Q: What forms of partnership does Halachah recognize?
A: Halachah recognizes three basic forms of partnership:
• Classic partnership, in which each party has personal ownership of his share in the joint property.
• Group partnership, in which each partner does not have personal ownership. Examples of this are inheritors who have not yet divided the estate; tithes that are awarded to Kohanim, Leviim, or the poor. In this kind of partnership, the right of the partners is to receive their share in the group property as their exclusive property. Some apply this also to tzedakah money in a gabbai’s hands (B.B. 141b).
• Public partnership, in which the right of the individual is to use the public property, but not to receive a private share in it (unless the community leaders decide to grant it to him). There are also communal responsibilities in which each individual must take part, such as the municipal infrastructure (C.M. 170:1).