World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Jewish Federation

Article Id: WHEBN0002882099
Reproduction Date:

Title: Jewish Federation  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Charlotte Jewish News, Jewish Federations of North America, The Jewish Exponent, Matzo Ball, United Way of America
Collection: Jewish Community Organizations, Jewish Federations of North America
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jewish Federation

A Jewish Federation is a Jewish community. Their broad purpose is to provide "human services", generally, but not exclusively, to the local Jewish community.[1] The Jewish Federations of North America represents 157 Jewish Federations and over 300 Network communities, which raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually.


  • History 1
  • Structure 2
  • Fundraising and spending 3
  • Role in community 4
  • National umbrella organization 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The first Jewish federation was founded in Boston in 1895.[1] Federations were soon formed in Cincinnati, then in many other cities.[1][2]


Each federation is autonomous from federations of other cities and they tend to focus on local concerns.[1] The federations typically have elected boards or trustees that are accountable to the community, paid staff, and volunteer leadership.[1]

Fundraising and spending

Federations raise money for central "community chests" that support the organizations of the entire local Jewish community.[1] Between 30 and 50 percent of Jewish households in the United States typically contribute to their local federation.[1]

They engage in centralized planning for the needs of the local community, and may provide centralized administrative services for their constituent agencies.[1] Federation spending and efforts have adapted as the need for particular social services has changed—for example, from Jewish orphanage work in the early 1900s to retirement homes in the late 1900s.[1]

More than half of all funds raised by federations are earmarked for various local Jewish social service agencies, with the largest single allocation to Jewish education, typically constituting 25 percent.[1] After education, Jewish community centers, family and child services, homes for the aged, and campus Hillels are the next largest drawers of financial support.[1]

As an example, in 2008, 18 campers who attended Pinemere Camp did so with a grant from the Overnight Camp Incentive Program, a program designed to attract new campers to Jewish identity-building camps. It is a joint project of the Philadelphia-based Neubauer Family Foundation, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.[3][4][5] The program provided grants for campers in amounts ranging from $750 to $1,250.[3] The majority of the Pinemere campers who received grants chose to return the following summer.[3]

Role in community

Jewish federations can wield a sizable degree of influence in the Jewish communities in which they are located.[6] Many of the local federations hold annual fundraising drives that are expected to raise most of the next year's budgeting for many community programs.[6] In return, in many communities the agencies which receive funding from the federation agree not to engage in major fundraising for themselves for a number of months often called the "primacy period" when the local federation's fundraising has primacy. Decisions made by the local federations can have a great impact on the community,[1] including the opening or closing of programs, staff hirings and firings, and land purchases and sales.

A significant feature of the annual federation campaign is "Super Sunday", a day designated for community-wide phone banking, seeking contributions from members of the community.[7]

National umbrella organization

The original

  • Jewish Federations of North America
  • GA: Israel 2013
  • Finding Aid to the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay records, 1881–1999, The Bancroft Library

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Feldstein, Donald (1998). "The Jewish Federation: The First Hundred Years". In Linzer, Norman. A portrait of the American Jewish community. David J. Schnall & Jerome A. Chanes. Praeger Publishers.  
  2. ^ Memories of the Jewish Midwest. Nebraska Jewish Historical Society. 1985. p. 1. Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Jason Collins (March 26, 2009). "Camp Incentive Program: Building Identity Along With Those Campfires". Jewish Exponent. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "One Happy Camper of Greater Philadelphia; Summer 2013". Jewish Philly. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Think Camp: Grants Enable Jewish Overnight Programs". Jewish Exponent. December 28, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Marcus, Jacob Rader (1993). United States Jewry, 1776–1985 1. Wayne Station University Press. p. 797.  
  7. ^ a b Elazar, Daniel Judah (1995) [1976]. Community and polity:the organizational dynamics of American Jewry. Jewish Publication Society. p. 413.  
  8. ^ a b c Karesh, Sara E.; Hurvitz, Mitchell M. (2006). "United Jewish Communities". In Melton, J. Gordon. Encyclopedia of Judaism. Infobase Publishing. pp. 534–535.  
  9. ^ Elliott, Stuart (May 17, 2010). "You Don’t Have to Be Jewish to Love This Campaign". New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2011. ...the Jewish Federations, which changed its name in October from the United Jewish Communities. 
  10. ^ "Jewish Federation of Greater Washington adaptation of JFNA logo". The Jewish Federations of North America. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Network of Independent Communities". The Jewish Federations of North America. January 5, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 


Four hundred smaller Jewish communities in North America are members of the Network of Independent Communities,[11] which are administered via the JFNA.

After the 2009 launch of the new logo for The Jewish Federations of North America, increasing numbers of local Federations are switching to some variant of that logo. An example is the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.[10]

In 1999, the CJF merged with the United Jewish Appeal to become the United Jewish Communities.[8] In October 2009, the UJC was renamed the Jewish Federations of North America.[9]

[8] "National" was dropped from the name in 1935 and "Welfare Funds" was removed in 1979.[8][7]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.