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Exploring the Ethics of Giving and Receiving

July 10, 2013
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Rabbi David Teutsch

Rabbi David Teutsch told members of Federation’s Poverty Advisory Group recently that it takes two to make a mitzvah! Teutsch, director of the Center for Jewish Ethics of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, explained that “Jewish tradition commands us to both give a gift with dignity and accept the gift with dignity as well.” He added that “social workers must communicate to their clients that it is morally and ethically justified to receive help when needed.”

Teutsch teamed up with Danna Bodenheimer, a licensed social worker and recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award for her work as a part-time faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice, to give social workers the tools they need to help their clients access the benefits to which they are ­entitled.

The June 20 program, at Adath Israel in Merion, emphasized the value of these benefits in helping their clients to improve their current situations and make important changes in their lives. “Social workers can work with these men and women to overcome their feelings of shame and embarrassment and move forward,” Bodenheimer said.

For more information about Federation’s Poverty Advisory Group, contact Sheva Cohen at 215-832-0818 or email: SCohen@jfgp.org.

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