Gleaning for tzedakah

Naomi Eisenberger, founding executive director of the Good People Fund, traveled to the Bay Area last week to meet with nonprofits that the New Jersey–based agency has funded through its Tzedakah Initiative.

Naomi Eisenberger (right) picking fruit

In Oakland, Eisenberger met with David Fox, co-founder and executive director of Amir, which brings garden-based education to Jewish summer camps. The two talked about Amir’s work with Jewish teens and college students as well as area food pantries.

Her meeting in Mountain View with Village Harvest was much more hands-on. Along with founder Craig Diserens and 15 volunteers, Eisenberger spent the morning gleaning fruit from persimmon trees in local neighborhoods — experiencing first-hand the Village Harvest mission of gathering fruit that largely would go unharvested, and then providing the bounty to local hunger programs. In three hours, the crew gathered 900 pounds of persimmons.

Crates of persimmons

The Good People Fund is a 6-year-old nonprofit that supports more than 40 mostly grassroots agencies, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in the United States and another 25 in Israel. For more information, visit