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The Tzedakah Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University is led by Professor Noah D. Drezner. The Lab’s mission is found in its name. Tzedakah (‎צדקה‎ ze·DAH·kah) is a Hebrew word with its closest translation to philanthropy. The word comes from the same root as the word Tzedek (צדק‎ righteousness, fairness, or justice). Our premise for the research and work of the Lab is that philanthropy can be motivated by and help pursue social justice.

We believe that all people can engage in voluntary action—regardless of social identity and socioeconomic status—that reclaims education as a public good. As such, we bring scholarship and practice together, so that all communities are seen as and empowered to be philanthropists.

The Tzedakah Lab team is actively engaged in new research and the dissemination of other’s work to scholars and scholar-practitioners in order to create a vibrant scholarly and practitioner community. To do so, the Lab is home to several resources including the academic journal, Philanthropy & Education, the Association of Study of Higher Education’s (ASHE) group Scholars of Philanthropy in Higher Education (SoPHiE), the Palgrave book series Philanthropy and Education, a literature database for scholars and practitioners named PETRA (Philanthropy Education Translational Research Archive). Further, we share and further our research through the creation of research-practice partnerships that include our Alumni Census Project and institutional workshops.

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