The International Association of Jewish Free Loans has designated Feb. 8-9 as a worldwide Free Loan Shabbat. The goal is to call attention to the practice of granting interest-free loans to Jews in need.
The Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia is urging local rabbis to highlight its work and connect it to the Torah portion for that week.
The nearly 30-year-old Philadelphia nonprofit offers up to $5,000 to Jews who have short-term needs such as being unable to pay a bill or fix an automobile in order to get to work. The loan is open to Jews from Philadelphia and its suburbs and parts of South Jersey; non-Jewish employees of Jewish organizations are also eligible.
Tamar Granor, co-president of the organization that gets its funds from donations and bank interest, said that currently the group has more money in the bank than people applying for loans so they are trying to publicize that their service exists.
The group has also teamed up with Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen to introduce a new program. The R & B Business Loan Fund at Congregation Beth Or offers a $10,000 loan to use to start or upgrade a business.
For more information, go to: hebrewfreeloanphila.org or call 267-709-9652.