- What is the Areivim USA Program?
- The Areivim USA Program is an innovative charity program that raises funds for widows/widowers and young orphans, with exceptional dignity.
- Does Areivim USA organize fund raising drives for widows and orphans?
- No! In fact, the program was founded in order to eliminate the need for such fund raising drives. These drives are humiliating to grieving families and are often not successful. Areivim USA ensures that the dignity and privacy of the family is preserved.
- How does Areivim USA raise the funds?
- Areivim organizes a group of thousands of members. When tragedy strikes and one member passes away, the other members contribute to a fund that supports the widow and orphans. While the contribution of each member is minimal, the total collection is very significant, and is of great benefit to the surviving parent and orphans.
Collections are arranged after a review process that ensures that the member/family is eligible, as per the operating procedures of Areivim USA.
- What is the maximum contribution per month for members?
- To lessen the burden on members, Areivim USA has established a monthly maximum contribution of $42.00. If the amount required at any time is more than $42, the remainder will roll over to the following month(s), until the amount collected covers the complete amount required. This can occur when a member family has many members, or if there is r"l more than one death in the group in a given month.
- How much does each orphan receive?
- The goal of Areivim USA is to raise a maximum of $150,000 for each orphan, to help provide for food, clothing, tuition, medical and wedding expenses, etc.
- What about the widow/widower?
- An additional fund of up to $150,000 will be raised for the surviving parent of three or more unmarried orphans, to help cover the cost of raising a large family alone.
- How are couples counted? Do they comprise one membership, or is each spouse counted as an
- Married couples are counted as one. When a family registers with Areivim USA, they receive a family membership. Areivim USA will initiate its fundraising process in the event of the passing of either approved parent. They also contribute only once per orphan, when a fellow group member passes away, r"l.
- Why not continue with the age-old practice of collecting charity for widows and orphans, on a case-by-case basis?
There are several serious disadvantages to maintaining the status quo of collecting charity for individual families.
1. Shame and pain.
Families suffering from the loss of a parent are shattered. Their pain is greatly increased when they become "public charity cases", dependent on the generosity and goodwill of the community. This is especially true when, in an effort to increase donations, photos of the deceased and/or the orphans are published and even plastered on walls throughout the entire community. The widow and orphans pay a terrible price. Their pain becomes public - and their shame is beyond description.
Areivim USA eliminates the need for splashy, humiliating campaigns. Funds are raised discreetly and with dignity.
Mailings, advertisements, online campaigns, and parlor meeting cost many thousands of dollars. A significant percentage of donated funds are deducted from the funds that should be going to the widow and orphans, to cover the large overhead expenses incurred in connection with such campaigns.
Areivim USA eliminates the need for expensive fundraising campaigns that take money away from widows and orphans.
Areivim USA operates with low overhead costs. These overhead costs are sponsored by kind-hearted individuals. 100% of contributions made by Areivim USA members are allocated to funds established on behalf of bereaved families.
3. Unreliable and insufficient returns
No campaign is guaranteed to succeed. In times of economic uncertainty, donors cannot give large contributions. In addition, our community has unfortunately suffered many tragic losses in recent years, r"l, and many people have become less attentive to the needs of widows and orphans. It is becoming increasingly difficult to raise sufficient funds to meet the needs of the family.
Areivim USA has a goal of raising as much as $150,000 for every member orphan.
If there are more than three orphans in a family, up to an additional $150,000 will be raised to help the surviving parent deal with the financial realities of raising orphans alone.
4. The Economy
The philanthropic backbone of our community has in the past been severely affected by financial downturns and recessions. It can be harder than ever to raise significant funds through traditional channels in such times.
Areivim USA is "recession proof." Funds are raised through existing members, rather than through the usual fundraising methods. Members contribute only a minimal amount per newly-orphaned child, never more than the predetermined amount in any given month.
- What happens after a family benefits from Areivim USA? Can the surviving parent remain in the
program, and will a fund be raised in the event of the loss of their second parent?
- Areivim USA will collect funds only once on behalf of any particular orphan. After that, the surviving
parent is welcome to remain a member of Areivim USA, with the understanding that in case of his/her
passing r"l, funds will not be collected again, since a fund for these orphans has already been
- What happens if there are more than the required number of members in the group?
- The amount contributed by each member will then be lowered accordingly, but the amount collected on behalf of the family will remain the same.
- May a member contribute more than the required amount?
- Yes. Areivim USA is a tzedaka organization and welcomes additional contributions by members and non-members alike.
- What is done with the funds collected?
- Once the monies are raised they are transferred to a trust that is overseen by a board which consists of
a Rav, a financial advisor, a family representative and an Areivim USA representative.
- May the funds be invested?
- Funds may not be invested due to the associated risks. However they may be held in secure FDIC-
insured interest-bearing accounts. Interest earned will be added to the fund.
- How are funds collected?
