SOURCE: UJA-Federation of New York

UJA-Federation of New York

October 30, 2009 14:19 ET

UJA-Federation of New York's Annual Campaign Kickoff Raises $43 Million, Matching a Record-Breaking Figure for a Second Consecutive Year

Human Generosity Permeates New York Amidst Tumultuous Economic Times

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 30, 2009) - UJA-Federation of New York raised $43 million during the annual campaign kickoff, October 28, at the home of Alan "Ace" C. and Kathryn Greenberg in Manhattan. More than 85 philanthropic and business leaders from the New York Jewish community contributed generously, raising a stunning amount that, in this difficult financial period, is an especially powerful reaffirmation of UJA-Federation's role in sustaining Jewish life and responding to acute needs. Since its inception 21 years ago, this annual event has raised more than a half a billion dollars, having a profound impact on New Yorkers of all backgrounds and Jews around the world.

"Perhaps in no other room in this city or country, would fewer than a hundred individuals come together to raise this exceptional sum to fund services needed now more than ever," stated Jerry Levin, chairman of UJA-Federation. "We're living in extraordinary times, an era already being called the Great Recession. Given these financial conditions, when a number of individuals who have given so generously in the past could not make the same contribution, others in the room stepped forward to give significantly more to raise tens of millions of dollars when those contributions are needed most," Levin added.

John M. Shapiro, UJA-Federation's president, noted the nimbleness UJA-Federation demonstrated this year in rapidly putting into place programs and services that were instrumental in helping people hurt by this recession.

"We were there to help the populations who have recently been compromised," Shapiro said. "But we know we need to continue this type of financial support. The dollars donated tonight make a huge difference in these uncertain times. Due to the recent turn of events, we have seen greater unemployment, failed businesses, and families who have lost their homes due to foreclosure. We know there is a lot of work left, but we are looking ahead to better times, and with your financial help we can make a difference for the women, men, and children in need."

John S. Ruskay, UJA-Federation of New York's executive vice president and CEO, expressed that when it comes to addressing complex crises with multiple facets, no organization does it better than UJA-Federation.

"Our ability to design, fund, and initiate programs like Connect to Care, which has already served 6,500 individuals and families, is no small achievement, especially in these difficult times. Such generosity makes this possible, and so much more. Thank you to the many who attended and gave to sustain this lifesaving work," Ruskay said. "This showing of leadership demonstrates to our entire community in New York and across the country unmatched acts of charitable kindness."

Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation, delivered the keynote address. Sharansky recognized UJA-Federation's unique role in the Jewish community and its partnership with JAFI. He addressed the critical challenges facing world Jewry, and together hopes to galvanize resources to better serve Jews and Jewish communities throughout the world.

About UJA-Federation of New York

The world's largest local philanthropy, UJA-Federation of New York cares for those in need, rescues those in harm's way, and renews and strengthens the Jewish people in New York, in Israel, and around the world. Funds raised by UJA-Federation sustain the activities of 100 health, human-service, educational, and community agencies. Every day, these community-based organizations provide a multitude of services that improve and enhance people's lives. For more information, visit UJA-Federation's website at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Samantha Kessler
    UJA-Federation of New York