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About Aleph

About Aleph



Mission Statement
The Aleph Institute is a not-for profit Jewish religious, educational, and humanitarian organization serving the Jewish community. We offer a multitude of services to imprisoned Jewish men and women and their families as we are focused on the premise that "no Jew is forgotten" and that "no Jew is alone."

What We Do
The Aleph Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) religious organization that provides relief for incarcerated Jews and their families who tend to be overlooked by traditional American Jewish organizations. Aleph’s mission is a thankless one. The Aleph Institute struggles against challenging odds to reach Jewish inmates who are scattered throughout the national prison system, state hospitals, and group homes. The programs and services of Aleph are designed to attain maximum impact not only within the prison environment, but also during the transitory period after incarceration when a sense of religious community can help former convicts rebuild their lives as productive citizens. The success of Aleph’s programs attests to the power of its Torah-based approach to serving prisoners, their families, and humanity in general.

The Aleph Institute strives to provide solutions to serve humanity. Some programs are designed specifically for the Jewish population; however, we also serve the broader community with the motto of “No one alone, no one forgotten".

Our Programs
Jewish inmates benefit from Torah studies correspondence courses, a leadership program to attend a religious sanctuary, a lending library of Jewish materials, access to religious books and materials free of charge, visits and religious services provided by rabbis, and food and refreshment for the holidays. The In-Prison Outreach Program ensures that a Rabbi visits each prison every two weeks to make sure that the Jews imprisoned at these facilities are given their rights to religious services, including anything from kosher meals to menorahs during Chanukah. This program is necessary to ensure that the religious rights of Jews in prisons are not infringed upon. Inmates from all backgrounds who sign up can be visited by the Chesed Mentoring Program
, which matches inmates with community volunteers.

In Re-Entry, Jewish inmates attend community events such as Jewish holiday programs and public lectures. They are often joined by family and parole officers to support their positive transition. Jewish people can gain religious counseling from Aleph’s rabbis. Aleph also offers a prayer and meditation group.

Many services are utilized by the Pittsburgh community at large. Re-Entry programs include job training, counseling, computer access and training, meeting space for Alcoholics’ Anonymous and other anonymous support groups, a community transition program with help to find clothing, food, and grants for expenses, and many other solutions that benefit people from any background. Aleph House provides temporary housing for inmates who do not have a home plan in place. A family support group provides comfort and guidance to the families of prisoners. A community phone helpline provides guidance to parents of troubled youth. The Dorothy Program organizes volunteer visits to people in state hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term medical facilities.

Volunteers with the Alternative Sentencing Program help design proposals for local community sanctions for people facing criminal charges. Participants in an alternative sentence complete community service, meet community supervision requirements, and attend counseling as an alternative solution to incarceration.

Aleph partners with all kinds of organizations. A recent partnership with 412 Food Rescue allows Aleph to distribute fresh produce to families in need. Aleph is designing a mentorship program for former inmates to become role models and help each other maintain a positive lifestyle. Aleph is striving to create an education program to educate the community about drug and alcohol dependency and provide resources for those seeking treatment. Aleph is a small organization with a large mission that is open to all.  (written by Christie Joesbury