good morning, and welcome to mosaic. i'm ra buybbi eric white and i'm happy to be here this morning. we would like to invite you to a wonnerful conversation -- -- wonderful. welcome. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> what is hebrew free loan? >> hebrew free loan, to discuss it is to talk about its history. we're 120 years old which is a very special time for us. we have been celebrating all
year. we were created in 1897 by a grup of people studying the torah. the mission of our agency comes directly from the torah and this group of individuals took a look and said look at this. it shows in the torah that god tells moses not to charge interest basically to his people. and that it's really important not to benefit from another person's troubles. so based on that they decided to make it a reality and they created the acts of loving kindness later became known as the hebrew free loan. they each agreed to donate 25 cents into a pot until they had enough money to make their first loan. and the loans are always still 120 years lawsuiter interest free primarily to members of
the jewish community the loans are paid back over time. we have an amazing repayment rate, still 120 years lawsuiter. our repayment late is 99.75%. >> we're going to talk about concrete programs and having a few people who will talk in a more personal way how they elevated their own economic health and vitality. if we remind to 1897 in san francisco, can you talk a bit about what was going on that had these visionaries say we need to do this on behalf of our own community for our future. it's quite a vision and legacy. >> it is. it's one that i'm proud to help usher into this century and beyond. what they were facing at the time when you think of the california gold rush, we had a lot of immigrants who were new
to the community and all part of that effort to pave the better path for their own families. jews coming here at that time faced a lot of anti semitism and it was difficult for them to get any kind of financial support that others might be able to veil themselves of. this was an opportunity to provide for their own members of the community by donating money to crow yat that pool of funds. you think there were some very real economic hardships they were facing at the time and they felt this would make it easier. >> so you know 1897 to 2017 is just interesting no matter what the political structures are the san francisco bay area, our state or the world that issues
around how people come anewton to a place whether you're an um grant or transplant, you come with a new vision and you have a lot of energy but you may not have the money. >> exactly. >> and that's the merit. i'm wondering as we sort of turn to folks who benefit, can you comment on that kind of economic marriage of how you bring human capacity to an economic support system and what that does to build resilience in the community. >> well, thank you for that question. our mission is really to help people become and remain self sufficient at the core of what we do. we do that by means of providing interest free loans much look a family member might and especially for immigrants and others living in an an environment where they don't have that family support to
provide the necessary financial pianos. we're like an extended family offering that key to their future whether it's to help them get back on track financially, we offer personal loans and emergency loans and unemployment loans. anything like debt consolidation loans where people are having financial trouble. we also provide loans much like a family would for people that are trying to really fulfill their dreams. so it might be education loans and business loans. adoption and fertility loans. >> wow, a range of issues of influence. we're going to tack a quick break and come back to the conversation in just a moment.
a business loan recipient, welcome back. >> thank you so much. let's jump in and ask you what your experience is with hebrew free loan. >> a while back i have a dream of starting my own food truck. there was a phil's coffee truck so i was with the company many years so i wanted to start something fresh and new. i got the okay from phil and the only caveat was that i had to fund it and build it and design it. so i was real excited about it until i got to a point until i was not able to run into all kinds of problem.
0. >> he used to work for an agency with cindy in the past. i went in there and i met cindy and told her about my concept and idea and passions and what i wanted to do. cindy was very supportive and went through the whole process of making it happen. so that's how it happened. >> you know, in a moment to talk about the process of doing this and how they see their role in it. we live in a part of the country that in a typical way and certainly not just your typical lived truth day-to-day is filled this notion of the human spirit and ideas and how you make a dream come true. as you were thinking through your dream of doing thing, what
was it about this dream? how did you come to this concept so that you could go into cindy and hebrew free loan and answer basic questions how come a food truck and phil's coffee. so give us your intre pe neurological spirit -- -- entrepreneur. . >> i i've always wanted to work for myself and stand something behind bigger than me. i believed in our company and what we tried to do. phil's coffee gave me this opportunity to have something i can call my own and it came in the form of a food truck. i was passionate about it. i'm excited about it and i was determined to do what it took to make it happen. i basically want to help them
grow the company in other ways and yet, still have something i can call my own and that was the whole idea to just have a start in business life and you know, grow it and make it happen. so that was why. >> wonderful. >> it was really that drive that i witnessed when greg came into the office. i could tell he had that passion which is something i look for when i'm vetting our business loan applicants. he had an idea and a path. his financials were all together and organized and clear. i could see that it was a viable business and further more a committee of very successful business people who are able to evacuate it and i saw that he had the drive to really see the plan through and that was really what impressed
me about greg. >> can you give us a little bit of a sense of what happens on the inside about how the loan comes to a yes? passion, business plan, other elements. . >> first of all, there's a lengthier process for business loans than other loan requests that come our way but it's meant to vet the business of viability plan and we look at the financials and projections for the coming year and assumptions made behind the projections. we look at how well the person is situated and what kind of advisors he or she has and just the kind of support financial and otherwise around them to make sure they can weather any storms and we like to see that our funds that we provide will provide up to $50,000 for a business loan. sometimes that's all the person needs. sometimes it's a piece of the puzzle but we like to
understand how our money is fitting into their overall plan and mauk it possible. >> believe it or not, we are to take a quick break. greg, can you give us a sense of what keeps you going in your business and what is it that drives you and feeds you as you move forward? >> that's a great question. in the business there's a lot of ups and downs. you have your good days and fun days and some down days but we're really keeping it going and we're part of community. every day we show up and we have poem that love us and support us and have done for many, many years. so i'm really doing this because number one, we have built a great team and we're offering people jobs and it's something that i've always believed in. so if you can grow the business you're helping not only yourself but people around you.
