HFLA of Northeast Ohio provides interest-free loans to promote the economic self-sufficiency and growth of Northeast Ohioans who are unable to access safe and fair lending resources.


HFLA of Northeast Ohio seeks to create a more equitable Northeast Ohio where everyone has equal access to capital and all residents can participate in the growth and prosperity of their communities.



We are dedicated to the Jewish values that inspired our founding in 1904: a commitment to Tzedek, Justice; to Tzedakah, righteousness or charity; and to Tikkun Olam, the goal of repairing the world.

HUMAN DIGNITY We respect the inherent dignity and worth of every human being.

We seek to provide a helping hand to those in need, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender expression, past incarceration, or immigrant status. We strive to treat every individual with compassion and empathy for their unique situation. We advocate policies that ensure fairness and equity for all.

RELATIONSHIPS We embrace and cultivate relationships – with borrowers, partner organizations, and donors.

Developing relationships is key to how we work with borrowers, who are often referred to us by partner agencies in their communities. We strive to understand each potential borrower’s needs and, if the borrower is eligible, to structure a loan that meets those needs. When possible, our board and staff provide assistance or advice, and we often refer potential borrowers to other resources. Finally, we value our relationships with donors, both individual and institutional, who financially support our work, provide connections to other resources as well as additional insights into the community, and serve as advocates for our mission.

CREATIVITY We strive to be creative in response to change.

We aim to be agile and strategic in the face of evolving circumstances in our community and in the lives of our borrowers.

SUSTAINABILITY We ensure our sustainability as an evergreen source of funds for those in need. 

To maintain a continuously replenished pool of funds for perpetual interest-free lending to those in need, we exercise the utmost care in managing our resources.

Download a copy of our values!


HFLA began in 1904 with Charles Ettinger, Morris Black, and others who saw the need of providing interest-free loans to the growing immigrant community. They pooled together $501 of their own money to help European Refugees settle in America and lead productive lives. 115 years later the need for non-sectarian interest-free lending remains relevant. Today, HFLA continues to make a large impact in Northeast Ohio through education, personal and small business loans. The organization is set up as a revolving loan fund; money that is paid back monthly is then lent out to other people in the community – recycling dollars in the community, multiplying the impact of each donation tenfold in less than a generation.

Our organization earned a 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency by sharing our key metrics and highlighting the impact we’re making. Check out our updated nonprofit profile on Guidestar.