Tzedakah Fund

Family Matters project, RISE, teen clients participate in a meeting to design, research, and publish a podcast on social justice issues. The project goal is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn crucial technical and leadership skills.

Our Tzedakah (righteous giving) Fund provides grants to social service and social action organizations within the greater community that address basic human needs.

It offers our members a way to support the community financially.

Family Matters project, RISE, teen clients participate in a meeting to design, research, and publish a podcast on social justice issues. The project goal is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn crucial technical and leadership skills.

Since 1987, Beth Emet has awarded 326 grants totaling $142,764.

Grant recipients address basic human needs through —

  • social service, by giving relief to those who are in need and helping victims of violence or injustice
  • social action, by educating the public, influencing public policy, and advocating social change. 

Who can apply for the grants?

Any not-for-profit organization that meets the requirements specified in our application form is eligible to submit a grant application. The Tzedakah Committee accepts applications from not-for-profit organizations directly or from synagogue committees, the Klei Kodesh and staff, and individual synagogue members submitting applications on behalf of those organizations. 

The Tzedakah Committee gives grants twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. You can apply for a grant on behalf of a not-for-profit organization and donate to the Tzedakah Fund. Contact Barry Isaacson for more information on the grants or to join the Tzedakah Committee.

The Tzedakah Committee will continue to provide grants to eligible and deserving non-profits. We encourage congregants to help charitable organizations with which they may be involved to submit grant applications for future grant cycles. For more information, contact Barry Isaacson.

Click here for the Fall 2022 Application. Please note: the filing deadline is October 31.


Spring 2022

The Tzedakah Committee awards grants to deserving non-profit organizations that best exemplify Beth Emet’s social justice core values of righteousness and justice; love of one’s neighbors and for the stranger; compassion; kindness; and, hospitality. This spring, the committee awarded three $500 grants to the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Books and Breakfast, and Literacy Works. 

YWCA Evanston/North Shore
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
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
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.

See our previous successful applicants since 2013.

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