- When a member passes away, Areivim USA, following the evaluation described above, charges the
credit cards of members, so that collectively, the group collects $150,000 per orphan/surviving spouse (if
eligible). For example, if the group has 15,000 members, the charge will be $10 per orphan. ($150,000 ÷
15,000 = $10) Although group size is not guaranteed, Areivim USA aims to keep the group size at 15,000
- How often are the funds collected?
- Funds are collected only in the event of a death of an Areivim USA member, r"l. Members contribute
just once per newly-orphaned child. For example, if a fellow group member passes away leaving behind
two orphans, other group members will be asked to contribute towards the funds for two children.
- What happens if a parent passes away leaving seven orphans?
- Members will be asked to contribute towards eight funds: seven for the children, and one for the
surviving parent. (The surviving parent is eligible, because there are more than three single children in
the household.) The collection for this family will take more than month, due to the monthly $42
- Which orphans are eligible for collections?
- Single orphans who were never married, under the age of thirty-two, are eligible for funds.
- What if in a worst-case scenario, Hashem Yishmor, there are many member deaths in a given year?
- Under normal circumstances, the $42 monthly maximum will remain in effect. In the event of mass
catastrophe, r"l, such as a pandemic, natural disasters, or chalilah, war, the Areivim USA Rabbinical
Board will determine policy.
For example, during the COVID pandemic, when the group lost an unprecedented number of members,
the Rabbinical Board ruled that monthly minimums be temporarily doubled, so that orphan funds could
be established in a timely manner. Payments reverted to the standard maximum, as soon as the last
COVID orphan fund was established.
The Arievim USA Rabbinical Board's decisions are always binding, and by joining the group, members
agree to accept their decisions.
- Here's How Areivim USA Works
- Community members sign up to join Areivim USA.
In the event of the death of an Areivim USA member r"l, all members in the group contribute towards a
fund of up to $150,000 per orphan. The amount of the fund is divided between the members in the
If there are three or more orphans, another such fund will be established on behalf of the
The funds are held in a trust and are allocated to beneficiaries by a board of trustees consisting of family
members and Rabbonim.
Funds are collected by an automatic charge to credit or bank account provided by members upon
- We often hear about the deaths of young people. What happens if, Heaven forbid, there are multiple
orphans in a given year?
- Although many young people often do, sadly, pass away, a large percentage of deaths occur when
people already have several or all of their children married. Since Areivim USA only raises funds to
benefit single orphans, these families do not necessarily cause a large burden.
Many people contribute to each Areivim USA fund, solely to take part in the mitzvah of supporting
orphans. The greater the number of such members in Areivim USA, the smaller the burden on members of the group.
- Is the money contributed considered tzedakah, and can it be paid out of maaser?
- Yes. Hagaon Harav Shmuel Wosner, zt"l, author of Shevet Halevi, and many other leading poskim, have
issued piskei halacha stating that money given to orphans through Areivim USA is tzedakah — true
charity, and can be paid from maaser funds.
- Collecting funds from thousands of members is a tremendous task. How does Areivim USA collect
- Members submit credit card or bank account information to Areivim USA at registration. In the event that a tragedy occurs r"l, and Areivim USA initiates a collection, members are notified via e-mail, phone or cellphone, that their cards/accounts will be charged, unless they opt out of donating. Funds are then deducted automatically.
- What happens if a member does not pay the amount due upon the death of a fellow member (i.e. the
credit card/bank account information is invalid)?
- Areivim USA and the orphans depend on full compliance. The system cannot work if members do not
make the expected donations. That is why the membership of any member who has not opted out and
does not make timely payments is terminated.
- Why should I register in Areivim USA?
- Chazal tell us, "Kol yisroel areivim zeh lazeh." The plight of widows and orphans is our responsibility.
Areivim USA helps ensure that the needs of surviving parents and orphaned children are met with
dignity. Areivim USA eliminates the need for humiliating, painful and expensive tzedakah campaigns. In
the event that, r"l, a member of Areivim USA passes away leaving behind orphans, a fundraiser will be
conducted by Areivim USA to ensure that the family will be provided for in comfort and dignity.
- Who can register in Areivim USA?
- Areivim USA welcomes the membership of the entire Torah-observant Jewish community. Members
must complete a registration process to determine eligibility.
- What is the cost of membership?
- There are no application fees. Areivim USA does not charge annual dues. Members agree to have their credit cards charged as described above, each time a collection for a fellow member is made.
- What if a person has life insurance? Can he join Areivim USA?
- Yes. Life insurance has no bearing on eligibility for membership in Areivim USA.
- Does Areivim USA take the place of a life insurance policy?
- No! In fact, we encourage our members to purchase as much life insurance as they can afford in
consultation with a licensed life insurance agent. Areivim USA is a tzedakah program whose goal is to
provide for the needs of unmarried orphan.
- Why should a person with adequate life insurance protection want to join Areivim USA?
- 1. A great mitzvah
Areivim USA offers its members the tremendous mitzvah of supporting widows and orphans.
