The importance of Tzedakah in Judaism cannot be overstated, as it is a core value of being Jewish. In Hebrew, Tzedakah literally means righteousness, but it also refers to social justice, kindness, charity, and ethical behavior.

Shoreshim has a long tradition of providing support to those in need in Reston, throughout Northern Virginia and beyond. Three initiatives have engaged our members for years:

Since 1974 The Closet of Greater Herndon, Inc. has provided low income families gently used clothing and other household necessities at nominal prices. In addition, profits from the Closet are donated to worthy community organizations, and used to provide scholarships to needy, graduating high school students from five area high schools. Members of Shoreshim have long served on the Closet Board of Directors, and each year many members and their children volunteer countless hours at this small but important community thrift shop. For more information see

Cornerstones, formerly Reston Interfaith, began years ago as an interfaith human service effort. Today, a large multifaceted social service nonprofit serving countless citizens in Northwestern Fairfax County, Cornerstones promotes self-sufficiency for those in need by providing food, shelter, affordable housing and other support services.  Members of Shoreshim have served on the Cornerstones Board of Directors for many years, and each year, individuals and families within Shoreshim commit many volunteer hours in service to this worthwhile organization. For more information, see: 

A Simple Gesture is a bi-monthly food collection program started by Shoreshim in 2015.  It provides food to our local pantries and is easy for everyone to participate.  As of January 2018, over 800 families across Western Fairfax County, Va. participate as Simple Gesture food donors. In addition to donating food, many members of the Shoreshim Community also provide administrative, sorting and pick up support for this valuable mission throughout the year. “You fill the bag, we do the rest." For more information, see:

 In addition to these ongoing initiatives, we also participate, along with other local Jewish congregations, in the annual Good Deeds Day held in the spring.

 Each year, our Tzedakah fund, made up of contributions received during our High Holiday services, as distributions from the Closet, and as donations from members and nonmembers who believe in the work we do, allows us to extend our reach even further. Most recently, the Shoreshim Tzedakah Committee has recommended Shoreshim give financial assistance to:

 ·         Pathway Homes: A Northern Virginia non-profit that has provided supportive, stable (non time-limited) housing and rehabilitation services for adults with serious mental illness since 1980.

 ·         Homestretch: A Virginia non-profit program that empowers homeless families with children to become self-sufficient.

 ·         Tahirih: A United States-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides pro bono direct legal services and social and medical service referrals to immigrant women and girls who are fleeing from gender-based violence and persecution.

 ·         Northern Virginia Dental Clinic: A private non-profit facility where low-income residents from throughout the Northern Virginia region can access oral health care services.