Our History

Jewish Free Loan was established in Phoenix in the late-1940s when a group of Jewish men began to meet informally to provide small, interest-free loans to Jewish individuals in need. In 1950, Jewish Free Loan was incorporated into a formally-recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to growing the work started by this visionary group.

Since that time, the organization has grown significantly. We now have five staff members, a diverse board of directors, dozens of named loan funds, and a wide-range of educational programs. What originally started as a grassroots movement by a small group of committed volunteers, distributing their own money as tzedakah, has grown into an internationally-respected agency supported by the contributions entrusted to us by hundreds of generous donors each year.

The mandate for JFL’s work can be found in Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 22:24 – “Thou shalt not exact interest from the needy among you.” As a nonprofit, the ability for Jewish Free Loan to fulfill this biblical directive is dependent upon the generosity of donors who support the organization’s efforts and enable JFL to provide interest-free loans for life’s ups & downs…and everything in between.