The Giving Well: A Pedagogy of Ritualized Tzedakah
January 2023

The Giving Well: A Pedagogy of Ritualized Tzedakah

Rabbi Neil Janes
Rabbi, Teacher, Lecturer
SBJC (South Bucks Jewish Community), Clore Shalom School,Leo Baeck College
Ritualised giving of tzedakah focuses on the act of giving, the spiritual connection to the Divine and to humanity, and the impact on wellbeing

The Giving Well Pedagogy is an approach to developing ritualized giving of tzedakah which focuses on the act of giving, the spiritual connection this offers to the Divine and to humanity, and the impact it can have on wellbeing. The materials in the resource are a guide and journal, with an optional tzedakah box, that take learners through six mini-learning resources including texts from classical rabbinic sources and contemporary research and reflections on giving. These sources are to help educators establish a framework of practice for the ritual of giving tzedakah and doing acts of chesed. At the end of the unit of learning and when the ritual has been established, the journal component of the resource supports students to continue the practice at home whilst keeping a record of their giving and their experiences of giving for the rest of the year.

Neil is a leader and educator who cares about people, integrity and Jewish life and learning. He divides his time between a portfolio of responsibilities. Neil is the rabbi for South Bucks Jewish Community, enriching Jewish life in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. He is a lecturer at the Leo Baeck College teaching Talmud and Midrash to rabbinic students. He teaches Jewish studies in a Jewish primary school in the UK. He also works privately with individuals on their spiritual journeys. He is researching for a Ph.D. at King’s College London, where he is studying rabbinic literature and its representations of identity and culture. Ordained by the Leo Baeck College in 2006, with a degree in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, he also holds a degree in Education and Psychology. He has studied at Cardiff University, Leo Baeck College, Haifa University, King’s College London, and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. When not working, you can find him in the garden, watching the birds, behind a camera photographing nature, playing the guitar (not all at the same time) and spending time with his wife, Michelle, and their two children.


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