The OYM-BMTL Tzedakah Fund was established in the mid-1990s by Congregation Ohel Yonah Menachem. The Fund has recently been named in memory of Tzipi Tokayer (Selesny) a”h, in honor of her first yartzeit, 5 Nisson, 5773, March 16, 2013.
The Tzipi Tokayer Tzedakah Fund was originally created to help residents in times of need, whether in the form of a loan or to pay medical and other personal expenses.
With the arrival of Rav Spektor shlit”a, the Fund expanded to help the greater Beit Shemesh area, particularly Old Beit Shemesh. The Rav, with his office in the city rabbinate, was privy to many needy cases, and the Fund stepped up to help address the disadvantaged residents. Most of the Fund’s resources were spent to help the numerous people who suffered when the dot.com bubble burst in 2000. A few years later, the Fund joined forces with Congregation Beit Midrash Torani Leumi, and the organization’s goals started to change.
Currently approximately 85% of the funds are used to address both shuls’ tzedakah needs, assisting community members who have financial challenges; the other 15% are earmarked to Old Beit Shemesh residents. We allocate approximately NIS 40,000 per month for our community needs, including clients with health issues, employment problems and personal challenges (such as single parents raising families). In addition, NIS 6,000 per month is distributed via Rav Spektor in the form of food stamps for residents of Old Beit Shemesh.
The Fund also works in conjunction with the Tomchei Shabbat Fund run by Shoshana Lichtman, Devorah Rosenbaum and Sharon Goldberg.
In addition, the Fund distributes additional moneys during various points in the year, such as during the Yomim Noraim, Purim (Matanot La’evyonim), and Pesach (Kimcha D’Pischa). Significant sums are distributed during these drives.
Last year, our budget was NIS 800,000. All moneys received are used to alleviate the needs of our clients: we have no overhead as our entire staff works on a voluntary basis.
Tzipi a”h and Gershon, may he be granted long life, have always been staunch supporters of the Fund’s activities. It is therefore an honor and a privilege that the Fund has been named in memory of Tzipi a”h. May the Fund be zocheh to emulate Tzipi’s special attribute of having endless energy for chesed.