Our Mission

The purpose of this organization shall be to provide for the exchange of ideas, procedures and other information as will assist each member organization in furthering the concept of Gemilut Hesed, namely:

To help people with temporary financial needs to become or remain self-supporting self-respecting members of their community by the aid of interest-free loans.

The corporation is non-political.

Our History

It is our honor and pleasure to provide a 30 year historical perspective on this Association authored by our very own Susan Candy Luterman of Dallas, Texas.  During Susan’s Presidency, we all enjoyed the honoring of our four original founders during our annual conference held in Phoenix, Arizona.  Please enjoy!

IAJFL Origins

By Susan Candy Luterman In 1982, at the same time that the annual CJCS meeting was being held in Minneapolis, Julius Blackman, from San Francisco, and Mark Meltzer, from Los Angeles, issued a joint call to a first National Free Loan Conference to be held in Minneapolis. They also asked Henry Leopold, from Detroit, Jerry Frankel, from Cleveland, and Harry Adler, from Phoenix, to attend. At this first Free Loans conference they established themselves as the Association of Hebrew Free Loans and elected officers: Julius Blackman and Henry Leopold were elected Co-Presidents as they had the unique factor of equal involvement with professional and volunteer leaders. A tradition which has carried down to today: a President of IAJFL who is professional and then a President of IAJFL who is a volunteer. Harry Adler was elected treasurer and Mark Meltzer was elected secretary. One of the key decisions adopted at that historic conference was a resolution that “Shabbat Mishpatim” be established nationally as “Hebrew Free Loan Sabbath”. The resolution also called for the observance of this Sabbath annually in the United States and Canada. “Shabbat Mishpatim” is the Saturday that the Synagogues read “Exodus 24-22″, which states the mission of Hebrew Free Loan. It was also decided to hold annual conferences to get our membership together for an exchange of information and each year the conference would be held in a different city.  

Spreading the word

By Susan Candy Luterman An important member of our organization attended the 2nd conference. Eliezer Jaffe from the “Zavahi” (a Tsedaka organization in Israel) came and later founded Israel Hebrew Free Loan, which is a vibrant member of International’s community. International continued to grow and by 1991 actually became the International Association of Hebrew Free Loans, from representatives from the United States, Canada and Israel counted in our membership. By 2001, at our annual conference we retained a membership of 45 agencies, including the United States, Canada, Israel and Australia. Today we are proud to say that we have agencies all over the world including Argentina and Brazil. The newest agency to join us is still forming in Portland, Maine and our oldest organization remains steadfast, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is 130 years old. New Hebrew Free Loan Agencies are forming all the time and International is there to help them.


By Susan Candy Luterman In the past years we have: 1) Changed our name to International Association of Jewish Free Loans 2) Established a new web site: www.iajfl.org 3) Set up a Past President’s Advisory Council 4) Revised our By-Laws to reflect the 21st century 5) Set up an international fund-raising committee 6) Brought Austin, Texas, Portland, Maine and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil into the International family.   Also our SAG (Small Agencies Group), which supports agencies funded at less than $1,000,000.00 holds an informative monthly conference call, with a facilitator and Q & A session which is now entering its fourth year and is well attended and very successful. We have had 13 IAJFL presidents coming from all over the United States, representing both the professional and volunteer agencies.

Continuous Growth

By Andrew Weinberg, President As we continue down the free loan path, our Executive Team has been busy at work implementing new programs and processes throughout 2013 and 2014 in an effort to increase our brand awareness globally. We have completed our Accreditation Program application process for all new and future agencies interested in joining.  We have issued out Accreditation Certificates to 36 agencies that have met and exceeded the minimum requirements and expect to review an additional ten more agencies before year end. We have reviewed and evaluated the current Dues Structure in place since 2000 and have accepted a new structure to go into effect with our 2014 billing cycle in an effort to help defray our annual operational expenses. We attended the 2014 Tribefest held in New Orleans held in March, 2014 with two representatives from Los Angeles and Phoenix as our ambassadors spreading the word. Our new Growth and Development team is hard at work designing an Outreach and Mentoring program for all member agencies to openly share feedback about what your community is seeking to achieve – marketing and outreach, business loans, greater fundraising and a broadening of your loan programs, etc. and too match up a mentor who can help move your agency closer to those goals! Excitedly, we are in the final stages of planning our 2014 Annual Conference being held in Toronto, Canada. The conference will be held from October 26 to 28 and we look forward to sharing this multi-level learning experience with everyone. Thank you to everyone involved in serving their communities through the facilitation of interest-free lending to those truly in need. May we all go from strength to strength!

