Not all emergencies are physical. Zvi Gluck, CEO of Amudim, set out to prove just that.
After a chance encounter with Mendy Klein z”l, Gluck founded Amudim—a crisis support center—in 2014 to help Jews in serious mental health crises. Amudim serves those who have experienced loss, abuse, addiction, and other traumatic events.
You may recognize Amudim’s name from Daily Giving’s daily emails; Amudim became a Daily Giving beneficiary in 2020, and Gluck himself has been a Daily Giver for a few years.
“At first, the Daily Giving concept made me skeptical,” Gluck said. “I thought, ‘How many people are going to want to give a dollar a day?’ But clearly, a small drop makes a big impact.”
How Amudim’s mission overlaps with Daily Giving
The staff at Amudim is working hard to destigmatize sensitive issues and provide vital resources like therapy to those in need. Gluck’s hope is that, over time, people will recognize the warning signs of crisis situations, like domestic abuse, and know what to do when someone they know needs help.
“What we’re trying to do in the field of mental health is being done in the world of tzedaka through Daily Giving,” Gluck said. He pointed out that a major part of Daily Giving’s positive impact is education, increasing the awareness of organizations and needs that Daily Givers otherwise would never have otherwise encountered.
“People always used to assume that you can be rich to give. There are many different ways of giving. You can give by just being yourself,” Gluck said.
In 2022, $62,648 of Daily Giving donations completely funded the salary of a case manager, who helped over 186 individuals in crisis situations ranging from anxiety and depression to domestic violence.
Gluck said, “A lot of people feel like, “‘What’s my dollar a day going to do in the grand scheme of things?’ The answer is that it will do wonders. Daily Giving encompasses so many concerns in our communities. The impact is literally spread all around.”
What’s it like being CEO of Amudim?
Just a sliver of Gluck’s role as CEO is making sure that Amudim’s budget is covered and that the growing Amudim staff has what they need. Most importantly, though, Gluck makes sure that he balances his work life with being a husband and father of four children.
When asked about the importance of teaching the next generation of giving, Gluck said that giving is a culture. That’s why his current focus at Amudim is on school-based prevention models.
“As much as we love what we’re doing in crisis, we want to move the needle toward prevention,” Gluck said.
While working at Amudim gives Gluck strength and purpose, his role also comes with its challenges.
“Very often, in the field of mental health […] it seems like a very lonely place,” Gluck said. “It’s a tough place to be. But by witnessing thousands of Daily Givers give to a unique organization every day, it gives people who work in chesed a real sense of comfort. Daily Giving reminds us that the community is there for each other, and it’s also a great comfort for me personally.”
When you think of what constitutes an emergency, you may immediately think of a physical emergency. However, Gluck is working hard to help us change our perception of what an emergency is. Mental health, Gluck says, is just as important as physical health, and it needs to be treated and supported as such.
You can learn more about Amudim by visiting amudim.org.