Aleph Institute Inc.

Pittsburgh, PA   |  www.alephne.org

Mission

The Aleph Institute is a not-for profit Jewish religious, educational and humanitarian organization. We offer a multitude of services to men and women confined and their families, focused on the premise "no one alone, no one forgotten."

Ruling year info

1996

Principal Officer

Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel

Main address

5804 Beacon St

Pittsburgh, PA 15217

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EIN

25-1784239

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Jewish (X30)

Services to Prisoners/Families (I43)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

In Prison Program

Aleph Library - Upon the approval of a Rabbi, the Aleph Institute library allows prisoners to obtain expensive religious texts which they might not ordinarily have access to.
 

Books and Religious Materials - Slightly different than the library, these texts are completely free and distributed en masse.

 

Chesed Mentoring Program - Prison is a lonely place.  Understandably, prisoners need visitors to talk with them and help keep their hopes ucorrespondence, emotional support and encouragement to inmates both prior to and upon their release from jail.

Holiday Based Programs - The holidays of Judaism should be practiced everywhere, regardless of the conditions. Aleph assists Jewish prisoners with no Jewish surroundings to practice their religion. Also, the families of the prisoners are afforded the opportunity to observe the holidays.

In Prison Out-Reach - This 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. 

Torah Leadership Program - Furlough programs work with the authorities to take select non-violent inmates out of the prison environment to a spiritual sanctuary, allowing them to learn, study and bring back Jewish leadership skills to the other inmates in their respective communities.

Torah Studies Program - A series of educational correspondence courses in subjects such as Talmud, History, Bible Studies, Literature, and Mysticism, complete with proctor-administered tests and culminating in certificates.  Courses are provided for a nominal cost, together with the necessary texts.  Scholarships are offered in certain cases.  These courses enable inmates to transform 'dead-time' into productivity, and on occassion have brought about earlier parole.

Population(s) Served

Aleph House - Inmates in state institutions cannot be released to parole unless they have a home plan: a place they will live when they exit the prison. Unfortunately, many inmates have no place to call home, and therefore, are required in many cases to spend years and decades incarcerated until they provide an address which can be verified by the parole officer. The 'Aleph House' was opened in March 2000 with the help of a grant from the Jewish Family Assistance Fund. It provides a home to inmates for a two to three month period, thus giving the inmates a chance to leave prison, obtain employment and begin a more productive life.  

Job Placement Program - One of the biggest dilemmas that face a Jewish inmate upon release from prison is finding employment. Upon release from prison, inmates are immediately at a big disadvantage. They are convicted felons, have been out of the work force for months (if not years), and usually are beginning with nothing but the shirt on their back. Aleph helps these individuals by assisting them to find employment.

Religious Counseling - Returning to society can be confusing and traumatic. Religious counseling with the ex-inmate on a one to one basis eases their transition from prison to society.  

Community transition program - This program works with local Jewish agencies to provide free medical care, counseling services, social work, clothes and a host of community programs, providing the tools neccessary for the individual to become a productive member of society.

Anonymous meetings - There are weekly AA(http://www.alephne.org/Article.asp?AID=813329) , NA(http://www.alephne.org/Article.asp?AID=813351) , GA(http://www.alephne.org/Article.asp?AID=813364) and ALANON(http://www.alephne.org/Article.asp?AID=813313) meetings led at the Aleph Institute. These meetings have proven a successful recourse to helping the tens of thousands of people afflicted with addictive behavior. For more information about these support groups please visit their respective websites.

Population(s) Served

Alternatives to Imprisonment -  The Aleph Alternative Punishment Program is presented as on option in court, by the defense counsel.  It is a proven option that incorporates retribution, financial restitution, deterrence, rehabilitation and the interests of the community as set forth in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  At the pre-sentencing and post conviction level, Aleph Institute staff, attorneys, rabbis and educators intercede on behalf of approximately one hundred Jewish individuals annually.

In addition to this program, Aleph performs a variety of professional services including:

Preparing alternative punishment proposals and sentencing departure strategies
Presenting expert testimony in court
Evaluating individuals for evidentiary purposes
Discussing administration actions with the Bureau of Prisons
Resolving religious discrimination complaints
Developing Rule 35 strategies
Making presentations at Parole Commission Hearings
Supervising individuals who have been released into the community.

Hotline Emergency - To address the constant needs of the many inmates and their families in the area, the Aleph Institute has established a hotline, made possible through a grant from the "Ladies Hospital Aid Society". This resource is available twenty four hours a day, six days a week, to guide the family, the inmate, and the parent with a troubled teen or a teenager in crisis. An Aleph Rabbi is always available.

Parents of Troubled Youth - Due to a growing need in the community, and parents turning to us for guidance and help in dealing with their children who have begun using drugs or hanging-out with the wrong crowd, Aleph began a support group and a support network.

Families are teamed up with experienced educators and counselors, to help them make the right decisions. They are able to receive support and encouragement from other parents in the same boat and receive reassurance during difficult times.

Population(s) Served

The Dorothy Program aims to visit those in state hospitals, long-term medical facilities, nursing homes, and those confined to private homes.

Patients receive visitations and the necessary provisions for the holidays. This program is organized and operated by volunteers.

Population(s) Served

When a Jewish parent goes to prison, an innocent spouse and children serve a sentence too. Hearts stop, relationships change, and dreams begin to die. Psychological effects alone cause servere damage.

It is a horrible fact that children of a parent who goes to prison are statistically more likely to end up imprisoned themselves. Such children, despite their own innocence, are alienated, looked down upon and shamed in their own community. Their natural inclination is to consort with others who suffer the same and follow their path.     

Aleph helps break this painful and destructive cycle, through:


Weekly support groups


Chanukah Gelt Program


Emergency Funds / Holiday Financial Assistance 


Clothing Assistance


Rabbinical Counseling


Health Services


Dependency Treatments

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Financials

Aleph Institute Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Aleph Institute Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/3/2013
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Berger

Michael Berger

Estelle Comay

Steven Robinson

Charles Saul

Steven Adelkoff

Chuck Perlow