The United Jewish Communities

The UJC is the umbrella organization for Jewish federations and communities in North America and includes about 400 communities and 155 federations, which represent some 5.2 million Jews.

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October 2, 2008 13:09
3 minute read.
The United Jewish Communities

Magen David 224.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The UJC (United Jewish Communities) is the umbrella organization for Jewish federations and communities in North America and includes about 400 communities and 155 federations, which represent some 5.2 million Jews. The UJC is active throughout North America and raises funds for the communities themselves, for the Jewish People in the Diaspora and for Israel. The donations are intended for assistance to the needy and the strengthening of weaker communities. The UJC oversees about $2.5 billion annually, of which $900 million is raised in the various campaigns, with the remainder in various endowment funds. The UJC reflects social values of justice and human rights, which define the Jewish people, and translates them into a social endeavor. For millions of Jews, this is a philanthropic network that is unique worldwide. The funds raised for activity in Israel and worldwide are divided among the UJC's partners: the Jewish Agency, the JDC, the Ethiopian National Project and World ORT. These funds finance a broad variety of activities with the highest social priority, including aliyah and absorption, assistance to weak populations, closing of social gaps, the development of the Negev and the Galilee and the strengthening of Jewish identity among Jewish youth worldwide, with emphsis on ties with Israel. An example of the special connection between Israel and the UJC is the allocation of $17 million in 2007 for the children of Sderot and the Gaza Perimeter. In addition, the UJC is involved in the effort of the federations to raise an additional amount of $14 million for the residents of Ashkelon who are now also exposed to missile attacks. These funds have been raised within the framework of the Emergency Campaign. During the past five years, the UJC has twice initiated emergency campaigns - during the "Homat Magen" operation and during the Second Lebanon War. The first Emergency Campaign continued from 2001 to 2005 and was a reaction to the wave of Palestinian violence that began in October 2000 (the second Intifada). As part of the Campaign, the UJC and the federations raised an amount of about $360 million which was allocated to a variety of our partners' programs and projects for the strengthening of Israel and the support given to victims of violence. An additional surge of fundraising began immediately following the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War in July 2006, during which the UJC created the second Emergency Campaign (IEC 2) in order to meet the needs of the population in the North. As part of the second Emergency Campaign, the UJC raised $314.7 million (an additional $45.3 million was raised by UIA Canada). The funds raised by the second Emergency Campaign were used to meet the needs that arose during the war (such as summer camps, upgrading of shelters, care of populations in distress, such as the elderly, etc.). The funds continue to finance a variety of rehabilitation programs in the North related to post-trauma phenomena, education, economic development and community development. As mentioned, the Campaign provides assistance in these areas to residents of Sderot and the Gaza Perimeter. Israel Emergency Campaign (IEC) The United Jewish Communities of North America initiated the Israel Emergency Campaign in July 2006 in reaction to the conflict with the Hezbollah. Until today, the Campaign has raised more than $360 million (divided between the UJC and Canada). While missiles were falling in the North last summer, the UJC worked together with the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency and the JDC in order to identify the most urgent needs that were created by the war. During the war, Campaign funds were used to finance summer camps and other programs for children, with the goal of providing them with a measure of security. The funds were also used to help populations in distress and to upgrade public shelters. As the intensity of missile attacks on Sderot and the Gaza Perimeter increased and the range of the attacks widened, the Emergency Campaign decided to increase its assistance to these regions. The IEC's Allocation Committee has provided for needs through projects that have had a long-term impact not only on individuals in Israeli society but also on the abilities of the Israeli government, the social welfare organizations and the Israeli economy to provide assistance.

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