For over 120 years, we have given interest-free loans to people struggling to help themselves. We foster economic independence while preserving the dignity of the individual.
Interest-free lending is a profoundly Jewish and centuries-old response to financial need, most famously articulated by Maimonides: “A loan is better than charity, for it enables one to help oneself.”
For some of our earliest borrowers, a loan from the Hebrew Free Loan Society helped establish a pushcart venture that was a family’s way out of poverty. For others, our loans helped prevent eviction or bought needed medical care. Although the world has changed, our mission has stayed the same.
Our loans currently help:
- Families who are barely getting by and are faced with sudden crisis.
- Students looking to attend college or graduate school without incurring unmanageable debt.
- Entrepreneurs start or expand a small business as a route to economic security.
- Parents of disabled children access expensive special-education services.
- Prospective parents afford the high cost of creating a Jewish family through adoption or fertility treatments.
Since our founding in 1892, we have provided more than $270 million in loans to nearly 875,000 borrowers while maintaining a 99% repayment rate. As loans are repaid, our capital is lent out again and again, helping an unlimited number of people.