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Giving Tuesday: Will it be the latest craze?

First came Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday, then Cyber Monday and now – Giving Tuesday. In its second year, Giving Tuesday takes place online on Tuesday, Dec. 3, with Jewish nonprofits, among others, hoping to raise money for their various causes.

From helping low-income Holocaust survivors, to feeding hungry seniors, Jewish organizations are participating in what has been proclaimed a national day of charity, and which aims to provide an alternative to the consumerist frenzy of the shopping days it follows.

“Giving Tuesday provides a sense of balance to that, especially after a weekend when it’s all about consumerism,” said Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. “As we close out that weekend, we think about others, people who may never have the opportunity to engage in that kind of lavish purchasing, but for whom we as Americans have a tremendous amount of concern. It’s a way of pulling them into this experience, and reminding them and ourselves that it’s not always about being acquisitive, it’s also about giving back.”

Mazon hopes to raise $10,000 to help hungry seniors tomorrow.

“For us, the focus will be on seniors who are struggling with food insecurity,” Leibman said. 

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is using the day to focus on raising funds for impoverished and low-income Los Angeles Holocaust survivors, roughly 30-percent of L.A.’s 10,000 survivors, according to a press release issued Monday by the L.A. Federation.

Federation’s goal is to raise $20,000 on Giving Tuesday, to “provide 1,000 hours of home services – such as transportation to medical appointments, bathing, meal preparation, shopping for basic necessities and other care,” the release states.

“These services are what allow frails seniors to stay in their homes.”

Approximately 8,000 organizations have partnered with New York’s 92nd Street Y, which is “the catalyst and incubator for Giving Tuesday,” according to the Web site community.givingtuesday.org.  

Giving Tuesday is a “a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations,” according to the project’s official Web site.

As part of the preparations, development staff at organizations such as Mazon participated in webinars focused on topics such as how to make Giving Tuesday successful, best practices for online fundraising and more.

Another local participant is New Community Jewish High School, which is taking advantage of Giving Tuesday to raise money for an endowment to fund student scholarships.

In addition, the Jewish nonprofit startup Jumpstart has convened a panel discussion – titled “Faith+GivingTuesday+SocialGood,” which will be held Tuesday at the USC Caruso Catholic Center at 1 p.m., exploring the meaning of charitable giving in America. Participants from the Jewish community include City Controller Ron Galperin; Jumpstart CEO Shawn Landres; Devorah Brous, founder and executive director of Netiya; and Allison Lee, executive director of American Jewish World Service-L.A.

Israel, too, is getting in the mix. On Dec. 31, the Jewish state holds its inaugural and Giving Tuesday-inspired project, GivingTuesday Israel. Produced by IsraelGives, which helps Israeli organizations fundraise online, it aims to be the biggest day of online fundraising in the country’s history.

For more information about Jewish-L.A.’s various Giving Tuesday campaigns, visit the websites of Mazon; L.A. Federation and New Jew.

For more information about Jumpstart’s discussion, visit eventbrite.com.

If you are a Jewish organization in Los Angeles that is participating in Giving Tuesday would like to be included here, please contact [email protected].

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