Artists to Reimagine Tzedakah Box for 21st Century

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) has launched a national design competition focused on philanthropy and social change. Where Do You Give? challenges artists to create a 21st century icon inspired by the values and imagery of the traditional Jewish tzedakah, or charity, box. The organization is encouraging designers to consider the tzedakah box in the context of an increasingly interconnected, global and technologically accelerated world.

Where Do You Give? aims to spark vibrant conversations about where, why and to whom American Jews donate money,” said AJWS vice president for programs, Aaron Dorfman. “As an international human rights organization, AJWS is charting new territory by launching a design competition. We’re looking forward to working closely with artists, design professionals and philanthropists on what it means to give in the U.S. and around the world.”

The Where Do You Give? design competition pays homage to the tzedakah box of old and honors the enduring values it represents as it invites artists to construct an updated vehicle for giving. Submissions can range from variations on the traditional tzedakah box to interactive, web-based applications to conceptual installations. Nine finalists will receive a $250 prize and will be featured in a national mobile tour hosted in galleries, synagogues and various communal spaces. The grand prize winner will receive $2,500 and a trip to visit AJWS’s grassroots partners in the Americas, Africa or Asia.

Submissions will be accepted from January 10, 2012 to March 1, 2012.

To learn more about the competition, visit