The Bible teaches us (Deuteronomy 16:20) Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof – Justice, justice you shall pursue.
New York-based Tzedek Association is committed to this pursuit of justice and righteousness. Through advocacy, awareness and direct aid, Tzedek has given—and continues to give—incarcerated individuals hope for the future, while assisting countless families in need of a voice.
Meet our Founder
Rabbi Moshe Margaretten
Well before there was Tzedek, a young Moshe Margaretten spent his free time visiting jails and prisons, breathing life into the abandoned and the helpless. Seeing close-up how incarceration devastates individuals and families, Moshe declared it his life’s mission to reform the criminal justice system and shift its focus towards rehabilitation and ultimately, redemption. For close to a decade, Moshe worked with other stakeholders to introduce prison reform legislation. As these efforts expanded, the Tzedek Association was formally launched to further the objectives of fairness and justice for all.
President and Founder: Rabbi Moshe Margaretten
Executive Director: Samuel Kramer
Board Member: Jacob Jacobowitz
“These days it seems almost impossible to achieve anything in Congress with bipartisan support. One exception is criminal justice reform… The input and advocacy of faith-based organizations like Tzedek Association is crucial when it comes to educating members of Congress that may have misconceptions of what criminal justice reform entails.”
Tzedek is honored to partner with many other advocacy organizations and stakeholders to reform the current American sentencing system, which is broken in more than one way. We believe that every human being is placed on this world with a particular purpose and mission. When you warehouse someone for an extended period of time you are defying their humanity and their very reason for being on this earth. We believe in a sentencing system that is more humane, fair and just.
Tzedek is at the forefront in the battle for back-end prison reform. We have spearheaded legislation that has made a lasting impact for elderly incarcerated individuals, whom we believe have the right to a more humane and compassionate system. We were honored to champion the First Step Act, which established incentivized recidivism reduction programs, job training and educational programs in every BOP facility in the country. As well as many other examples. We believe in a justice system that encourages rehabilitation over punishment, and one that actually helps incarcerated individuals become better people when released to society.
ON THE COVID FRONTLINES
Times of crisis demand more of those who serve the needy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tzedek spearheaded efforts to protect the safety of inmates and successfully lobbied for the release of those who pose no threats to society. The group also stepped up to assist New York hospitals in obtaining critical medical equipment in short supply.
INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN WORK
Our work also incorporates aid and advocacy for humanitarian cases all across the globe. This includes people who are persecuted because of their faith, people who are unjustly detained and numerous other examples of humanitarian need. As was widely reported in the media, Tzedek has been privileged to play a key role in rescuing many people from Kabul, Afghanistan since August 2021 — especially women and children.