Unfortunately, even in the affluent society in which we live in the twenty-first century, there are still families nowadays who quite literally do not have even enough bread to eat. They struggle to survive on an income which in some cases does not cover even 20% of their minimal needs.
This is where Kupat Ha'ir stepped into the picture. The aim of Kupat Ha'ir was to reach these less fortunate families and ensure that each and every child should have bread to eat and milk to drink on a daily basis.
Over the years Kupat Ha'ir's activities have expanded to include much more than their basic bread-and-milk goal.
Whether it is regular financial support, providing adequate clothing for the children and their parents; assistance with the children, social support, or any special needs that the families have, Kupat Ha'ir is there to give a hand.
Thousands of families in troubled circumstances are helped by Kupat Ha'ir. Without regular philanthropic support to cover all the expenses, Kupat Ha'ir puts the money together by collecting the money from small donations from the general public. Today, after ten years of activity, Kupat Ha'ir is one of the world's largest charity organizations, distributing over one hundred million shekels annually.
A Non- Profit Organization
Kupat Ha'ir is run in accordance with the rulings of the Gedolei Yisroel. They are the sole signatories for the organization; they take responsibility for the legal and practical management decisions. Consequently, their deep involvement with Kupat Ha'ir's activities is self-understood. It is their personal organization. Everything is run in accordance with their directives; the administrative decisions bear their imprimatur. Each decision involving use of the monies collected is discussed with them. The gabba'im and public workers of Kupat Ha'ir are the emissaries to carry out the will of the Gedolei HaDor. It is superfluous to mention that the trust the public places in the Gedolei HaDor is absolute; the fact that this is the charity of the Gedolei HaDor themselves is the primary reason why the public trusts Kupat Ha'ir, and why it chooses to support Kupat Ha'ir so intensively.
Standards of Management
Integrity is the very foundation of Kupat Ha'ir. Its activities are decisively transparent. Each sum that enters and exits is clearly and precisely recorded. By its nature, a charity organization of this size, which accounts for the entry of millions of shekels annually, raises a red flag for the tax authorities. Repeated and thorough inspections by said authorities have proven the high standards which govern Kupat Ha'ir. It boasts both the certifications of a recognized non-profit organization and a certification of proper management; both the governmental authorities and the tax authorities can attest: Every shekel has an address! The relevant documentation is completed in an accurate and timely fashion; the accountants employed for the task are among Israel's most highly qualified. The Kupa is run with absolute integrity, both according to Torah Law and state law.
Each donor receives a detailed receipt, unless he requests otherwise. The information shown on the receipt includes the sum; the donation's intended purpose; the request that accompanied the donation, if there was one; and additional relevant information.
Employees and business owners who contribute to Kupat Ha'ir are eligible for tax refunds if they separate a percentage of their salaries for income tax. The donor may present his Kupat Ha'ir receipts to the tax authorities, and he will be eligible for thirty-five percent of the donation to be refunded. In this way, taxpayers profit doubly; thirty-five percent in this world, and the capital is saved for the next world…
Kupat Ha'ir is a vast organization: it comprises tens of thousands of donors, and supports thousands of families in difficult circumstances. The money enters from many channels, and is distributed, in turn, to numerous locales. In order to retain control over the movement of funds, the Kupa is subdivided into a few different departments. Each department has its own specific responsibilities; therefore, despite the enormous size of Kupat Ha'ir, it functions efficiently and in an organized fashion, enabling it to attend to the small details with precision.
This department handles incoming donations made over the phone, usually via a credit/debit card. Monthly donations are processed, including follow-up of any changes or mistakes in the card number or bank account. This department is staffed twenty-four hours a day, and each donation is recorded in the database.
Kupat Ha'ir employs bookkeepers and accountants; their job is to track each shekel and ensure that it reaches its destination. Each shekel has an address.
All sums are reviewed by this department, which also produces the balance sheets and financial reports.
C.Special Fund Division
Each special fund has its own individual name, identification number, and bank account. Every donation that is earmarked for a specific fund passes a rigorous control system to guarantee its endpoint is the one its giver intended. This division is also responsible for depositing the monies in the fund recipient's bank account. Also, for the purposes of supervision and updates, it maintains an open communication line with the Rabbanim who administer the fund.
An analysis of Kupat Ha'ir revealed several points of interest:
A singular aspect of Kupat Ha'ir is its wall-to-wall donor appeal. Tens of thousands of donors, who differ in their outlooks, education, lifestyles, communities, ethnicity, and cultures; who are dispersed throughout the world; who belong to all strata of society- find a common denominator in Kupat Ha'ir. In our vast, variegated world, there is still a tzedaka that belongs to everyone; that whoever belongs to the Jewish nation feels part of. Kupat Ha'ir is non-affiliated. This is the secret of its widespread appeal across the sectors of the political spectrum. The donor analysis shows clearly: Kupat Ha'ir's donors are comprised of all sectors of society, all levels, all types of people. Klal Yisrael prefers to give its tzedaka to Kupat Ha'ir. Everyone receives, so everyone gives.