of course just being there for those clientele of yours, their families, those people who really belief in you and it's something to thrive on. and just the nature of growth -- i just ant to keep on pushing and growing and doing bigger better things. >> thank you so much. we're going to say goodbye in just a memo and return here to mosaic and have the conversation continue with cindy and hebrew free loan.
how the jewish community is helping out. we have terry low who was a recipient of a loan. let us know what your experience with hebrew free loan has been. >> sure, i received an unemployment loan that was about foouf yores ago. i was laid off from my job in 2012. we were coming out of the recession and i was laid off so that's always a hard challenge. it happened at a time when more things were going on. i was diagnosed with breast cancer and i had to put my house up for a short sale so we lost our family home. hi a teenager son who went through a serious mental health crisis and i was dealing with these things and i didn't know
how we would survive. a friend suggest hebrew free loan. >> so you went to hebrew free loan and you got an unemployment loan. >> officially the name of the program is recent unemployment. somebody has to be unemployed in the past year and it's meant to be we call it jewish unemployment. it's supposed to supplement what they may get from the state but it's very difficult for people in a situation like terry's to survive with just receiving this small amount that you can get through normal unemployment programs through the state. >> can you talk about your experience with terry about the ways in which you used the loan. an unemployment loan is different from building a business loan and you have a different way of understanding coming through an economic challenge.
if you can talk about how you came through that unemployment and the ways in which the financial assistance helped you bridge your life to a next place that you would land better. >> absolutely. that's a great question. so the way the unemployment loan works is that you are allotted a certain amount of money every month for up to six months if you remain unemployed and you have to check in with cindy or your loan officer to let them know how it's going. so that was actually a good form of support. she would give me tips and connect me with people. so it was a practical support and it helped me pay the bills and even more, it was really a
very big emotional support. who else but your family is going to give you a loan? i didn't have a job and i had expenses and not sure when i can repay you but i'm sure i can. with an unemployment loan you don't have to pay it for up to three months after the last loan check. so you have nine month interest free payments. that helps terry's story reminds me looking back to greg's story with a business loan. if you go to financial institution like a bank or credit union, typically the way you get a loan is on an economic facilitier and the relationship is from the financial institution perspective is we want to have by x date of a month x dollars to repay and that's the limit of relationship. through hebrew free loans, you are engaging the whole person. so whether it's a business own
or other kinds of loan programs and certainly with terry's perspective, there's a certain kind of system that you're getting so it's actually a kind of emotional assistance and economic assistance consultation and really all the human elements that go into building resilience. talk a little bit about what that more holistic approach is about in the sustain blt of finances. >> sure. to me, it's essential because as you mentioned, terry describe her situation and there were so many more things going on in her life than needed an infusion of cash. we see ourselves as a family and social service agency and financial institution. we try to meet people where they're at. every person who comes in and has an initial need for some
kind of cash, we get to know them as a person and we believe in also self-serving way why we have such a high repayment rate because we build the connections with people that are life long. i could tell you stories about every loan recipient who has walked through our doors. we get to know them as people and they foal a xhutment to repaying us and we feel a commitment to help them in every aspect of their life if we have the ability to do so. >> we're going to talk a quick break and come back here to mosaic in just a moment.
way. i understand there's a wonderful evolution in your particular story with hebrew free loan, terry. >> there is. this is not what happens with most of our hebrew free loan recipients or the unemployment loan recipients. do you want to tell what happened? >> well, a few years after she received the unemployment loan that we posted we had a job available and terry contacted me and said do you think i might be appropriate for this job? she was working and resolved a lot of financial woes and other troubles and i said you would be perfect for this job. she had really impressed me during the interview period and beyond and i was delighted to bring her on board. who better to intrer view potential loan recipients but someone who had been through it on the other side.
so today terry is a loan officer with us as well as a development associate helping to raise funds for the agency. >> that's wonderful. it reminds me that any agency has components that make it viable so i'm wondering if you can talk about this broader wholistic approach and how does hebrew free loans receive funds and district back to the community. you mentioned in 1897 a few men gave quarters and created the first initial pot. can you talk about what that looks like for the hebrew free loan and if you could also tie in this way we have talked about a wholistic approach, i would imagine as people become more economically viable, they too sfart to give back. i'm wondering if you have any sense of the ways in which hebrew free loan gives back at large. >> sure. we are still dependant upon
donations in the community. our numbers look different. our first loan was $10 back in 1987 -- -- 1897. we have over $15 million in assets. we have almost $10 million out in the community helping over 1,000 loan recipients. as they pay the money back, we move it forward to help others but always trying to grow the pot. the more we have in assets, the more we're able to give out to members of the community. and the rest is invested and that's a large part of what terry is helping us with. we definitely to answer your question, you can tell about the full circle club. we have a program to help people who have been loan recipients who come full circle from being a boar roer to a donor. >> we have 30 seconds left. how can people contact hebrew
loan? >> yes, they can get on our website. we have a brand new website with a very user friendly donation page. they can call us and we have the full circle club with periodic gathers. >> thank you so much for being with us with this wonderful conversation. we encourage you to think about this issue at large and thank you for joining us here on mosaic.
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