In 1991, there were 1.42 million Jews in the city, Long Island and Westchester. How many there are today? Where are they concentrated? What is their attitude toward Israel?Are Holocaust survivors more or less likely to be poor than other Jews in the city?
UJA-Federation of New York will learn the answers to these and other questions beginning this week as it launches a telephone survey that will seek to conduct in-depth interviews with members of 4,000 Jewish households.
A $35,000 UJA-Federation grant will help start a Hillel program this semester for an estimated 5,000 New York-area students attending Albany colleges.
In announcing the grant, officials said UJA-Federation was recognizing the importance of college years for Jewish identity development — even if it means reaching beyond its geographic boundaries.
Three years ago, the leadership of a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Westchester began looking for help in developing a strategic plan to help them better meet the needs of their members. Then someone mentioned UJA-Federation’s management assistance program (MAP).
“It was one of the best things we ever did,” Colin Goldberg, president of The Hebrew Institute of White Plains, said of the 11-month program in which congregational leaders participated with leaders of seven other synagogues of every denomination.
When it began eight years ago, UJA-Federation’s Fashion Rescue was a sale of women’s clothing in a ballroom of a New York City hotel. This year’s event, which begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, will include the sale of clothing for women, men and children — and will be held in Madison Square Garden.“The event became so huge that we have outgrown just about all available space in New York,” said Robert Bronstein, a co-chair of the event with Louise Chazen.
After making calls last year for Super Sunday, UJA-Federation’s annual phone solicitation drive, Rhonda Buckley of Dix Hills, L.I., returned this year with two of her daughters.
“Years ago, UJA-Federation helped me out with a subsidy for the kids’ summer camp ... and I thought it would be nice to give back,” she said at the organization’s Syosset office.
Health and human services represent 40 percent of the Nassau County budget but have been an “afterthought” when it comes to getting the attention of county government, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi told representatives of UJA-Federation’s social service network on Long Island.
“Everyone knows how important these services are,” said Suozzi, Nassau’s first Democratic county executive in nearly 40 years, last week at UJA-Federation’s annual Long Island Legislative Breakfast at the Mid-Island Y JCC in Plainview.
The New York Jewish community opened its pocketbook after Israel was attacked by Hezbollah last summer, contributing $45 million to a special UJA-Federation Israel Emergency Campaign, the group announced last week. That money — added to $151 million from its annual campaign, $44 million from planned giving and endowments and $51.5 million in capital gifts — helped the organization raise a record $290 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30. That was a whopping $80 million more than the previous record set just last year.
Morris Offit, president of UJA-Federation, still seems upset about a public confrontation that took place last month at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities.
During a session on federations and foundations working together, he offered an impassioned response to charges from the so-called mega-philanthropist camp that the federation system was too stodgy and out of step with the times.
Using a one-on-one approach to fund raising rather than continuing to solicit a large number of low-end donors, UJA-Federation of New York raised a record $135.6 million for its recently concluded general campaign.
“We changed the culture of this organization,” said Paul Kane, the organization’s senior vice president for financial resource development.
State and city funding cutbacks, combined with soaring insurance costs, have caused agencies in the UJA-Federation system to downsize, layoff employees and look at other ways to cut their budgets.
“We all anticipate a very difficult time ahead,” said William Rapfogel, executive director of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty.