On Wednesday, Cindy Shapira (our Federation Chair of the Board) and I experienced one of the most beautiful expressions of tzedakah in our recent memories.
As Cindy and I were completing a meeting in our Federation offices, we walked into the lobby to see Erin from our accounting staff writing up a receipt for a short, Russian speaking woman who had traveled to our building. Erin shared with Cindy and me that every year, this woman stops by to donate cash to the Federation’s Annual Campaign. The woman emphatically shared her appreciation for the work of the Federation and said that she will always give to the Federation. I did not get to speak with her in depth but my assumptions are that we helped her family resettle to Pittsburgh from Russia, we helped them learn English and perhaps helped her children get a Jewish education. She still may be receiving support from our agencies. She probably does not have a checking account so she gives cash. She either lives in Oakland or took public transportation to get to our office.
In our Talmud in Massechet (Tractate) Gittin, it says that even ” If a man sees that his livelihood is barely sufficient for him, he should give charity from it, and all the more so if it is plentiful” and that “even if a person subsists from tzedakah, they should give tzedakah”. This woman donated $5 and another $5 for her sister. These $10 may be some of the most memorable, important and meaningful dollars in our 2016 Campaign as we strive to reach our goal of $13.7 Million.