Previous Tzedakah Fund Grantees

Beth Emet Tzedakah Committee gives out grants twice a year. To learn more about the program and to apply, see here.

Read on to learn about our previous Tzedakah Fund grantees. These are all such great organizations, and we are grateful to be able to support!


Clearbrook of Arlington Heights (Fall)
Clearbrook serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It will use the grant to purchase art supplies and an air fryer to better serve clients of Techny Community Day Services Center, an adult vocational program in Northbrook. The supplies will be used to enhance educational and recreational activities. The air fryer will be used to improve the day services facility’s ability to provide meals to its clients who keep kosher. Beth Emet member Jill Randell volunteers at the Center.

Community Animal Rescue Effort (Fall)
This Skokie not-for-profit will use its grant to purchase two wide-span heavy-duty storage racks and supplemental cat food for its pet food pantry. The pantry distributes free pet food and supplies to needy north shore families. Beth Emet members Neal and Phyllis Shanoff and Alison Finkel and her daughter, Ray, volunteer at the pantry.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore (Spring)
The Tzedakah Committee’s grant will fund five $100 scholarships for a new series of anti-racism training sessions for YMCA’s Equity Institute facilitators and outside diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners. The training will support facilitators’ capacity to address racism and white supremacy in their organizations and communities.

Books and Breakfast (Spring)
This Evanston not-for-profit will use their grant to support a new intensive summer tutoring initiative to address COVID-19-related reading loss. Research has shown that the pandemic has intensified achievement gaps along racial and socio-economic lines creating the need for intensive tutoring. Over six weeks this summer, B&B will make about 50 hours of one-on-one tutoring available to Evanston students from marginalized communities. The project will enhance and extend B&B and District 65’s current COVID Reading Recovering initiative.

Literacy Works (Spring)
Literacy Works’ mission is to advance equity by promoting adult literacy education and the use of clear language. To accomplish that mission, this organization trains volunteer literacy tutors throughout the Chicago area and across the state and builds capacity among the volunteer corps through continued learning opportunities. Literacy Works supports more than 50 adult literacy programs and trains nearly 1,000 volunteer literacy tutors and professionals. Through its Clear Language Lab, Literacy Works focuses on improving systems to make organizations’ communications more equitable, compassionate, and understandable. Their grant will be used for general expense purposes.


Family Matters (Fall)
This organization partners with youth, families, and communities to develop skills and abilities that will enable their clients to build successful futures. The grant will be used to partially fund a project to build teen technical skills and leadership abilities by launching new, teen-led podcasts to amplify youth voices on social justice issues. Together with Family Matters staff, volunteer mentors, and professional recording engineers, the teens will research social justice topics, record and edit interviews, and then publish and market the podcasts.

Literacy Works (Spring)
Based in Chicago, its mission is to advance equity by providing a core of trained literacy tutors and other professionals to community organizations that focus on adult literacy and providing plain language workshops. The tzedakah grant will be used to support its clear language lab scholarship program for the benefit of organizations that have limited professional development budgets.

Kaleidoscope (Spring)
This organization, headquartered in Lod, Israel, promotes the spirit of diversity and develops skills of understanding and acceptance among Arabs and Jews living in Israel. Their mission is accomplished through student activities, professional training to school-based staffs, parent programming, and overseas programming in settings such as England, the U.S., and Germany. The tzedakah grant will be used to join 20 Jewish religious school teens in Akko with about the same number of Arab teens living in nearby Rama in an interactive nature day  overcome stereotypes and develop a mutual appreciation of diversity.

Evanston Work Ethic Organization (Spring)
This Evanston-based organization supports ETHS students from mostly low-to-mid income households in their pursuit of careers in vocational and technical trades. Evanston WE provides real-world work experience and prepares students to interact professionally with their colleagues and supervisors. The tzedakah grant will be used to support the annual summer internship experience for high school juniors by providing access to internships combined with training, coaching, and mentoring.

Community Animal Rescue Effort, Inc (Spring)
The mission of this Skokie-based organization is to foster and support positive relationships between people and companion animals. CARE re-homes companion pets into safe homes, provides educational and counseling resources, and works to reduce overpopulation. The tzedakah grant will be used to purchase three wide-span, mobile, heavy-duty storage racks to improve the efficiency of CARE’s pet food pantry. The pantry distributes donated supplemental nutrition and supplies to families in need.

Books & Breakfast (Spring)
This Evanston organization partners with Evanston Township High School to promote justice, equality, and social well being among children of color and from low-income backgrounds by providing a before-school program that includes a healthy breakfast and academic support by trained volunteers and Northwestern under-graduate students. B&B also provides regular packages of books, school supplies, and essential items ranging from grocery gift cards to short-term rent assistance. This organization will use their tzedakah grant for general operating expenses.


Evanston Present and Future (Fall)
Located in Evanston, this organization’s mission is to educate and empower individuals, families, and the community with a focus on minorities and others facing prejudice and discrimination. The tzedakah grant will be used to help fund this organization’s Teen Parent Leadership program with the goal of serving 20 teen parents. This program seeks to improve the lives of teen parents through education and entrepreneurial assistance, mentoring, and literacy and leadership skill-building while working to prevent unplanned teen pregnancy.

Young, Black & Lit (Fall)
The mission of this Evanston organization is to increase access to children’s books featuring Black characters. They do this by partnering with local schools and organizations serving low-income children to provide, for free, new books for children in pre-K through 8th grade. The tzedakah grant will be used for their “Lit Year” program. Working with six participating District 65 schools, this organization will, through this program, ship one book per month to the homes of every kindergartner who qualifies for the free/reduced lunch program for the entire school year plus an additional five books at the end of the school year.

The Talking Farm (Fall)
The mission of this urban farm, headquartered in Skokie, is to cultivate healthy, sustainable communities by supporting the production and appreciation of locally grown food. This organization operates a working farm on Howard Street in Skokie and partners with various local organizations (ETHS, Y.O.U.) to provide learning and educational opportunities. Since 2009, The Talking Farm has partnered with ETHS to convert an empty lot across from the high school into a 5,000 square foot organic garden and another nearby area which includes the school’s greenhouse and which provides learning experiences and five summer jobs for students and produces 2,500 pounds of fresh produce for use in the school cafeteria.

Literacy Works (Spring)
Located in Chicago, this organization’s mission is to advance equity by promoting literacy education. To accomplish this mission, Literacy Works trains nearly 1,000 professionals and volunteer literacy tutors each year who, in turn, provide services to an estimated 10,000 adult learners most of whom are low-income and limited English proficient. This grant will be used to help fund a new financial literacy training series. This series will provide four financial literacy courses to adult literacy practitioners so that they can implement their own training to students within their programs.

Interfaith Action of Evanston (Spring)
This organization brings people of diverse faiths and shared values together to serve hungry and homeless people, engages in advocacy, and promotes social justice. Major programs include a daily hospitality center, winter warming centers, four weekly soup kitchens, co-sponsorship of monthly, mobile food distribution, and an emergency overnight shelter (EOS). The grant will help fund an expansion of EOS capacity from 35 to 40 people and, in collaboration with Evanston’s Department of Health and Human Services, an alternate site during severe weather emergencies when more than 40 people seek shelter.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (Spring)
For decades, St. Mark’s of Evanston has provided a welcoming place for the homeless and hungry by providing space for Interfaith Action’s hospitality center which is open Monday through Friday, 52 weeks per year. Last year, more than 1,300 guests received hospitality, including lunch, computer instruction, and job counseling. St. Mark’s intends to use the Tzedakah grant to help fund the repair and remodel of the hospitality center’s restrooms, including providing accessible space for their disabled clients.

Ani Shlishi (Spring)
This organization, based in Tel Aviv and operated by former Beth Emet congregant, David Baskin, provides opportunities for self-advancement and meaningful employment to Israel’s at-risk Jewish and Arab young people. Ani Shlishi collects gently worn clothes for resale at two thrift store locations in Israel and provides staff with marketable retail and customer services skills. Sales revenue also funds vocational scholarships for its sales staff who have limited opportunities to learn a trade. The Tzedakah grant will be used to defray general operating expenses.

Youth Job Center (Spring)
This Evanston-based organization provides in-school youth (in partnership with six area high schools, including ETHS) and out-of-school youth, with career and job counseling and connects young people to positive first job experiences with the goal of placing their clients on a career path toward economic self-sufficiency. The Youth Job Center will use the Tzedakah grant to defray general operating expenses.


Random Acts of Flowers Chicago (Spring)

The Kindness Connection (Spring)

The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy (Spring)

Connections for the Homeless (Spring)

Family Matters (Spring)


Center for Enriched Living (Spring)

Center or Independent Futures (Spring)

Centro Romero (Spring)

Curt’s Cafe South (Spring)

Park School PTA (Spring)

Rohingya Culture Center (Spring)


YWCA Evanston/Northshore (Fall)

Center for Enriched Living (Spring)

Center for Independent Futures (Spring)

Family Matters (Spring)

Beth Emet Soup Kitchen (Spring)


Center for Enriched Living

Center for Independent Futures

Connections for the Homeless

Curt’s Cafe

Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association (ESCCA)

Family Matters

Moran Center for Youth Advocacy

NCJW’s Luggage for Freedom

YWCA Evanston/Northshore


Angles Reproductive Health Care Clinic (aka Links)

Center for Independent Futures

Connections for the Homeless

Curt’s Cafe


New Foundation (aka Turning Point) (Fall)

Housing Options for the Mentally Ill in Evanston (Spring)

Links (aka Angles Reproductive Healthcare Center) (Spring)

Literature for Us All (Spring)

Maot Chitim (Spring)

Normal Moments (Spring)

Beth Emet Soup Kitchen (Spring)

Tri-Con Childcare Center (Spring)

YWCA Evanston/Northshore (Spring)


American Red Cross, Disaster Relief (Fall)

Connections for the Homeless (Fall)

Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association (ESCCA) (Fall)

Family Matters (Fall)

Grace House (Fall)

Interfaith House (Fall)

UAHC, Disaster Relief (Fall)

Literature for Us All (Spring)

New Foundation (aka Turning Point) (Spring)

Tri-Con Childcare Center (Spring)

YWCA Evanston/Northshore (Spring)