Most institutions rely on a number of generous philanthropists and benefactors, who provide a strong economic base and support the institution so it will not collapse financially.
Kupat Ha'ir is different; it is supported by the Jewish nation.
There is no single patron who regularly injects millions to strengthen its financial standing. The monies which Kupat Ha'ir distributes come from tens of thousands of small donations, some not more than 18 shekels. That is why wide-ranging advertising to maintain public awareness is so essential. Kupat Ha'ir does not make light of the smallest donation; they add up to the astronomical amounts that go through Kupat Ha'ir.
Every donation is vital. Kupat Ha'ir has no single patron to rely on for guaranteed support. If the average man on the street would stop contributing, Kupat Ha'ir would not have anything to give to the poor!
The ordinary people, with their seemingly insignificant donations – which add up to 90 million shekels annually! - are who keep Kupat Ha'ir functioning.
3.Methods of Payment
Donations are made in a number of different ways:
On every project and every advertising campaign you will find our 24-hour toll-free number: 1-888-587-2842.
The Kupat Ha'ir office in Bnei Brak is manned around the clock by both English and Hebrew speaking secretaries. They are always available and willing to help and to answer questions. Credit card donations are processed immediately.
The constant ringing of telephones in the office is a beautiful tune of nonstop tzedaka. There is hardly a moment, day or night, when the phones don't ring. On the contrary, it is often necessary to reinforce the regular staff; to double and even triple the number of secretaries ready to answer the phones. If on a regular day literally thousands of people can call in, at peak times before the Jewish holidays, and when our special projects are in full swing, the average number of calls can reach a high of 50 per minute. An endless chain of giving: Klal Yisroel donating for Klal Yisroel.
2.Kupat Ha'ir Donation Centers
Under the guidance of the Gedolei HaDor, Kupat Ha'ir opened a number of donation centers at various locations in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. Many people prefer to give their donations in person. The act of giving the money personally, as opposed to contributing online or over the phone, has meaning for them; and for these people Kupat Ha'ir opened Donation Centers at easily accessible locations in town. These small "storefronts" answered a very human and a very Jewish need for a mitzva so precious that people want to actually feel that they are doing it with their own hands.
Kupat Ha'ir Donation Centers were popular from the start. In the very first month, already thousands of people flocked to them with their contributions for Kupat Ha'ir. Kupat Ha'ir saw the vital need for the Donation Centers and opened others in different locations. Thus an innovative new channel for giving to Kupat Ha'ir was initiated. Due to these "stores," many more families throughout Eretz Yisrael – widows, orphans, poor people and those who quite literally do not have enough to eat- have lighter burdens; these "stores" have widened Kupat Ha'ir's capabilities to give assistance to those in need. This "store" is different from the myriads of stores in the city- although you pay money like in any other store, here you buy eternity.
3.Street Collection Boxes
At street corners, at traffic lights, at central intersections- here you can find the large, distinctive collection boxes of Kupat Ha'ir. These boxes are filled, in general, with change and "small money." They are used by people who are holding a few coins in their hand and drop them into the box instead of putting them into their wallets. These boxes are often placed near bus stations for the convenience of those who want to contribute before travelling. The money that comes in from these boxes is made up of ten agurot, half shekel, five, and ten shekel coins; sometimes small bits of garbage or torn pieces of paper have to be sifted out. But all the effort –and it is an effort!- is worthwhile, when one considers that another hungry family will be able to eat dinner…
The gabba'im of Kupat Ha'ir had wanted to invite each donor, pour him a cup of water, shake his hand and take him on a tour of Kupat Ha'ir: "See what you have done! These are the worlds you have built; see how many families you have saved!" However, when you're talking about hundreds of thousands of people…well, that plan had to be shelved. It isn't possible to shake the hand of each individual donor.
The only way that Kupat Ha'ir is able to reach all its donors is through public advertisements. Kupat Ha'ir makes use of street posters, fliers placed in mailboxes, and newspaper advertisements. Their purpose is to inform the public of the enormous need; to apprise it of the families' dire circumstances; to publicize the support of the Gedolei Yisrael.
Occasionally the Kupa publicizes incentives, but it never offers tangible rewards in exchange for tzedaka. The money given is designated for tzedaka, and great caution is required regarding its use. Therefore, one will not find "Lottery For Half the Pot" or "Receive Valuable Gifts." The Kupa's programs are directed to goals that are kodesh, rooted in fundamental principles to protect the purity of the Kupa and to distance it from material inducements. The public response of the frum community has proven that it wants ruchniyus and values this approach.