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Marty’s Shabbat Message – April 23, 2020

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

I hope that you and your loved ones continue to be safe and healthy.

I was so proud that your Jewish Federation partnered this past week with the Martin Pear JCC and our local JCRC to hold a blood drive on the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in which 62 people came out and made blood donations for the benefit of the entire Valley. Those participants actualized the age-old mitzvah of g’milut chasadim, acts of loving kindness.

Another of our wonderful Jewish traditions is the act of tzedaka, responsibility/justice in the form of giving to those in need. I want to let you know about a NEW tax deduction available through the CARES Act. It’s simple. You can help your Valley neighbors who are dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 crisis AND your gift will be eligible for the NEW universal tax deduction of up to $600 (filing jointly), even if you take the standard deduction!

Your donation will provide support and HOPE where it’s needed most.

COVID-19 is impacting our neighbors in ways we could never have imagined, especially those living with food insecurity, homelessness and financial pressures before this crisis struck. Thankfully, because of generous donors, your Federation was able to step up quickly and has provided $50,000 for grants meeting the safety net needs of our communities most vulnerable. Another $75,000 has been recently raised and is being readied for distribution as well. The need keeps growing and we need your help to meet it.

This week’s Torah reading is a double portion, Tazria- Metzora (conceived seed-leper) in the book of Leviticus, the third in the five books of Moses. In this double portion the discussion of laws of ritual impurity (tumah v’taharah) and purification continue. The major answer for purification is immersion into the mikvah (ritual bath). I think it more than interesting that as we, in 2020, are battling COVID-19, the single best defense against catching and spreading this illness is to wash our hands regularly. Another example of how applicable our 3,500-year tradition continues to be in real time up to this very moment.

Here are details on the NEW tax deduction:
Donors who take the standard deduction may also take an “above-the-line” deduction for up to $300 in charitable donations made in 2020 ($600 for married couples filing jointly). This effectively allows a limited charitable deduction for taxpayers claiming the standard deduction. For example, if you take the standard deduction and give $300 to charity, you will get a $300 tax deduction in addition to the standard deduction. ($12,400 for individuals and $24,800 for married couples filing jointly).*

Importantly, this deduction is available to you, even if you have already taken advantage of the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit!

For donors who itemize deductions, the CARES ACT also allows you to take a tax deduction of up to 100% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for contributions to qualifying charities in 2020. The new law temporarily lifts the limits on charitable giving from 60% of a taxpayer’s AGI to 100% for 2020.*

With these tax incentives AND the growing needs in our community, please consider a contribution to our Federation by hitting the “Donate” button at the bottom of this message. We need your help now more than ever. And remember… Your Donation Could Be Eligible For A NEW Tax Deduction!

*Please consult your tax advisor if you have questions.

Shabbat Shalom.
Light candles on Friday at 6:48pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 7:46pm.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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