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JustOneChesed: The ‘TeaneckShuls’ of Tzedakah and Kindness

Imagine a digital marketplace that could serve as a matchmaker for goods and services around the globe. Eight years ago, this idea started as a dream and now that dream has become a reality. JustOneChesed is a Jewish Craigslist that offers tzedakah, love and support on both the giving and receiving end. Today, a team of 12, with thousands of volunteers, JustOneChesed comprises three divisions.

First, there is ChesedDepot. The concept behind ChesedDepot is to have designated places to keep and store valuable and useful items for those in need. The timing is not always practical or convenient when it comes to transactions of tzedakah, so where can someone go if they’d like to donate 200 office chairs or a lightly used dining room set? ChesedDepot’s mission is to have storage capacity all over Israel, many of those donated by real estate owners, family offices, and the like. ChesedDepot began its journey by assisting Ukrainian families, who made the courageous move to Israel. With their main warehouse in the Gush Etzion area, ChesedDepot has already contributed $1.5 million worth of furniture and appliances, providing these living essentials to Jews of every walk of life over the last 12 months. One of their most impactful matchmaking roles was during the renovation of the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. During the refurbishment, ChesedDepot saw to it that all the luxurious beds and furniture, which were set to be replaced, were donated. Now, these items, instead of being discarded, have been repurposed as the furniture that makes up a home for 22 lone soldiers, the common area and office of a social services center, and classroom and sleeping essentials for a yeshiva and its dormitory.

The second pillar is ChesedMatch, which is a digital platform connecting givers and those in need. ChesedMatch acts as a repository for groups and organizations who specialize in those highly needed services, and it’s accessible via a website and an app that updates in real time. It has over 11,000 monthly users and has assisted over 97,000 individuals since its inception. ChesedMatch has helped in providing new young families with essentials they can’t afford, assisted the unemployed with job placement, offered healthcare support and special needs services, and has even set up food drives. ChesedMatch has three dedicated case managers, who help ‘shadchun’ people in need and provide hand holding throughout the process. ChesedMatch runs the full gamut of ways to assist and there’s no area that they are not committed to helping with.

The final pillar is ChesedWorks. A division with a focus on empowering our youth for our future, it digitizes ways to conduct chesed for young volunteers and kids in high school. Last year, ChesedWorks was launched in 10 schools across the US and Israel, and now has 25 schools signed on for the upcoming school year. ChesedWorks aims to instill a sense of compassion and responsibility in our youth, empowering them to make a positive impact on the world around them, while also helping them manage and upload their chesed hours, so that administrators and schools can track progress and involvement.

On Tuesday, August 15, at 7:30 p.m. at RAIN in Teaneck, or on Monday, August 14, at 7 p.m. in Englewood, please come join us and listen to COO Joe Klein share some of the inspiring stories behind the scenes and learn about the remarkable projects that JustOneChesed has initiated to make a difference in the lives of thousands of our Jewish brothers and sisters.

To contact us, please visit our website at JustOneChesed.org or email us with questions to [email protected].

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