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Members of the Cheder Community are expected to engage in social action through tzedakah, community service, and activities that promote social change. Part of Cheder dues are allocated to a tzedakah fund, which the community distributes to Jewish and secular local, national, and international charities. An annual meeting open to all members is held to decide how to distribute the funds. Sometimes Cheder students make decisions about how to disburse a portion of the tzedakah fund.
The community also periodically collects food, books, clothing, and other needed items for local homeless shelters, and regularly helps a local food bank deliver food donations. Often a Bar or Bat Mitzvah will organize a tzedakah project in which the community participates.
Community service projects have included volunteering at a food pantry, harvesting produce for soup kitchens, participating in local park clean-ups, and fixing up the grounds of an underground railroad museum with Muslim families. Recently the Cheder has formed a relationship with Adventist Community Services, which operates a food pantry in Takoma Park. Each Cheder school household is expected to transport food from grocery stores and warehouses at least twice per year, and contribute to an annual drive to provide a Thanksgiving meal to needy families. Members of the wider Cheder community are strongly encouraged to take part in this work as well.
Members of the Cheder Community seek, in their personal and - in many cases - professional lives to promote peace, social justice, environmental protection, and human rights. Often Cheder families come together to participate in a rallies, marches, and other activities that reflect these values. We encourage children to articulate and act upon their own beliefs about social and economic justice.