UJA-Federation of New York concluded its 2013 Annual Campaign on June 30th, raising $145.3 million, an increase of $8.6 million from 2012. Including bequests and endowments, $6.5 million raised for Hurricane Sandy relief, and capital and special gifts, the total amount raised in the year was $206.5 million.
“This has been an extraordinary year of both challenge and opportunity, with Hurricane Sandy hitting us at home and the attacks on Israel. These campaign results reflect the recognition of the essential role of UJA-Federation in caring for New Yorkers in need, supporting the people of Israel, and strengthening Jewish communities around the world,” said John S. Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation. “We were able to address crises at home and in Israel and at the same time do much more, including helping to complete the rescue of Ethiopian Jewry and issuing a pivotal demographic study of our community.”
Through the generosity of its donors, UJA-Federation of New York makes comprehensive and carefully planned allocations of resources to nearly 100 beneficiary agencies, as well as to dozens of other grantees and grass roots organizations. Those grants make possible a wide array of urgent services and programs, including food for the isolated elderly, financial and spiritual guidance for the unemployed, and fulfilling the dream of aliyah for those who seek it. These funds benefit more than 4.5 million people in New York, in Israel, and in more than 70 countries worldwide.
UJA-Federation responded boldly to crisis when it struck New York and Israel in the past year. As part of its swift response to Hurricane Sandy, UJA-Federation made $10 million from its endowment available for relief efforts less than a week after the storm to ensure that our frontline network agencies, as well as synagogues and day schools, had the resources necessary to respond to the most devastating natural disaster to ever strike the New York area. An additional $6.5 million in emergency funds were raised and allocated for continued relief efforts and, to date, a total of more than $14 million has been given to community recovery efforts. And as rockets rained down for eight days in Israel, UJA-Federation agencies quickly mobilized to provide respite for children and support for communities.
“UJA-Federation of New York is driven by a vision of a caring, connected, and inspired Jewish community. Those who support us do so because they recognize the pivotal role of UJA-Federation to simultaneously help those in need while continuing to invest in the Jewish future,” said Jerry W. Levin, whose term as UJA-Federation president concluded with the close of the campaign on June 30th.
“We were able to help the community in so many different ways,” Levin continued, saying that in response to the urgent needs of 73,000 elderly Holocaust survivors in the eight-county New York area, UJA-Federation mounted Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín, a benefit concert at Lincoln Center that raised over $2 million to help this vulnerable population live with independence and dignity. And the campaign to fight hunger in New York City was broadened as UJA-Federation collaborated for the first time with Catholic Charities on a “Feeding Our Neighbors” initiative.
“I am greatly inspired by the legions of volunteers and professionals who work day in and day out to tell our story, raise funds, design solutions to key communal problems, and contribute in ways both large and small to our success,” said Alisa R. Doctoroff, who became president of UJA-Federation on July 1st. “It is through their time, talent, resources, and expertise that we are able to respond to challenges and crises, and lead our community in developing a wide array of high-quality services.”
“Raising the funds to make this all possible is no small undertaking,” added Ruskay. “The Annual Campaign is a remarkable effort of hundreds of dedicated volunteer leaders, tens of thousands of donors, and superb professional staff. The success of our campaign is a decisive affirmation by the many, many generous people who believe that we can come together to strengthen our community.”
UJA-Federation’s annual campaign remains the single largest philanthropic effort by any local community anywhere in the world. The results reflect the generosity of donors and the efforts of our leadership, including General Campaign Chairs Marcia Riklis and Jeffrey M. Stern; dozens of committee chairs; hundreds of volunteers; and a professional staff led by Senior Vice President of Financial Resource Development Mark D. Medin.