The Shmooze

Design Contest: Rethink the Tzedakah Box

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Remember that little cardboard or plastic (and if you are even older, metal) tzedakah box that you used to drop coins into at home or at Hebrew school? Well, so does the American Jewish World Service, which is using it as the inspiration for a new design competition to be launched in January.

“Where Do You Give? Reimagining Tzedakah for the 21st Century” is both an icon design contest and an educational program. It involves a blog about tzedakah practice, an interactive educational experience for middle school students and their parents, and two national design competitions — one for adults 18 years old and up, and one for middle school and high school students.

The design competition “seeks to bring an ancient Jewish ritual object — the tzedakah box —into active dialogue with contemporary thinking about philanthropy and social change. We hope to catalyze deeper engagement around what philanthropy means in our increasingly interconnected, global and technologically accelerated world,” according to the project’s website.

Contestants have until March 1, 2012 to submit their entry, which can fit one of three categories: a drawing or rendering of a tzedakah box; an interactive multimedia and user interface design for websites, mobile devices and web- or mobile-based games; or an “outside the box” design such as an infographic, sculpture or installation.

The competition will be judged by a panel of seven judges from the worlds of design and philanthropy. They are: Allan Chochinov, a partner of the Core77 design network; Ruth Messinger, President of AJWS; Amelia Klein, Associate Director for Reboot; Max Schorr, Co-founder and Chief Community Officer of GOOD; Ryan Clifford, who teaches design at the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art; and James Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum.

The grand-prize winner will receive $2,500 cash and an opportunity to travel with AJWS to visit some of their partners in the developing world. Finalists will receive $250 and have their work included in a national mobile tour.

Start sharpening your drafting pencils or booting up your design software.

For Inspiration, Watch the ‘Where Do You Give?’ Video:


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