HOW IT WORKS...
In Greater Ann Arbor, B’nai Tzedek enables bar/bat mitzvah youth to establish individual endowment funds. These funds will be set up and administered by the Jewish Community Foundation. You, the teen member, contribute a minimum of $250 from your bar/bat mitzvah gift money. This amount is matched by a generous donor in the community.
Each year thereafter, you can recommend donations up to two times per year to any certified charitable organization you choose - to Jewish organizations locally, nationally, in Israel or in other Jewish communities overseas. Teens can give away any amount they want, as long as at least $250 remains in the fund.
Plus, you can contribute more to your fund. You, your family and friends can add to the fund for special occasions or any time you want to increase your ability to make a difference. So, as your fund keeps growing — from your contributions and from earnings on its investments — the moretzedakah you can give each year. The really great thing about starting a fund is that you’ll always have money to donate because your fund is always earning income.
The way it works is, you get to have your own B'nai Tzedek account created in your name. The money that goes into it in the beginning will come from two different places:
Bar/Bat Mitzvah contributes: at least $250
Jewish Community Foundation/matching donor contributes: $250
Total in your B’nai Tzedek account: at least $500
So you have this account. Now you're a philanthropist! The great part is that once a year, you will be contacted by the Jewish Community Foundation to ask you which Jewish charity you want to support with your donation. You will have the chance to donate any amount you want, as long as at least $250 remains in the fund.
And, as the years go on, you or your Uncle or Grandpa or Mom or Dad can add to your account on special occasions like birthdays or graduations. And every year, the amount you can give will get bigger as your account grows.
All you really have to do is decide which Jewish charities interest you most. Then we send the check to the organization in your name. When they get a gift from the "Your name Here" B'nai Tzedek account, they know it's coming from you.
WHEN YOU GRADUATE...
Big party! Seriously, upon graduation from high school, you will be given the opportunity to disburse all but $250 to the organization(s) of your choice. The remaining $250 will be used to help continue the B’nai Tzedek program.*
B'NAI TZEDEK ACTIVITIES...
Hey, there's more! When you join B'nai Tzedek, you become part of a whole bunch of other Jewish kids who are also fed up with watching the news every night and want to change the world.
There are lots of different ways to be involved with the B’nai Tzedek program. You will meet other teens who want to help change the world – one person at a time. Organized B’nai Tzedek programs in the Fall, Winter and Spring will give you an opportunity to better understand not only your own values, but also the range of amazing non-profit organizations working to make a difference in the world, and how you and your fund can make an impact.
Join us! The most important thing about B'nai Tzedek is that it allows you to make a difference. We enjoy giving. It is a powerful way for us to make change in the world. It is a chance to express ourselves. And it is the best opportunity to support the Jewish issues we really care about.
*If at any time the fund balance exceeds $5,000, it can be converted to a donor advised fund in your name. At that time, the fund shall be regulated by the then current bylaws of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Ann Arbor.