A Founders Viewpoint – 30 Years at a Glance

By Mark Meltzer Thirty four years ago, in 1980, when I first began my career with Jewish Free Loan Association in Los Angeles, I realized from my previous experience working in the Jewish Community since 1964 that almost all of the local agencies belonged to National coordinating organizations.  These professional organizations were mainly for communications and the sharing of ideas, programs, development concepts, major issues, etc.  At the time and now I firmly believe in organizational communication for the advancement and growth of individual agencies. Free loans did not have such an organization.  When I began in Los Angeles, I looked into contacting other free loans in the US and Canada.  My fist contacts were Julius Blackman, the Executive Director of San Francisco Free Loan, and Nathan Belt of the New York Free Loan Society.  Julius Blackman had worked to develop a National Organization and knew the lay leadership in Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Phoenix.  As I was active in the Conference of Jewish Communal Service (CJCS soon to be JCSA and now JPRO) in my previous career at the Jewish Vocational Service in Boston, I planned to continue my activity with that networking organization.  Julius Blackman and I reached out to the existing professional and lay leadership throughout the country to attend the CJCS conference in 1981 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Seven or Eight of us attending that conference:  Henry Leopold of Detroit, Harry Adler from Phoenix, Julius Blackman of San Francisco, Irving Levine from Pittsburgh, Jerome Frankel from Cleveland, and me. As the years passed, our National Association of Jewish Free Loans became the International Association of Jewish Free Loans.  Our growth in numbers and assets have grown considerable over the past three decades.  New programs, increased lending and extensive networking have made a significant impact on all of our communities. Today, IAJFL has over forty member agencies and with the help of the Growth & Development committee as well as networking and outreach, is continuing to grow each year.

Executive Team

The slate of Officers of the IAJFL is comprised of lay and staff leadership from agencies throughout the US and Canada.  We thank the committee for their dedication to the IAJFL and to furthering the concept of interest-free lending around the world.
David Contorer – President (Detroit)

In October 2011, David became Executive Director of Hebrew Free Loan in Metropolitan Detroit. Prior to that, David spent six years as Director of Philanthropic Services at the Community Foundation for SE Michigan—consulting. From 1995 to 2005, David worked in the Jewish Federations of Greater Philadelphia and Metropolitan Detroit. Read More…

Cindy Rogoway – Vice President (San Francisco)

Cindy has worked in fundraising and non-profit management within the San Francisco Jewish community for the past 25 years. She joined Hebrew Free Loan of SF in 2003 to expand the agency’s reach into the community so that more people could have the opportunity to become self-sufficient and realize their dreams. Read More…

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Michal Marcus- Vice President (Northeast Ohio)

Current Vice President of IAJFL –  Michal Marcus is the Executive Director of the HFLA of Northeast Ohio. Having grown up in North America and Israel, Michal and her family have lived in the Cleveland area since 2006, and she has been with HFLA of Northeast Ohio for the past 11 years. Read More…

Ginny Gendelman – Vice President (Milwaukee)

Ginny has been the Executive Director of Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association since its inception in 2009. An experienced project manager and licensed architect, Ms. Gendelman earned her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and worked in architecture for 25 years. Read More…

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Ellen Friedman Sacks- Vice President (Phoenix)

Current Vice President of IAJFL –  Ellen Friedman Sacks is the Associate Executive Director of Jewish Free Loan in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been part of JFL since 2010 – serving on the Board of Directors before joining the staff in 2012 as the organization’s first Director of Programs and PR.  Read More…

Tim Grossman
Tim Grossman – (San Antonio, TX)

Tim is currently the Secretary of the International Association of Jewish Free Loan and has been the President of Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Antonio since 2017 and board member since 2014.  He also serves as a volunteer for the Tobin Center for Performing Arts which originally opened as the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium in 1926, as well as supporting other non-profits in the local area. Read More…

Chris Black- IAJFL Administrator (Phoenix)
Tina Sheinbein – Immediate Past President (Phoenix)

Tina is currently the President of IAJFL and is the Executive Director of the Phoenix Jewish Free Loan.  Tina joined Jewish Free Loan in 2005 as the Director of Development and Outreach.  In 2008 she assumed the position of Executive Director.  Tina has served as secretary of the IAJFL Executive Committee and was co-chair of the Small Agency Group.  In 2012, Tina staffed the IAJFL Conference in Phoenix. Read More…

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Terry Borer - Toronto, Canada

Terry Borer is a former president and current board member of Jewish Free Loan Toronto. Terry spearheaded many initiatives including $1,000 loans without guarantors, revamped constitution, streamlined the application process, and adding rigorous measurement of agency progress. During his time as president and board chair, loans granted and fundraising increased dramatically. Read More…

Andrew Weinberg - Past President (Miami)

Proactive leader championing organizational integrity, major financial growth, and staff development. Known for partnering at all levels and effecting change as a true business strategist. Since inception in 1989, as a Chief Volunteer Officer, Andrew has been the driving force in the day-to-day operations, fundraising, board development, public awareness and growth of HFLA of South Florida. Read More…

Honorary Life Trustee:

Jerome Frankel* (OH)

Honorary Board Chair:

Julius Blackman (CA)

Past Presidents:

Harry Adler* (AZ)

Julius Blackman (CA)

Richard Broder(MI)

Edward L. Cushman (CA)

Bernard Granor (PA)

Glenn H. Gopman(FL)

Efraim Joffe* (TX)

*OBM – of blessed memory

Henry Leopold (MI)

Irving Levine* (PA)

Allen N. Luterman (TX)

Susan C. Luterman (TX)

Ruth Marcus (MI)

Mark Meltzer (CA)

Irwin Wiener (AZ)

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