptocurrency contributions

4

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: Much Needed Assistance to Refugees and Immigrants 

Logo for Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Healing and Hope: Ending Gender-Based Violence

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We stand for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and opportunity.

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

⚒️

What they do:

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society provides assistance to refugees and immigrants worldwide. They do this by offering legal support, providing resettlement services, and promoting economic inclusion for refugees and immigrants. Additionally, they advocate for policies that protect and promote the rights of refugees and immigrants, work to eradicate gender-based violence, and support community mental health. They also have a program responding to emergencies to assist those impacted by unexpected disasters.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has helped millions of individuals find safety, rebuild their lives, and access crucial resources. For example, they played a vital role in the rescue and resettlement of Jewish refugees during World War II and have continued to provide support to refugees from various countries and regions, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Moreover, in 2021 alone, HIAS helped more than 1.2 million refugees escape persecution and rebuild their lives.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society directly through their website, where you can make a one-time donation or give a monthly gift. They also have a matching gifts program where you can double your donation with your employer’s sponsorship. In addition, you can volunteer for a cause, advocate for an immigrant right, or sponsor a refugee

5

Heritage Pointe—Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County: Supportive Living With An Independent Spirit 

Logo for Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County
Heritage Pointe: Virtual Tour

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Their transparency & ratings:

Heritage Pointe—Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We honor our community of mothers and fathers as Jewish tradition teaches us.

Heritage Pointe—Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County

⚒️

What they do:

Heritage Pointe—Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County promotes independence and wellness for their senior residents. They do this by providing specialized living options, including senior living apartments, assisted living rooms, and memory care units. The community features spiritual and physical wellness amenities such as a synagogue, a fitness center, and a swimming pool. They also organize many social and recreational activities as well as events celebrating Jewish traditions

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Heritage Pointe—Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County has provided many senior residents with high-quality care and rich traditions. For example, in 2022, they provided over $1 million in financial aid for their residents. In the same year, there were 130 seniors living in their residential care. Furthermore, 500 participants engaged in their programs, and 125 staff and volunteers received developmental training

Ways to contribute:

You can make monetary donations to Heritage Pointe—Jewish Home for the Aging of Orange County directly through their website. You can also volunteer or support the charity through their legacy planning program

6

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee: The Global Jewish 9-1-1

Logo for American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Our Story

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

For over a century, we’ve put Jewish values into action when the world needs it most.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

⚒️

What they do:

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee strives to address the needs of vulnerable Jewish populations and communities around the world. They do this via a range of programs encompassing responses to global crises, aiding vulnerable Jews in need of food, medicine, and other critical resources. They also offer ongoing investment in strengthening Jewish communities’ leadership and resilience worldwide. Additionally, they drive systematic change to create opportunities for all Israelis

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has provided essential humanitarian aid to millions of Jews in need, uplifting Jewish communities and promoting global Jewish solidarity. For example, they provided over 22 million hours of homecare for elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union and offered life-saving aid to 110,000 impoverished Jews across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America in a single year. In addition, they distributed 23 million items of personal protective equipment to homecare workers throughout the pandemic, and have rescued 1 million Jewish people since 1914. 

Ways to contribute:

You can make one-time or monthly donations to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee directly through their website. Other ways to get involved include volunteering and fundraising with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. 

7

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington: A Force for Good 

Logo for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Why I Give

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We mobilize community builders and organizations to identify and develop solutions to our community’s greatest needs.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington 

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What they do:

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington helps address the concerns of Jewish people across the US and around the world. They do this by funding innovation within the Greater Washington community and in Israel, encouraging collaboration and networking, and providing a lot of resources about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Confronting and combating antisemitism is another scope within their programs. They also work to raise awareness, champion the rights of Jewish communities, and meet the needs of people with disabilities

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has worked to strengthen the Jewish community in the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia. For example, they have made available an annual investment of more than $2 million for Jewish education within the community. Additionally, they provide 185,240 hours of home care every year to Holocaust survivors in Greater Washington to support independent living. Furthermore, from 2018 to 2019, an emergency relief fund of $161,373 was used to support hurricane victims, security funding, and other critical efforts around the world.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington directly through their website. Additionally, you can volunteer your time and skills, campaign with the federation, or leave a legacy

8

American Jewish World Service: Building A Better World For Some of The Most Vulnerable People On Earth 

Activists Up Close: Meet Misael, Who's Defending Indigenous Farmers' Water Rights in Mexico

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Jewish World Service holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We’re a community of Jewish global citizens fighting for a better world.”

American Jewish World Service

⚒️

What they do:

The American Jewish World Service works to fight poverty and pursue justice in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. They do this via both philanthropy and advocacy programs. They focus on four central issues to secure human rights and end poverty: humanitarian and disaster response, civil and political rights, land, water and climate justice, and sexual health and rights. Specifically, they provide support to activists working within and across borders and focus on people and communities who are the most marginalizedwomen, ethnic minorities, indigenous communities, and LGBTQI+ people.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the American Jewish World Service has supported hundreds of grassroots organizations worldwide, promoting human rights, empowering marginalized communities, and advocating for policy change. For example, in 2022, they funded 541 social change organizations fighting poverty and promoting human rights in 17 countries. Additionally, they support thousands of activists and their organizations to create strong social movements that are rising up to tip the scales toward justice, such as funding organizations in Guatemala to build a powerful movement to challenge their authoritarian government.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the American Jewish World Service directly through their website, where you can make a one-time donation, become a monthly donor, or make an honorary gift on behalf of a loved one. You can also start a fundraising campaign with the American Jewish World Service to support global justice. 

9

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews: Support Israel and Her People 

Logo for International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Welcome to IFCJ

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Their transparency & ratings:

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We build bridges of goodwill that have led to greater understanding and cooperation between members of these two great faiths.”

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews 

⚒️

What they do:

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews works to improve the relationships between Christians and Jews, focusing on helping people affected by war, oppression, violence, and poverty. They do this by supporting Holocaust survivors, and orphans, as well as poor elderly populations, people who were persecuted, oppressed, and victimized by terror and war through the provision of basic necessities and via advocacy efforts. Additionally, the fellowship assists needy Jews in making Aliyah (immigration to Israel) and fostering understanding about the Jewish state

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has helped hundreds of thousands of Jews escape poverty and anti-Semitism. They have also funded humanitarian assistance that has touched the lives of millions of Jews in Israel and around the world. For example, they have gathered support from 2.3 million people in the US and around the world for Israel and the Jewish people. Moreover, they have raised $2.62 billion to help Israel and the Jewish people, helping 2 million people on a yearly basis. Specifically, in 2021, they helped 220,753 elderly and holocaust survivors, 732,659 impoverished families, 37,800 refugees living in Jordan, and 126,065 children and youth

Ways to contribute:

You can donate, either one-time or monthly, to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews directly through their website. They also have a matching gift program where you can double or even triple your donation with your employer’s sponsorship. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best Jewish charities. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support the best Jewish charities—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities—and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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