This year has been huge for the (United Jewish Appeal) UJA -Federation of New York, the largest philanthropy organization in the world. Ira Riklis dives into its community and charity efforts that span over 70 countries in the last century and how the organization was able to raise a record $238.2 million in its centennial year.
UJA-Federation Celebrating A Century
In honor of the century of service, and over 4 million people from around the world benefiting from the UJA – Federation of New York, Time for Good was launched. Time for Good is the largest volunteer effort of all time, with hundreds and hundreds of grantees and nonprofit partners, all from the UJA.
The service boasts online accessibility and fosters multitudes of volunteer opportunities. Time for Good officially started in mid-January 2017, with a two-day effort led by around 2,000 volunteers and eight agencies all around New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The sole purpose of this was giving back and being of benefit to the long standing community.
Bringing In The Funds
It’s no secret that the largest philanthropy network in the world would have serious money backing it. Time for Good helped foster economic growth and provide long term benefits for all those blanketed by the UJA.
UJA-Federation of New York CEO, Eric Goldstein, noted the challenges in the community that have been greater than ever. He also stated that their network partners and grantees are doing more with less, however, they are still able to meet communal challenges while providing meaningful opportunities for people to get involved.
When choosing what work to do, there were many issues that needed to be addressed and taken care of. UJA seeks to help eliminate poverty and lack of food, as well as unemployment and underemployment. Fixing these issues has always been the goal of the organization, and the work truly brings people together. As seen in previous years, the community really rallies around the UJA, because they care and are diligent in getting the problems that are faced everyday fixed.
Time for Good is an example of how the community is seeking volunteer opportunities with a Jewish perspective.
The History Of The United Jewish Appeal – Federation Of New York
UJA-Federation was established in 1917 when a group of Jewish community leaders, determined to more effectively address the challenges of that era, streamlined the services, and philanthropic efforts of numerous agencies serving New York’s 1.3 million Jews. The Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City distributed $2.2 million (the equivalent of $44.9 million today) in its first year to support childcare agencies, programs for at-risk youth, hospitals, and a home for the elderly.
However, even with all that ongoing effort, the UJA still hosts the more traditional form of charity work, fundraisers. Much of the money the UJA raises each year comes from fundraisers, or galas, and their attendees. More often than not, the attendees are looking to show respect to, and make connections with, the people that the galas honor. In December 2013, a UJA gala for Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein raised more than $25 million from donors looking to honor the Wall Street king. So it’s no surprise that with Time for Good helped foster more sizable donations as well.
The CEO stated they could not be more grateful to the New York Jewish community for its ongoing support and the vital contributions for their centennial year. It has also been recognized that in this day and age, the UJA is able to serve as a critical safety net for the most vulnerable in the community and is able to sustain and strengthen Jewish life locally and globally.