Last updated: 2005-06-17
Make Poverty History kippot
Helping others to help themselves has always been an exalted Jewish value. Alleviating poverty by assisting the poor in adopting a trade, so they wont need to rely on charity in the future, is an age-old concept developed by the eminent twelfth century Jewish philosopher Maimonides.
When talking about Tzedakah, (roughly translated as charity, but involves the root word Tzedek meaning justice), Maimonides explains in his Eight Degrees of Charity that the most effective way to help the poor is to empower them to overcome their poverty, just as the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY Jewish Coalition (MPHJC) campaign is trying to do. Following this, the MPHJC has adopted the phrase from Deuteronomy Justice, Justice, Shall you pursue as its logo.
As an awareness raising tactic, the MPHJC have ordered a limited edition of white kippot (religious head coverings) with the MPH logo from EyM Kippot, headed by MARCELO WEINRAUCH, in Argentina. The participating MPHJC organisations have covered the costs of the kippot, which are being sold in the UK for £5. The MPHJC members - including several rabbis! are encouraging the distribution of the special kippot. It is the hope of the MPHJC that the kippot will be worn in synagogue and in general to raise awareness of the Make Poverty History campaign. As well, it will help distinguish the Jewish coalition presence at the main July 2 rally in Edinburgh.
Any profit from sales in the UK will be shared with the employees of EyM Kippot the newly poor of Argentina. Patricia Kaminsky of EyM writes:
The economic crisis has had a devastating impact on me and my daughters. As a professional interpreter I lost all my clients overnight and being a single mother, my family and I have had to adapt to living on the bare necessities after living comfortably all our lives. Our worst nightmare came true. Its so hard to make ends meet these days but thanks to the Make Poverty History Jewish Coalition and the UK Jewish Community who are buying the Kippot that we made, me and my work colleagues can look to the future with hope!
Women and men like Patricia now make kippot with Weinrauch at his factory in Argentina who work hard to make ends meet each month. By helping them to help themselves, the UK Jewish community hopes to extend awareness and support and to play a role in making poverty history.