Sep 16, 2010

Kupat Ha'Ir vs Vaad HaRabbonim

There are two big tzedaka funds in Israel, among the multitudes of tzedaka funds, that do real heavy duty advertising replete with gedolim and segulas. It almost seems, at times, like they are in competition with each other as to which can come up with the newest and craziest segula connected to tzedaka, and who can get which and how many of the gedolim to support it.

They would be Kupat Ha'Ir of Bnei Braq, and Vaad HaRabbonim of Jerusalem. The celebrity face for Kupat Ha'Ir, among the various other names used, is Rav Chaim Kanievsky. For Vaad HaRabbonim it is Rav Elyashiv. In my opinion, Kupat Ha'Ir wins the competition with the craziest segulas (I have no idea which collects more funds) and most gedolim listed backing them.

Strangely enough, the most recent advertisements of the Vaad HaRabbonim include the image and words of Rav Kanievsky. That would mean he is no longer exclusively backing Kupat ha'Ir. Strange, considering they always quote him as saying that their tzedaka is the best and only one people should give to...

Not to worry, though. Kupat Ha'Ir came up with an ad that was more than double the size of the Vaad advertisement, in the same edition of the Yated this week.

I split the advertisement into two sections.

In the first section of the ad, they have Rav Kanievsky promising to daven for all the donors to the Kupa by name each day of Asseres Ymei Teshuva. As you can see, they divide up the way they create the imagery of his words as if it is the Ten Commandments. Rav Kanievsky has already said every donors name during the first five days, and he will say it during the next five days as well.

In the second section of the Kupat ad, you can see some segula, they dont mention a source or what it means, they say that 100,000 seconds of straight uninterrupted davening on Yom Kippur (that is more than 27 hours, which is a pretty big commitment for their representatives to daven on Yom Kippur for nobody, not even for their own judgement, but for the donors to Kupat Ha'Ir).

Not only that, but they also say, again without explanation or sources, that their prayer reps will mention the name and request of each donor 12 times, that's right - an amazing 12 times! -


  1. That's some pretty strong stuff. Va'ad Harabonim is going to have hard time competeing. Maybe Hashem will help them if they donate to Kupat Ha'ir.

  2. Questions:

    * Why is 4'th day called "Tzom haShevii" instead of "Tzom Gedalya"?
    * What is "Yom 13 Middot"?
    * What are 100,000 halachic seconds? Are there 3600 seconds in a Shaah Zmanit?

    Gmar Chatima Tova everyone!

  3. Yzom Hashvi'i is what TG is called in (at least one place) in tanach

    Yom 13 middos refers to the selichos of today, in which the pizmon of 13 middos was recited

    100,000 probably represents the total amount of time that the kupa shel ir's representatives will daven for the donors. They could have said X amount of hours, or Y amount of minutes, but 100,000 sounds like a very large number.

  4. as I said in the post, it translates to over 27 hours (nearly 28)...

  5. Rafi it never ceases to amaze me how with some issues you can be right on the money, and others you miss the mark so poorly, or you just pretend to look like you dont have a clue.

    1) Show me ONE as when the KSI quotes RCK as saying NOT to give to any other tzedakah.

    2) ANY and EVERY local tzedakah can get RCK to say that theirs is the best tzedakah. Its not a contradiction - its halacha - ani'yei ircha kodem. So if youre from BB, the KSI BB is the best place. If youre from RBS, one of the local tzedakahs is the best place (there are plently and this is not the forum to discuss which is better, and why a certain "kanoi" is not loved by the readers of this blog)

    3) To the best of my knowledge, RCK as always been one the pictures of vaad harabonim. This is nothing new.

  6. anon - RCK is the poster boy of Kupat Ha'Ir, no matter where else he appears.

    They dont quote him as saying not to give anyone else. The imply that all your tzedaka money, or the bulk of it, should be given to them because they are the best, most honest, most backed by gedolim and RCK, etc.

    I dont remember him on Vaad Harabbonim, but I might be wrong.

  7. 27 hours? So maybe they start before kol nidrei and end after rabeinu tam.

    Maybe they count yeshiva m'chail l'chail.

  8. Of course they IMPLY it. They want you to donate to them. The local kuppas also imply they that the bulk of your money should go locally - and that was expressed clearly by RCK himself.

    If a local BB resident would ask your opinion, what would you say is the best tzedakah? I am sure it would be a local tzedakah. The rest is just marketing, at which they are the best.

    And the proof is that when I think of some tzedakah organization that I do not have a specific shaichus to - I think of them. Period. Thats merketing. They have firmly planted the idea in everyones head that they are the biggest, the best, the most backed etc...

    Vaadharabonim also campaigns that they are the most backed, the best the biggest etc. But KSi leads the way.

    They also drive everyoen the most crazy :)

    But, it works. I heard Purim time that they stopped advertising in Kiryat Sefer, since the locals - as instructed by their rabbonim (by halacha psuka really) - give to ani'yei ircha, so it was not worth the expense. So all the ads you see - work. They bring in more money than the amount the cost.

  9. Anony - Rafi it never ceases to amaze me how with some issues you can be right on the money, and others you miss the mark so poorly, or you just pretend to look like you dont have a clue.

    As a general statement (not for this particular instance), it amazes you that Rafi is human?


  10. Rafi - as I said in the post, it translates to over 27 hours (nearly 28)...

    I was trying to imply a question - Why are they using the "goyishe" clock? :)

  11. I remember, before last Purim, when Kupat ha'Ir advertiszed in its French booklet that "it [was] a PSAK HALACHA from the gdolei hador that matanot laevionim should only be done through Kupat ha'Ir". I was shocked. Of course, when you read the Hebrew iggeret that they got them to sign, it only said that it was mitsva min hamuvchar since Kupat haIr ensured that the money would be given on Purim itself, to rabbinically certified poors, etc.

    In Chul, you get double the fun.

    OTOH, my Rav told me that in his opinion you were not yotsei of matanot laevionim when giving to such Israeli charities when there are so many poor Jews just at your door in Paris.


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