Requests for free seder food spike throughout the city; elderly, working poor, sandwich generation hit hard.
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.
For a federation system hurting in tough times, New Orleans was a natural site for the GA.
Editor And Publisher
New Orleans — For a long time the 79th General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America had been scheduled to take place this week in Orlando, Fla. But after a top consultant scouted that city last winter, and concluded that it would add little to the spirit of the annual gathering of the federation movement — and that Disney World might prove a major distraction — the decision was made to move the three-day GA here to New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS, La. (JTA) -- As America’s 77 million baby boomers retire, they will place an unprecedented burden on the Jewish community’s infrastructure.
They will need more services, and many will want to become involved in a community that isn't making room for them.
The federation system in particular needs to meet the challenge -- and now, as the oldest boomers turn 65 next year -- or face losing the wealthiest and most highly educated generation in American Jewish history.
Economists may proclaim the Great Recession over, but a great many people in our community are still hurting. And for large numbers of them the health and human service programs funded through the Jewish federation system are an indispensable lifeline.