David Mandelbaum is proud to say that he comes from a generous family – a family that knows the true meaning of tzedakah (righteousness/charitable giving). His grandfather gave to all who asked – sometimes perhaps more than he could afford. His mother, Judy, always welcomed another person to her Shabbat or holiday table. And his Uncle Victor gave generously to many causes.
Judy’s Kindness Kitchen, a Sunday soup kitchen named in memory of David’s mother, was established in November 2004 as a program of Congregation Beth Sholom, in Providence. Today, more than 900 meals are prepared every week at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center and delivered to Crossroads Rhode Island, Emmanuel House and The Rescue Mission Homeless Shelters in Providence.
When Mandelbaum told his uncle, Victor Werber, Judy’s brother, about this program, Werber immediately wrote a check for $5,000, and then repeated the gift every year. To make sure that his support continued long after his passing, he also included Judy’s Kindness Kitchen in his estate plans.
Upon his passing, Beth Sholom received a bequest to establish the Uncle Victor Werber Fund for Judy’s Kindness Kitchen. By doing this, Werber ensured that the program named after his beloved sister will be supported in perpetuity. This new fund joined Beth Sholom’s existing endowment fund at the Jewish Federation Foundation.
Judy’s Kindness Kitchen has become a core program of the congregation.
Beth Sholom co-president Marvin Stark stated, “It is a well-known saying that the world’s existence relies upon three things: Torah, prayer and chesed [acts of loving kindness]. You only have to spend a couple of minutes watching the volunteers preparing meals at Judy’s Kindness Kitchen to see the joy and camaraderie experienced during this true act of loving kindness. Congregation Beth Sholom could not be prouder to act as a partner in this wonderful endeavor.”
Shortly after helping start this new fund, Mandelbaum and his wife, Alison, established a donor-advised fund at the Jewish Federation Foundation. They already had a donor-advised fund (DAF) with another institution, but also saw the value of investing in the Jewish Federation Foundation.
Mandelbaum has remarked that one of his favorite things about making grants from a JFF fund is that all grant recipients, Jewish and otherwise, know that the grant is coming from a Jewish entity because the grant letter arrives on JFF letterhead with the Hebrew date at the top.
Is there a community organization or program that has a special meaning to you? How would that organization be impacted if your annual donation suddenly stopped? If you want to make sure that your contribution continues and your generosity is remembered forever, the JFF can work with you to establish a fund during your lifetime or create a planned gift.
Thanks to David Mandelbaum and his family, both his uncle and mother will always be remembered for their generous spirit and kindness.