Marty’s Shabbat Message – April 8, 2020

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

My head is spinning and I don’t even know where to begin. I write this to you as I am planning to lead a ZOOM family Seder Wednesday evening (you are reading this after the Seder took place) that will cover three time zones and will cover family members in St. Louis, Dallas, New York and of course here in the Valley of the Sun. It really is the strangest Passover I can remember in my lifetime. Interestingly, I feel about it sort of like I have always felt while I’m visiting in Israel. A little bit more in the moment. A little bit rawer. A little bit more alive. In Israel the scents always seem more pungent and the passions always a bit stronger. I have referred to our lives in the States as sort of sleep walking, living in bubble wrap. Well, we live in bubble wrap no longer.

One way we can do good in this world is through our ancient tradition of tzedaka, justice and righteousness. Taking care of each other. One way to express this value is by taking advantage of the various Arizona State tax credits that benefit several agencies serving our local community. Although the deadline to file taxes has been extended to July, the deadline to provide support to tax credit organizations remains unchanged and is April 15, 2020 or when you file your taxes, whichever comes first. Please keep in mind you can take advantage of multiple tax credits at one time and it is best to contact your tax professional with any questions you have.

Jewish Tuition Organization

  • The JTO provides approximately 80 percent of the students in our six Jewish day schools with scholarships
  • Most of these students would not be able to attend our schools without JTO support
  • Schools are still in session online, so tuition is still paid and much of the funds collected now secure their education for the next academic year
  • The tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar credit against an Arizona tax liability, whether paid or owed for 2019
  • The maximum tax credit is $2,269 for married couples and $1,135 for individuals for 2019 tax year. For 2020 the tax credit is up to $2,365 for married couples and $1,183 for individuals
  • A supporter can help where they feel the help is needed, either to the general fund for need-based scholarships, a school fund for need-based scholarships at that particular school, or a specific student who is not the taxpayer’s dependent
  • The schools supported by JTO scholarships are: Desert Jewish Academy in Chandler, Pardes Jewish Day School in Scottsdale, and Phoenix Hebrew Academy, Shearim High School for Girls, Torah Day School and Yeshiva High School of Arizona in Phoenix.
  • Send in your support by going online to jtophoenix.org, call 480.634.4926, or send payment to the JTO at 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 100M, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Arizona Charitable Tax Credit
Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO) for tax credits

  • You can contribute up to $800 per household filing jointly or $400 per individual.
  • The QCO support the work of local Jewish agencies serving low-income individuals and families.
  • The tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar credit against your Arizona tax liability for 2019.
  • Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO) include:

Wishing you a joyous passover

This week’s Torah portion falls on Chol Hamoed Pesach (the intermediate days of Passover) and we read from Exodus 33:12-34:26 “see, you say to me.” The Haftarah is Ezekiel’s vision of the “dry bones.” G-d tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and they do indeed come back to life. I think it fascinating that we are reading this Haftarah on Chol Hamoed Pesach during this horrible and deadly time of the virus. A real life Passover plague in our lifetime. For me the message of the dry bones is that if we choose to take care of each other, send a little more love out in the world and really embrace the idea of Kol Yisrael Arevin Zeh Bazeh, that each one of us is responsible one for the other, that life will return to normal again, and G-d willing soon.

I wish each of you and your families a Chag Pesach Sameach and a Shabbat Shalom. Stay safe and stay healthy.

Light candles on Friday at 6:37pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 7:34pm.

 

Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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