Study: One In Five NY Jews In Or Near Poverty

Community struggles to respond to ‘immense’ needs, especially among elderly and chasidic.
06/10/2013 - 20:00
Staff Writer

A few years out of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he was a political science major and an active volunteer in several campus activities, Jeremy Levine works every day at the Manhattan headquarters of UJA-Federation of New York, helping to coordinate many of the anti-poverty programs the philanthropy supports.

A man distributes free kosher lunches to children in Williamsburg and Borough Park last summer. Rebecca Saidlower

Maimonides Preached Inclusion, But We Still Don't Seem To Get It

As concerned as we are about economic justice, the American Jewish community has failed to understand, on a gut level, a glaring reality: adults with disabilities in the U.S. disproportionately experience poverty. According the census bureau, about one in five Americans has a disability. That means twenty percent of us.

Lynne Landsberg

Hungry For Jewish Donors

As poverty rates rise, City Harvest is struggling to attract funding for its growing kosher program.
09/26/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Ion Shubernetskiy’s shirt is graying. His hair is thin; his blue sneakers are bargain-bin flimsy. But the 77-year-old Moldovan, a former factory worker, is comfortable cutting corners when it comes to his personal appearance.

“Hey, I buy what I can afford. I don’t go into Manhattan,” he jokes in Russian, through a translator. What he won’t sacrifice is his kashrut, or kosher diet. Keeping kosher under Communism was difficult and dangerous. He won’t stop now, although he lives on public assistance.

Cynthia Zalisky, head of a Queens community center, left, and an associate pack cartons with provisions. Michael Datikash"

Promoting Human Rights And Fighting Poverty

What does it mean to be a light onto the nations? Video blogger Aaron Herman spoke with Ruth Messinger President of American Jewish World Service about her work an how AJWS is transforming communities  around the globe.

Strengthening The Jewish Community's Fight Against The Causes And Effects of Poverty


We had the opportunity to speak with current and former AVODAH fellows about their experience and why they decided to participate in this important inititive. AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps strengthens the Jewish community's fight against the causes and effects of poverty in the United States.

A social justice Passover in Washington

Passover being a holiday marking affliction and freedom, it wouldn't be complete without Washington seders focusing on economic and social justice issues.

On Wednesday, the Jewish Funds for Justice and the Progressive Jewish Alliance will hold a “Food and Social Justice Seder” at the Department of Agriculture in downtown Washington, hosted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

As Need Grows, Passover Packages On The Rise

Requests for free seder food spike throughout the city; elderly, working poor, sandwich generation hit hard.
04/17/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

For thousands of New Yorkers this week, there was no freedom from want at Passover.

At seders from Marine Park, Brooklyn, to Cedarhurst in the Five Towns, more of the ritual food that lined the dining room and kitchen tables was in the form of handouts than at any time in recent memory, say social service providers. And the food is coming from a growing number of Jewish communal agencies trying to cope with increased need levels as the recession drags on.

The 11th Plague, it turns out, is a sputtering economy.

Project Eliezer’s Gideon Bari and Ellen Warshall of the Greater Five Towns Kosher Food Pantry.

Budget stuff: Reform ambivalent about Obama deficit speech, JCPA defends domestic programs, President defends foreign aid

I was wondering how Jewish progressives would respond to President Obama's big speech on deficit reduction on Wednesday – a speech that many critics called long on rhetoric, short on specifics.

Now we know; the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the beacon of progressive Jewish activism in Washington, wasn't too impressed.

Why We (Still) Can’t Wait: The Jewish Case for a Living Wage

04/07/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Forty-three years ago this month, our nation watched the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The images were seared into our minds, along with the sense that our nation had lost a beacon of hope in the ongoing struggle for racial and economic justice. Though he had lived to see many important advances and constitutional guarantees for all Americans regardless of race or creed, Dr. King was murdered before he had made much progress toward another vitally important goal: economic justice.

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