Reflections on Life, Liberty, and Free Loans

Today’s post is from Cheryl Barish Erlick, Executive Director of The Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia.

If I asked what liberty means to you, you might say the Declaration of Independence and the fight for our own determination.  Or you might say freedom to make my own choices, to vote, and to live where I want (Center City!).   This might be an easy question for some.  But for others, it might shine a spotlight on their challenges.  And their dreams.

When Need comes up against Means, sometimes all you see is the wall blocking the way.  Where is the freedom then?  How can you be free if you are weighed down by debt, illness, and unemployment?  Knowing that there is support out there can be an amazing relief.  We at The Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia have been that relief in this Jewish community for over 32 years.

So why don’t most Jews in Center City know about us?  Could it be that we began our mission on the Old York Road corridor?  Or, that our first borrowers were mostly Northeast area Jews, with families in the former Soviet Union, desperate for a way to the United States?

Whatever the reason, it’s time for Center City Jews to add Hebrew Free Loan to their contact list.  Spread the word about no interest, no fee loans to Jews in our community for medical and dental bills, home repairs, apartment rental fees, and much more.

And, what about the dreamers?  How can you reach for the stars, or a college education, if you can’t pay the bill?  The Education Fund provides loans to Jews for education from preschool to college and beyond.  Repayment rates for college loans are as low as $50 per month while enrolled.

It’s no wonder that we chose to put the Liberty Bell in our logo.  It tells our story; first, the Star of David because we are People of the Book and Exodus 22:24 our mandate, “If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, do not act towards them as a creditor; exact no interest from them.” And the Liberty Bell, not only because Philadelphia is at the heart of our service area, but because we put liberty, the freedom to live your life the best way you can, and attaining your dreams at the forefront of what we do.

At Hebrew Free Loan, we embrace life and liberty and are committed to helping you embrace it, too.

Reach out to us at, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or call us at 267-709-9652.