Volunteering in Israel

Jewish Text Sources on Community Service

Articles on Volunteering in General
Volunteers Should not be Second-Class Taxpayers
Turning a Gift into a Powerful Tool
Civicus Civil Society
United Nations Volunteers
Articles on Volunteering in General
From Barriers to Bridges
Targeted Volunteer Recruitment
Volunteerism in Latin America
New Survey Dispels Myth of Apathetic Teens
How to Recruit Adult Volunteers
Myths about Virtual Volunteering
Volunteering for the 'Right' Causes
Benefits and Barriers of Using the Internet in the Non-Profit Sector
Marketing Tips for Volunteer Organizations
The Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
Volunteering: The Tenuous Thread
Turning a Gift Into a Powerful Tool: The Internet's Impact on the Volunteer Field
Articles on Volunteering in General

Mishnah Torah 6:6
If a stranger comes and says, I am hungry. Please give me food, we are not allowed to check to see if he is honest or not; we must immediately give him food.

Mishnah Torah 10:7-14
The highest level of tzedakah, exceeded by none, is that of the person who assists a poor person by providing him with a gift or loan or by accepting him into a business partnership or by helping him to find employment in a word, by putting him where he can dispense with other people's aid.

Mishnah Peah, Maimonides on Leviticus 19:9-10
Peah (corners) should be left at the very end of the field so that the poor may gather (the crops left in the corner) in anonymity; so that the poor should know exactly where and when to obtain the peah due to them, without wasting their time waiting for the farmer to designate part of the field; so that passersby can see that the farmer has fulfilled this obligation; and so that the farmer cannot claim falsely that another part of the field was already designated, in order to evade fulfilling the obligation.

Hilchot Deot, Maimonides 3:3
A person should see to it that the body is kept healthy and strong in order that they may be upright to know G-d. For it is impossible to understand and comprehend wisdom when one is hungry and ailing or if ones limbs ache.

Hilchot Isurai Mizbayach 7:11
When you give food to a hungry person, give him your best and sweetest food.

Rabenu Bahya, late 13th century

Job lauds himself that his home was wide open to all wayfarers, strangers, and sojourners and that he endured that no one regardless of his nationality ever lodged in the street. Job was a righteous person and he was kind to all people as well as to his own countrymen. This should be an inspiration for man to broaden the extent of his compassion, as the sages said, "one who shows mercy to G-d's creatures will be shown mercy in heaven" (Shabbat 1516). We may conclude a fortiori that if Job, who did not know Torah, practiced this quality of kindness, the Israelites, who have accepted the Torah, are certainly obliged to practice it in all aspects.

Hilchot Issurei Mizbayach
When you give food to a hungry person, give him your best and sweetest food.

Seder Hasidim

If a community lacked a synagogue and a shelter for the poor, it was first obligated to build a shelter for the poor.

Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 249:7
One should give up to a fifth of ones possessions that is the mitzvah to an extraordinary degree. One tenth is an average percentage and less is considered miserly.

Rabbi Shelom of Karlin (18th Century)
If you want to raise a person from mud and filth, do not think it is enough to keep standing on top and reaching a helping hand down to the person. You must go all the way down yourself, down into mud and filth. Then take hold of the person with strong hands and pull the person and yourself out into the light.

Passover Haggadah:
HaLachma Anya, di achalu avahatana bara dmitzrayim. This is the bread of affliction our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all who are in need come share our Passover.

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