Steven Salop & Judith Gelman

Why We Give

Judith Gelman and Steven Salop have been donating to MAZON for over 20 years. Initially, they took inspiration from the idea of agreeing to impose a voluntary 3% “luxury tax” that would symbolically invite the poor to join their simchas. Their continued generosity stems from their support for MAZON’s focus not only on addressing the hunger that exists today, but also trying to ensure that no one goes hungry tomorrow.  

“It isn’t enough to feed people day in and day out,” say Steven and Judith. “Hunger in the United States is a systemic problem. We appreciate that MAZON works with agencies advocating to solve larger hunger issues.”  

Each year, Steven and Judith take time to evaluate their charitable allocations, to make sure their generosity will benefit those with the greatest need, and not just the organizations with which they have a personal affiliation. 

Schools, arts organizations and our synagogue are deserving institutions, and we still give to them. But a person must be fed before that person can learn, look for a job, or appreciate the arts or religion. Our priority is to give a large percentage of our tzedakah to organizations that address the needs of those who are most vulnerable in our society, both by providing direct service and by advocating for systemic change.

Steven and Judith connect deeply with their Jewish ideals, which inform and inspire their philanthropy: “Jewish tradition makes it clear that each of us has an obligation to ensure that resources are available to help those who cannot provide for themselves. Giving to MAZON each year is our way of fulfilling that obligation in a way that affiliates our gift with the progressive Jewish community.”