8 Online Tools for Teaching about Tzedakah

| By Yonah Kirschner, Program Manager, DigitalJLearning Network

Saturday, September 5th is the International Day of Charity, which recognizes the role that charity plays in helping others as well as the efforts of charitable organizations. In Jewish tradition the concept of tzedakah has a more complex meaning than just charity, and encompasses both charity and justice. In the days leading up to the High Holidays, your students will likely hear a lot about food drives and other community initiatives. They'll also see tzedakah mentioned in the High Holiday liturgy in the poem Unetaneh Tokef. Help your students to understand the deeper meaning of tzedakah this year using these great online resources.


1. The Tzedakah corner on MyJewishLearning.com

Create a blended learning lesson using one of these short tzedakah articles, or have your students read a few of the pages and then do a project based on their learning.


2. 13 Things Kids Don’t Know About Tzedakah PDF

Quiz your students on these 13 things and then create a blended learning lesson based on the answers provided in the PDF.


3. PJ Library Tzedakah Playlist

Teach young learners about tzedakah through song with these recordings (scroll to the bottom for the music player!).


4. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Tzedakah Defined

Rabbi Sacks explains why the term tzedakah means both justice and charity. This video would work well in a flipped classroom, where the students watch the video first and then apply what they learned.


5. Shalom Sesame: Helping Those in Need

This video shows a young girl giving tzedakah with her family, and would be a great way to introduce young students to the concept.


6. Tzedakah App for Teens from G-dcast

Help teens identify what issues are important to them with this app. They can also prioritize their actions and see how close they are to Rambam’s levels of giving. This app could be a great start to a larger tzedakah project.


7. Rambam’s Eight Levels of Tzedakah

If your students prefer text study, here are Rambam’s levels of charity in both original and list form. General quotations about tzedakah are also included.


8. Jewish Volunteering Opportunities

Help students put their learning into action with this search tool on the Jewish Federation website. Once students find the Federation closest to them, then they can research and find volunteering opportunities in their local community. Other Jewish organizations students might want to research and volunteer for can be found here.