What is the Torah World Resource Book?
The Torah World Resource Book is a detailed, reliable collection of information in English on Torah and chesed (benevolent) institutions.
Jewish philanthropists use their time, energy and resources to help communities, institutions and individuals the world over. Now, for the first time in English, the Olam HaTorah staff of Bnai Brak offers Jewish philanthropists a well-researched, trustworthy directory to Torah institutions:
The Torah World Resource Book
By using this reference work, any Jew, wherever he or she may reside, can access information on any Torah-based institution. [An on-line version in Hebrew has been available for several years, sponsored by Olam HaTorah. The first two editions, in book form in Hebrew, were in such great demand that subsequent editions have been offered on-line to enhance accessibility].
[Observant Jews in Eretz Israel who are involved in assisting Torah institutions] established The Olam HaTorah organization to help donors and potential donors – private individuals, groups and foundations – to access reliable information about the recipients of their charitable contributions, their tzedaka. Originally, only institutions in Israel were listed. Now, the Olam HaTorah database includes details on Torah institutions worldwide, providing trustworthy information when you want it, where you want it.
The existence of a reliable Torah institution database closes the gate to two types of fictitious charity representatives:
1. Those who "represent" non-existent charitable institutions
2. Those who claim to represent legitimate, recognized institutions but who are unknown to the institutions in whose name they collect funds…and the fraudulently collected funds go straight into the bank accounts of the charlatans.
THE Torah World Resource Book has received the blessings and encouragement of leading Rabbonim from every sector, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Chassidic and Lithuanian.
Great hesitancy and uncertainty characterized the planning division at Olam HaTorah during the period just before the changeover to a virtual edition.
The warnings of Gedolei Israel against the use of electronic media leave no doubt regarding the requirement for firm restraint in using this form of communication. Therefore, it was only after receiving permission from the Netiv Company, the kosher alternative on the internet, that Olam HaTorah entered cyberspace.
Olam HaTorah, Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes at Olam HaTorah a skilled staff stands ready to supply the information needs of the Torah community in Israel and abroad. In choosing personnel, Olam HaTorah emphasizes hiring employees with confirmed expertise in information systems and related skills. This staff is responsible for confirming or negating the publication of information regarding institutions in the Olam HaTorah database.
The staff is in constant contact with Diaspora communities, who are delighted to be the beneficiaries of this special service. The staff also maintains continuous communication with donors and Jewish charitable organizations (va'adot tzedaka) worldwide. The most common manifestation of this contact: the many requests for information made by philanthropists.
Olam Hatorah: Once Upon a Time and Today
Originally, in the year 5760/2000 when the first Olam HaTorah guide appeared, this vital resource appeared in print. The first and second editions of the guide to Torah and chesed institutions was distributed in areas with a large Jewish population כ"י' on several continents. These early editions were intended for widely recognized donors, committees and tzedaka foundations.
Shortly after the appearance of the first guide, many Jews in the Diaspora recognized the virtues of such a resource and they made sure to obtain a copy. The second edition, which appeared in 5765/2005, had a similar effect; the Olam HaTorah office received many requests for a copy of the guide. The on-line Hebrew edition then made its debut.
In the face of increasing requests for copies of the guide from Jews in the Diaspora, and recognizing the limitations of a print edition, Olam HaTorah has decided to publish a virtual edition in English. Unlike the print edition, the virtual version of this resource can receive – and pass on – new information on-line. Adding, deleting or changing the details of any entry can take place quickly, and you, the reader, will enjoy the benefits of this enhanced system of editing.
The virtual edition offers several advantages over the print version, among them:
1. Unlimited distribution
2. Daily up-dates
3. The ability to include larger amounts of information
The Olam HaTorah executive staff has concluded that this popular guide to Torah and Chesed institutions in Israel should also list Torah institutions throughout the Diaspora, plus information currently being categorized and confirmed.
Even though we make great efforts to check and to confirm all details, we would like to invite the Jewish public to become part of our team. [If you are an official of a Torah institution and have any information that can improve our database, please, give us your updates. This information can include the addition of names of institutions and, conversely, information about non-existent "organizations", for instance. Enquiries from individual donors, municipal organizations and charitable foundations are welcome.
Olam HaTorah pledges to be available for assistance in clarifying information and to check received information with the appropriate sensitivity.