NewsBits: UJC Rolls-Out New Web Address; HIAS Expands Focus and More

As part of the branding rollout for The Jewish Federations of North America, the new Web address (, featuring a new banner and logo, launched yesterday. Those searching for or coming to the current Web site will be automatically redirected to the new site. Similarly, emails to the current email addresses will redirect automatically to the new destinations.

In other news around the Jewish Web…

from The Australian Jewish News:

Communal appeal faces $1 million fundraising shortfall

Tough economic times have put a dent in the Jewish Communal Appeal’s (JCA) fundraising efforts this year, with the group reporting close to a $1 million shortfall compared to last year’s campaign.

JCA chief executive Ian Sandler told The AJN that this year’s campaign, which ended last month, raised a total of $11.5 million compared to around $12.3 million secured in the last appeal.

The shortfall comes at a time when JCA has reported a surge in requests from Jewish organisations seeking financial relief after the recent economic downturn.


The Challenge of Keeping Kids in Day School

A growing number of Los Angeles’ Orthodox or traditional families – families who were once statistical shoo-ins as day school material – are, for a variety of reasons, moving to public schools, especially in the elementary grades.

Day schools don’t yet have a final tally this year of how many students have left, and public schools do not keep track of students’ religion. But anecdotal evidence and informal canvassing suggests that dozens of kids from Orthodox families are leaving Jewish day schools for public schools, doubling or tripling the numbers of just a few years ago.

from The Forward:

HIAS Still Aids Immigrants, but Most Don’t Resemble Sergey Brin

The HIAS of today, however, is very different from the organization that helped Brin. The large-scale migration of Soviet Jews was in fact the last great wave of Jewish refugees that HIAS assisted. Since then, the agency has adjusted its mission and altered itself radically to fit a world without major Jewish refugee crises. In many ways, it has met the challenge – one faced by many Jewish organizations – of staying relevant in the changing realities of the 21st century. In the past few years, HIAS has moved beyond its narrow focus on Jewish refugees alone and refashioned itself into a defender of immigrant rights.