The Jewish concept of Philanthropy comes from the Hebrew word Tzedakah, which is derived from the word that means Justice.
Unlike Charity, that comes when the heart is moved, Jewish Tzedakah is a basic Commandment – one will give because it is just. If the heart is also moved, that is a bonus.
Most Tzedakah is given person to person – an obligation of each individual Jew.
Philanthropy is an outgrowth, mainly focused on those that have the means to give to the Jewish Community and the Community-at-Large at a higher level, because of having earned or created extra wealth – over and above the norm.
Pioneer Jews and Philanthropy
Throughout this museum one will note that most of the successful Early Jewish Pioneers were consistent in their high level of Philanthropy.
Within their Jewish Communities they created Hospitals, Schools, Synagogues, Orphan Homes, Benevolent Societies, as well as Homes for their Aged.
In the General Community they helped create Libraries, Hospitals, and the general Charity Organizations.
Much of their philanthropy also came through the Fraternal Organizations they helped create in the West – most notable being the Masons, the Odd Fellows and later, the B’nai B’rith Lodges.
A high level of Philanthropy was a value of most Jewish Pioneers of the Wild West, and is noted in all our Exhibition Halls.
Summary of Jewish Values as will be noted on each Exhibit of a Jewish Pioneer in this Museum.
I = Integrity H = Knowlege of Jewish History E = Education
L = Language Ability P = Philanthropy
from Why the Jews were So Successful in the Wild West, David W. Epstein, Isaac Nathan Publishing