In a few months, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) will be celebrating its centennial celebration. As we plan our “Conversation of the Century,” an open and dynamic forum for sharing and seeding discourse about the future of synagogue-based Judaism, we anticipate that one of the compelling topics of conversation will concern the payment
Legacy planning is never easy. In my role as the head of the Jewish Funders Network, I try to facilitate conversations about how to approach it thoughtfully as a deeply meaningful and Jewish act. Accountants, lawyers, and philanthropists have been discussing estate tax and charitable giving quite a bit recently. The recent signing of the
When Warren Buffet, a member of the highest echelon of the wealthy, starts complaining that he is not paying the government enough taxes, we may be forgiven for our initial cynicism, but not for our continued indifference. Nearly every significant public policy discussion and decision is influenced by our attitude toward the legitimacy of taxes.
“It seems to me that one cannot use ma’aser money (one’s obligatory tithe, or assigned funds, for tzedakah) as a gift for the poor on Purim. A rabbinic enactment, such as ma’aser, is a binding obligation, and so the ‘giver’ would be paying a debt from ma’aser that does not belong to him. He has
We often conflate “charity” with the mitzvah of tzedakah. But while charity is something we all do, it often takes a form that distinguishes it from tzedakah. In contemporary American society, giving and charity are discretionary rather than intrinsic values. They are neither required nor viewed as an obligatory part of citizenship. And they are
One of the very first sounds heard in modern Yiddish literature was a cry of anguish over the injustice of arbitrary taxation. The year was 1869, and the pioneering Yiddish and Hebrew writer Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh (aka Mendele Mocher Seforim) wrote a play denouncing corrupt Jewish tax collectors whose sole purpose in life was to
Comic monologist Josh Kornbluth shares his experiences with tax accountants.
Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman reflects on the clergy parsonage tax exemption.
Should charitable donations be tax exempt? Do charitable donations fulfill the mitzvah of tzedakah? How do conversations about Jewish values inform your decisions about philanthropy and about creating a legacy for your family? Is the rabbinic parsonage tax allowance fair and appropriate today? Should undocumented students attending public universities or colleges be allowed to pay in-state tuition?