New Diversity Grants Available from UJAFed-NY

In an effort to promote yachad, or unity, across the New York City, Long Island, and Westchester Jewish communities, UJA-Federation of New York’s Jewish Peoplehood in New York (JPNY) Committee is committed to developing and pursuing initiatives that strengthen ties among its culturally and demographically diverse elements and promote an inclusive New York Jewish community. Recognizing the extensive diversity present within the New York Jewish community and the barriers that exist to engagement and inclusion, JPNY has identified a community need for organizations to create new engagement commitments and structures or to enhance already existing initiatives geared toward creating a more inclusive community where groups reflecting the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of our Jewish community are … [Read more...]

Just Released: A Guide to Synagogue Management Updates for 2014

Guide to Synagogue Mgmt_2014

UJA-Federation of New York has released Volume 7 in their series of Innovations and Strategies for Synagogues of Tomorrow - A Guide to Synagogue Management: Research and Recommendations Updates for 2014. This report serves as an updated overview of the market for synagogues looking to implement new data-management systems, or those that want to learn more about how their current system compares to others on the market. Even as synagogues look to better understand the many ways technology can help them interact with and manage their congregations, the marketplace is changing, with new software options available all the time. UJA-Federation of New York, along with the Orthodox Union, Union for Reform Judaism, and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, retained Idealware to conduct research in order … [Read more...]

Engaging Parents Beyond the Bake Sale: Promoting Parent Leadership in Jewish Day Schools


by Irene Lehrer Sandalow Day school parents are putting their most prized possession, their children, into the hands of Jewish day schools. Currently, many parents are involved in their children’s schools, providing valuable services that offer important and often critical support to the functioning of day schools. Their involvement has been invaluable in supporting fundraising efforts, staffing the recycling committee - and sometimes, to perform a variety of administrative tasks that support our professionals and students and reduce costs in these economically challenging times. While we understand that this service is important - are there other roles parents might take, especially around mission, vision and goals? Rabbi Kenneth Brander, in his ELI Talk about Collaborative Leadership in a … [Read more...]

UJA-Federation of NY Announces $50m Day School Challenge Fund

UJA-Federation of New York has announced the establishment of its $50 million Day School Challenge Fund, which will begin to enroll schools in September 2014. The fund will be the source for 1:3 matching grants for new endowment funds raised by participating schools, positioning schools to raise an aggregate $150 million. Once complete, the $200 million in new endowment funds will provide a predictable revenue stream for schools to subsidize tuition and invest in educational excellence. This is the first-ever New York-area effort of its kind and covers Jewish schools in the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester - a region that contains sixty percent of day school students in the nation. UJA-Federation of New York has led in the creation of the Day School Challenge Fund along with … [Read more...]

Anti-Poverty Research Study Launched in NY

The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, and UJA-Federation of New York have collectively launched a new research study that will identify public policies that could have a significant impact in reducing poverty in New York City. This collaboration is born out of the shared values and traditions for caring for people in need and the extensive reach of their combined networks in helping all New Yorkers. The study was initiated in March 2014 and preliminary results are due this summer. The Urban Institute has been retained to conduct the research, based on their work with the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in Wisconsin. This is the first time UI will utilize this model in analyzing New York City specific data. The Urban Institute … [Read more...]

Rare Photo Exhibition on Peres and Begin Displayed in New York

(L-R): Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler, Co-Founder Sandra Cahn, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor, and Executive Vice President & CEO of UJA-Federation of New York John Ruskay; photo courtesy Limmud FSU.

A remarkable photographic exhibition focusing on the lives and Eastern Europe-Jewish roots of two giants of modern Israel, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres, was presented as part of a special closed reception that took place Thursday evening at UJA-Federation of NY and will soon be open to the public at another (to be announced) venue. The event was co-hosted by Limmud FSU and UJA-Federation of NY. “From Vilna Street, Vishneyeva to President’s Street, Jerusalem,” showcases the life and career of Israeli President Shimon Peres, and was curated by Yoram Dori, senior advisor to President Peres and a member of the Limmud FSU International Steering Committee. “Milestones - From Brest-Litovsk to the Prime Minister’s Office,” tells the story of Begin’s life and career as commander of the pre-state Irgun, … [Read more...]

Jewish Day Schools Creating Cultures of Experimentation and Creativity

by Maya Bernstein and Rabbi Ed Harwitz We are currently in the second year of experimenting with a new approach to bringing innovative solutions to challenges and opportunities facing NY Jewish Day Schools. The Day School Collaboration Network is a network of educators who share the goal of developing more inspiring, relevant and creative solutions to challenges facing their schools and, by extension, to the broader field of Jewish day school education. This joint project of UpStart Bay Area and The Jewish Education Project made possible by a generous grant from UJA Federation of New York, enables day school educators working at the “grass roots” (including classroom teachers, curriculum heads, deans, counselors, and learning specialist) to identify and grapple with challenges that impact the … [Read more...]

The MiNYanim Multiplier Effect: Making a Difference in Eastern Europe

Minyanim 2013

If you invest in ten people in one community and these ten people reach out another 100, you will soon reach 1,000 or more people. by Abigail Pickus Tamás (Tomi) Buchler is a 30-year-old Hungarian Jew who has been a leading force in what can only be described as a renaissance in Jewish life throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Born and raised in Budapest, his story is “a bit different from the typical Jewish Hungarian narrative.” “I was born a few years before the regime fell and I received a strong Jewish identity straight from the beginning,” he said, adding that only a “tiny minority of Hungarian Jews have grown up like him with a strong Jewish identity from their home.” Buchler’s story is unique in another way, as well: all four of his grandparents survived the Holocaust, … [Read more...]