Members partner with the Avi Yesomim — the Almighty Father of Orphans — in helping ensure
the future of children whose lives have been uprooted.
2. Termination protection
If there is a lapse in payment for the life insurance policy, the policy is terminated. Our
community has often been shocked to learn that a person who paid into a life insurance policy
consistently for decades was forced to allow the policy to lapse due to nonpayment in the weeks
or months before his passing. This is usually as a result of large medical expenses, and/or the
lack of steady income(s) brought about by illness. Areivim USA has no premiums, and the only
requirement for membership is to contribute in the event of the death of a fellow member – an
3. Collections for fathers and mothers
Often, families purchase life insurance only for the male head of the household. With Areivim
USA, a collection is arranged after the passing of either parent. This is important, first, because
women are often the breadwinners, and second, because the loss of a mother has significant
financial implications. The father can no longer dedicate himself totally to supporting the family,
because he has to assume additional responsibilities for his children and household.
4. Additional layer of security
Life insurance is often insufficient for a family's needs. Recently, a breadwinner passed away,
leaving a life insurance policy. The policy paid for the family's mortgage — and there was little
left to support the family. Thankfully, he was an Areivim USA member, and his family's needs
5. Protection for orphans
A life insurance policy will benefit the named beneficiaries, and funds will not necessarily be
restricted only to the benefit of the orphans. Areivim USA funds are reserved for orphans.
- Can people with no single children join Areivim USA?
- People with no single children, or wealthy people who would not need a collection on behalf of their
families in the event of their early passing r"l, are welcome to join. They can earn the great merit of
contributing to the fund of every orphan in the group. Many community members join, as tzedakah.
- Can a person assume responsibility for someone else's membership?
- Yes. Many people sign up others, as a gift or benefit. Some register their married children and
grandchildren, and many yeshivos enroll their rebbeim and staff members.
- How can a person become a member of Areivim USA?
- The application process is simple. Applicants complete a short application, which can be submitted to an
Areivim USA representative or to the Areivim USA office.
- How do I know if my application has been approved?
- You will receive confirmation of receipt and acceptance of your application. If you have not received this
confirmation, you should contact the Areivim USA office at your earliest convenience. Failure to contact
us may result in your remaining unregistered.
- Is there any charge for cancelling my membership?
- No. Membership can be cancelled at any time, with no fee.
- Are there any situations where a person would not be able to join Areivim USA?
- Yes. Some people with knowledge or suspicion of certain medical conditions may not be eligible to join.
If you have any questions about this provision, please contact the Areivim USA office.
- How do you decide if a person with a medical condition may join?
- Areivim USA has established a medical advisory board, which determines if people with certain
conditions are eligible to have collections made on their behalf. On occasion the board may ask
applicants to submit medical documentation.
- What if one parent suffers from a life-threatening condition? Can the other parent become a
- Yes. If the parent who was in good health at the time of application passes away, r"l, Areivim USA will initiate its fundraising process. Areivim USA will not initiate a collection for a parent who had a life-threatening condition at the time of application.
- Areivim USA is a ground-breaking initiative and a brilliant concept. Who devised the plan and
- The Areivim plan was devised and implemented by the renowned organization Kupat Hair in Eretz
Yisroel. Areivim in Eretz Yisroel has already benefited hundreds of families. This money was raised
without undue burden to the community, without any shame and pain, and without the expense of
advertising campaigns, mass mailings, and tea parties.
- Who brought the idea to the US?
- Local askanim, who were involved in collecting funds for families who lost young fathers and
mothers, felt it would be beneficial to adopt the idea in the USA.
- Is Areivim USA affiliated with Areivim in Eretz Yisroel?
- No. Areivim USA in the United States is completely independent from the Israeli organization. The
American organization has its own administration, founding principles, and guidelines and is completely
unaffiliated with Areivim in Eretz Yisroel.
- How many orphans have already been helped through Areivim USA?
- Unfortunately, the number of orphans keeps rising. As we go to print, Areivim USA has unfortunately arranged collections for some 600 orphans from well over 100 families. The families are from Boro Park, Williamsburg, Deal, Monsey, Lakewood, Monroe, Montreal and Manchester.
- Who oversees the activities of Areivim USA?
- Our Rabbinical Board oversees all activities of Areivim USA. with which it consults. The board members
are Rabbi Elya Brudny, shlit"a, Rosh Yeshivas Mir; Rabbi Moshe Brown, shlit"a, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva of
Far Rockaway; Rabbi Yitzchok Eizik Eichenstein, shlit"a, Galanta Rav; Rabbi Daniel Geltzahler, shlit"a,
Rosh Yeshivas Ohr Yisroel and dayan at Machon Lhora'ah; Rabbi Binyamin Landau, shlit"a, Tosher
Dayan of Boro Park; and Rabbi Henoch Shachar, shlit"a, Rav of Khal Ohr Tuvia in Lakewood. Our
administrative board includes baalei batim and askanim.