The Value of Philanthropy — “P”


The Jewish concept of Philanthropy comes from the Hebrew word Tzedakah, which is derived from the word that means “Justice.”

Unlike charity, which comes when the heart is moved, Jewish Tzedakah is a basic Commandment — one gives 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 who 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 the 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, Odd Fellows and later, the B’nai B’rith Lodges.

A summary of Jewish Values is noted on each Exhibit of a Jewish Pioneer in this Museum.

I = Integrity  

H = Knowledge of Jewish History  

E = Education  

L = Language Ability   P = Philanthropy

Back to the Front Page of “Why the Jews” [Click Here]

from Why the Jews Were So Successful in the Wild West…And How to Tell Their Stories, by David W. Epstein, Isaac Nathan Publishing, 2007.