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Teaching Children about Donating to Charity (Tzedakah)

A Shaboom! Discussion and Activity Guide for 4-7 Year-Olds and Their Parents

The Plony family rallies to make donations for their synagogue’s charity drive, but Gabi and Rafael notice that Mom, Dad and Ben only want to part with broken or worn out items.  Luckily, Lila wants to give something that she'd like to get – her favorite teddy bear! Amid flying clothes and wandering furniture, the rest of the family discovers how to help people in need.

Follow Up Questions

  • Do you remember when Lila said “I want to give something that I’d like to get?” Do you know what that means?
  • How have you been helped when you were in need? How did it make you feel?
  • Who have you helped? If you could help somebody new, who would it be and what would you do to help?

Related Activities

  • Ask your child which toys and books he or she enjoys. Pick one or two and buy new ones for kids in need. If he or she wants to give items from home, be sure they are in nearly new condition.
  • Read the book Noah’s Swim-a-thon with the child in your life. In the accompanying book review, you will find links to make a tzedakah box in which you can collect money from family members each week. Decide together as a family where the cash will go.
  • Bring your young child with you when you buy and deliver food to a local pantry or collection drive. Many food banks list the foods that their clients need so resist the urge to empty your pantries.

For Parents: What’s Jewish About Donating to Charity?