Readers often ask us where to donate in Israel or what is the best Jewish charity around here. First, never-never donate to Joint Distribution Committee, United Jewish Appeal, or your local assimilationist shop run by the temple administrators. They are neither charities (they have huge administrative overhead), nor Jewish (they cater to anything but real Jewish interests).
It is hard to discriminate among the many worthy Jewish charities in Israel. I wouldn’t suggest the Jewish charities which cater to yeshivas or generic social issues: some of them are worthy Jewish charities, but their charitable causes are popular and such Israeli charities generally have no shortage of donors. There are narrow segments of Jewish charities to which our readers are likely to donate, but which others would as likely skip in distributing their donations.
I suggest that prospective donors, Jews and non-Jews alike, consider donating to three types of Israeli charities. One category is the charities that help conservative Jews: the extremely poor Jewish families who pioneer the settlements in Judea and Samaria, Jewish soldiers and policemen tried in Israeli courts for using firearms against their Palestinian enemies, helping the families of conservative Jews imprisoned for political expression in Israel, and similar charitable causes.
The second category of good Jewish charities includes conservative activism: developing Jewish self-defense groups in the villages of Judea and Samaria, increasing the Jewish presence in nationally and strategically important places such as Hebron, or spreading real Jewish values such as Meir Kahane’s writings and nationalist Judaism untainted by political correctness.
The third category of Jewish charities is possibly the best of them all, and is so far represented by a single Israeli charity, The Friends of Efrat. This is the smartest Jewish charity around, worthy of any donor’s attention. This Jewish charity unites everyone. It’s neither right nor left, neither religious nor atheistic. The Friends of Efrat charity does something every Jew would agree to: bring more Jewish babies into Israel. And the charity does so with extreme efficiency and righteousness: they gather information from Israeli hospitals on unfortunate Jewish women scheduled for abortions. Most of these Jewish women opt for the terrible procedure because of monetary constraints and fear of raising children alone. The Friends of Efrat charity offers the women help, advice, and small financial aid to purchase the first necessities for the Jewish child. The charity maintains zero overhead as it employs only volunteers, and its efficiency is staggering: less than $1,000 for an extra Jewish child. Your $1,000 donation to the charity translates into you bringing up a new Jewish baby in Israel.
Given enough money, Friends of Efrat can do the most important job of any Jewish or Israeli charity: bring tens of thousands of additional Jewish babies to life every year. The charity is pro-choice in the ultimate sense of the word: they help Jewish women overcome anxiety and their immediate financial constraints, and make a true, free choice whether to bring up a Jewish child.
If you want to donate to a great Jewish charity, look at the Friends of Efrat.