BENEFITING: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE INC
Why I chose to support the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee: First off, I chose to support these specific charitable organizations because they are both extremely efficient and very capable of having an impact. Both charities are extremely highly rated for efficiency, meaning that quite nearly every dollar donated to the cause will go the stated mission, and the organizations have high levels of transparency. In fact, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee completely breaks down its spending and impact in yearly reports, which can be found at http://www.jdc.org/about-jdc/annual-reports/. I felt that it is appropriate to choose an organization that helps people of the same ethnicity as me because like groups are responsible for my current state of existence. (Since Judaism predates any modern definition of religion or ethnicity, it does not neatly fit into contemporary categorical standards. Many Jews from the Soviet Union identified with Judaism more ethnically than religiously because their official nationality was Jewish despite being banned from practicing religion.) Organizations like this one assisted my parents in emigrating to America from the Soviet Union, where they were oppressed by the government and the people. Because of such groups, my parents were able to pursue their dreams freely in the United States, and seek higher education -- something that they were denied in the Soviet Union. Had they not emigrated from Russia, they would not have been able to find respectable employment nor enjoy the level of comfort that is standard to most Americans. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee spends the plurality of its funds helping poor Jews in the countries of the former Soviet Union, assisting those that were not as lucky as my parents. It also aids Jews and non-Jews alike in emergency areas following crises like natural disasters, being among the first groups to respond to the earthquake in Nepal and prior natural disasters worldwide. While running, I often think about how lucky I am that my parents were able to immigrate to such a free country, and I’ve always wanted to give back to groups that help people in similar situations. By running a marathon, I’ve found a way to help garner support for this very meaningful cause. Since I would hate to alienate donors that would like to support my goals, but don’t want to donate to an organization that they can’t relate to, I set up another charity Crowdrise account benefiting the Robin Hood Foundation. This page can be found on my Crowdrise profile. I will be running my first marathon on August 25, 2015, around Rockland Lake in Congers, New York. The event I am running at is called the Self-Transcendence Marathon.