This document was part of the Multicultural Philanthropy Project, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. A series of fourteen guides examine the ways in which various gender, ethnic, cultural, religious and racial groups use their gifts of time, money, and talent. They reflect the ways giving and voluntarism are embedded in American life and challenge the notion that philanthropy is the exclusive province of elites. The guides include discussion topics, research questions, and literature overviews with annotated bibliographies. They were developed both to integrate the study of philanthropy into the curricula at colleges and universities, and to provide a tool to nonprofit professionals in the area of development and fundraising. Each volume provides background information on a selected community that will help practitioners work effectively with these groups. This guide introduces the reader to the religious?cultural and historical origins of modern American Jewish philanthropy and voluntarism, and includes excerpts from traditional religious texts that provide the foundation of the Jewish philanthropic tradition. It considers the centrality of philanthropy and voluntarism to the history of Jewish institutions and cultural movements in American society. It will be of particular use to those seeking to understand Jewish philanthropy and the communal institutions that depend on it. In doing so, the author offers insight into the ties between generosity, theology, and religious structures.