American Jews, like their non-Jewish counterparts, spend millions of dollars annually to celebrate joyous occasions. All the glitz should not obscure the fact that each year thousands of American Jews share their joyous occasions with those less fortunate by donating a percentage of the money they spend on life-cycle celebrations to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.
Since its founding in Los Angeles in 1985, MAZON--the Hebrew word for "food"--has granted more than $2.5 million to nonprofit organizations in this country and abroad that work to end the tragedy of hunger and malnutrition. Our funds, granted to Jewish and non-Jewish organizations alike, are raised entirely from Jews who voluntarily contribute a suggested amount of 30% of the cost of celebratory events.
The Jewish community's response to MAZON has been overwhelming: Our grant making has grown dramatically, from $20,000 in 1986 to $1.1 million in 1990. Thanks to our contributors, MAZON has emerged as one of the largest private funders of hunger-relief efforts in this country.
MAZON's message is a simple one, rooted in thousands of years of Jewish tradition: Times of celebration can be greatly enhanced by helping those in need. In the case of bar and bat mitzvah celebrations, giving to MAZON adds a meaningful, lasting dimension to a child's coming of age.