July 22, 2024
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July 22, 2024
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Daily Giving Celebrates Donation Of New Ambulance to Magen David Adom

The new Magen David Adom ambulance standing in front of the Schanzer home.

Last Wednesday evening, Jill and Bruce Schanzer of New Rochelle hosted a Magen David Adom ambulance dedication in their backyard. The ambulance stood in front of the Schanzer home, where the guests could see it and look inside. This particular ambulance was dedicated by the latest group gift from the organization Daily Giving.

The scene was idyllic as the guests milled about the backyard, enjoying the cool evening breeze, and listening to the live music of Mordechai Levovits and his bandmate. They ate Pizza Biza’s gourmet dinner buffet, and drank cocktails provided by Bar-Simcha.

The inscription on the new Magen David Adom ambulance.

Everyone stood as Yitzy Spinner of Great Neck sang the mi shebeirach for the soldiers in Israel, and then Bruce Schanzer spoke about Daily Giving. Daily Giving collects $1 a day from its 18,000-plus givers from across the world, and each day it gives all the money to a different charity. “One of the things to appreciate in the context of Daily Giving and the world we are living in right now is the power of the individual, and how when we come together we can do incredible things” said Schanzer.

Ali Bernstein, the director of Major Gifts for Magen David Adom, thanked Dr. Jonathan Donath for his donation from Daily Giving. “Magen David Adom is the official EMS organization mandated by the Knesset in Israel,” she said. “We are here tonight to donate a very special ambulance. This is the first time that 18,000 individuals have come together to donate an ambulance.”

Hosts Jill and Bruce Schanzer, flanked by Ellie Siegal on the left, and Josh and Helene Peyser, on the right.

Donath is a chiropractor who came up with the idea of Daily Giving one night, years ago. He was putting a dollar in the tzedaka box in shul, as was his custom. He had recently attended a shiur that had emphasized that even the smallest good deeds can make a great impact. He suddenly remembered that his mother used to give him a penny or a nickel to take to school every day as a child, for tzedaka. “What happened to that?” he thought. “We all give, but we don’t all necessarily give every day.”

Donath sought help from his friends Shlomo Ressler and Romi Strosberg. They created a dedicated platform and a website for Jews to give $1 to tzedaka every single day. Every day they give the entire amount to a specific Jewish nonprofit. “It’s a diversified portfolio of tzedaka,” said Donath. After establishing a rabbinical board led by Rabbi Krohn, Daily Giving was off and running. On its first day, 46 people signed up.

Michal and Moshe Abehsera, co-chairs of the event.

Donath explained that Daily Giving vets each charity that they give to very carefully. He is very proud that they have partnered with Magen David Adom to donate a lifesaving ambulance. “Last night I spoke to someone who said that she was very excited because this is the first time she took part in donating an ambulance. I know I personally couldn’t donate an ambulance. And so, it’s very special that while some of us get to be here tonight, over 18,000 Jews from 43 countries came together to donate this ambulance. And this is not our first. We have donated five other life-saving vehicles: four life-saving vehicles to United Hatzalah, and a $120,000 hospital van to Yad Sarah.”

Donath then recounted that he and his co-founder, Shlomo Ressler, went to Israel in March and visited a dozen organizations. The two men served homeless people with Meir Panim, packed food with Pantry Packers, and visited orphans in Migdal Or. They went to Mesamchei Lev where they watched a volunteer print out $1,000 checks for 1,000 widows. Mesamechei Lev also paid for 18 weddings that week—23,000 shekels per wedding. “We only saw 12 that week, but there are 78 organizations that Daily Giving has given to, and soon there will be more,” said Donath.

Dr. Jonathan Donath, founder of Daily Giving, addresses the crowd.

“We give to poverty, cancer, special needs, combating disease, trauma victims, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health, kiruv, Torah, chesed shel emet, life-saving equipment, transplants, and more. And really, what is $1 a day? But when we come together—that’s my favorite part of what we do—it’s the achdut we’re creating. From all over the world, people are giving. From completely unaffiliated Jews to the most right-wing Haredim. What more could Hashem want than for us to come together and give to our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than we are?”

To keep the contributors informed, each day the Daily Givers receive an email explaining which organization the money of that day was given. “To date, we have distributed over $16.5 million. Now we are giving out almost $7 million a year. Daily Giving doesn’t keep a penny; 100 cents of each dollar goes to the organizations. We fundraise for our overhead separately.”

Dr. Jonathan Donath and Elisha Tropper, one of the original Daily Givers.

Donath happily announced that while Daily Giving has existed for five-and-a-half years, and this was its first live event. He then concluded: “It takes 60 seconds to sign up—30 seconds if you have Apple Pay. Once you sign up, you’re committed to $1 a day.”

Daily Giver Gerald Cohen commented: “This organization is brilliant in its simplicity. It’s low-ask, with high impact. They only ask for $1 a day! But by bringing Jews all over the world together, they raise millions of dollars a year to support very needy Jewish organizations. It is a real Kiddush Hashem.” Abby Glass added, “It’s an opportunity for us to do a mitzvah every single day and it’s so easy.”

To find out more, or to become a daily giver, visit: dailygiving.org

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