Skip to content
Dec 15 / Koby

Family & Tzedakah Survey Results!

Dear Dorotniks,

We’re excited to share the results of a survey of those interested in the new Hekdesh initiative focused on Family & Tzedakah. Below you’ll find some ‘data points’ as well as a few tentative conclusions. We’re going to continue the discussion we started at the retreat on the Hekdesh blog, so you’re welcome to join us! You can email your thoughts to us now – and we’ll be opening it up to an online discussion on the blog in a week or so. See details below.

Data points:

–Twenty-four Dorot alumni or spouses/partners completed the survey. Cumulatively, they have 35 children in their households, though it’s important to note that not all who completed the survey have kids. And that’s great – this initiative is intended for anyone with children in their lives, as parents, aunts or uncles, teachers or other roles we play in kids lives. 

–About three-quarters of the children of those responding are under 6 years of age, with the vast majority babies and toddlers. That said, the quarter of homes with children ages 7 and up typically also included younger siblings. 

–There’s a real mix in the schools kids represented in the survey are going to: public school, as well Jewish and non-Jewish private schools. These are at times complemented by supplementary schools and Jewish and non-Jewish summer camps.

–In terms of tzedakah-related issues, poverty topped the list, as did local and Jewishly-focused issues.

–Three-quarters of those responding say they’d be interested in an online initiative, and half said they’d be up for sharing resources or commenting on posts and the sort.

–The group was split on frequency of ntroducing online content, with about half saying once or twice a month would work well for them, while the rest saying less frequently was desirable (with every six months being popular).

–Again, about three-quarters were interested in gathering for events for adults and youth. Service projects and music-related events were most popular, though there was again little consensus on a desired frequency.

–About a quarter of those completing the survey are in the NYC-metro area, and another handful are in the LA-area. The rest are spread out domestically and internationally. 

Note: These figures are not intended to ‘represent’ the Dorot community. It’s not a survey that represents the ‘population’ of Dorotnik with children in their lives. Rather it’s the feedback we gathered from 24 respondents and is intended as a launching pad for discussion and activity around family and tzedakah.


We’re a diverse group! From age of children to schooling to geography, we’ve got different needs among the families of Dorotniks completing the survey. That’s also reflected in the desired frequency of either online or in-person events. We’re excited about the prospect of working on different levels, in different places, with different foci and tempos, but that means that one size probably won’t fit all. We’re confident, however, that with the flexibility of technology and the creativity, resources and resourcefulness of our group, this initiative will be able to enrich our understanding and practice of tzedakah for ourselves and the children in our lives. 

Next Steps:

The conversation continues online! Feel free to read the comments or comment yourself on the survey results.

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Hekdesh Learning Committee- Family and Tzedakah Sub-Committee
Jenny Breznay DFI ’91
Karen Abrams Gerber DFI ’92
Koby Oppenheim DFI ‘03


Leave a comment
  1. Emily / Feb 7 2012

    Thanks for this excellent summary. I was interested to see that there was strong consensus in the F&T survey on the issue of poverty, particularly local. This makes a great deal of sense to me, as it’s something that kids observe early on and is necessarily jolting and hard to process.

    I wonder, given our geographic diversity, if an interesting pilot project might be to plan a “family-friendly tzedekah outing date” to do some sort of common activity (such as, following up on Jenny’s post, going to volunteer in a soup kitchen or food pantry) and then comment in the online forum about our kids’ reactions. Some of us may already be doing activities like this, but we’re not yet, so it would be great to have both an impetus to try something new and to get to report back and hear about others’ experiences. Folks in the same area of course could do it together, but this way we could all have a conversation even if we didn’t go to the same place at the same time. Thoughts?

    • Julie S / Feb 9 2012

      I think that’s a great idea, Emily!

Leave a comment