Gemach -

Interest Free Loan

What is a Gemach?

Here is how Chaya B. Rivka Rapaport defines it in her book: Israeli Financial Gemachs: Interest-free Loan Associations:

Gemach n. [acronym for "gemilat chesed", doing an act of kindness]. A jewish voluntary organisation that serves the needy by lending goods or money at no cost. Goods borrowed must be returned and monies borrowed must be repaid. Also known as Hebrew free loan societies and Hebrew free loan associations.

My Personal experience with a Gemach

I will share something personal. I bought my house, and needed help with an extra $20,000 for the down payment. I went to my local community Gemach and within 24 hours I had a loan for $10,000! No interest. Small $200 monthly payments. Everything with a smile.

So what did I do with the remainder $10,000? I went to a different Gemach, and the story just played over. Both Gemach's fully agreed that I go to another asking for more.

This is just one personal story out of millions. It is very common practice by Jews in General and Orthodox Jewish communities in particular. There are Gemachs all over. Some smaller Gemach's lending 500 dollars instantly, to larger Gemachs that can lend a few hundred thousand dollars interest free! A large loan can take longer, as they verify the cause and reliability of the lender. But this will be only 1-3 days with some reference by friends and Rabbis.

Sounds tempting? Check this out for informations on free loan associations, or why not try a 0 Apr Credit Card. You might get instant approval for a loan of 10,000 dollars or more.

If you're not sure what card is right for you, use the card match feature they have. Many of our readers were really helped by that!

Keep holding soon for another page on Gemach for goods. That's amazing. Hold your breath!

Have a question, on Orthodox Jewish Matters? Need an answer? Please Email your questions, Chava will answer your questions with insight and wit.

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