For the first time in at least three years, the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ raised more money than the year before.
The federation raised $26.6 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, a total that includes $21.7 million from its annual UJA campaign, and an additional $4.9 million from other giving opportunities, including an Israel Emergency Campaign, Birthright Israel, and a Holocaust Survivors’ Campaign.
Last year, the total was $24,500,016; in 2013, it was $25,032,450. The number is down slightly from 2012, when it was $27,007,469.
The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ also raised $20.6 million in planned giving and endowments, bringing the year’s total to $47.2 million. In addition, $11.8 million came in future commitments to the newly launched Create a Jewish Legacy campaign (see page 9).
Leaders hope it’s the start of a new trend as the economy picks up. It was the first full campaign year for executive vice president and CEO Dov Ben-Shimon and new president Leslie Dannin Rosenthal.
“I’m proud of our leadership, lay and professional, for their dedication and talent,” said Ben-Shimon in a statement. “A higher campaign means more people cared for, more communities built, and more lives saved. We’re building on a tremendous momentum of success, with engagement and outreach programs, new ideas, and creative energy. I’m looking forward to even greater heights in the year ahead.”
Jeff Korbman, the federation’s assistant executive vice president/campaign director, praised the federation’s new leadership.
“They have given the campaign a tremendous amount of energy and creativity. That, coupled with the rebound of the economy has made the difference,” he said.
But, he added, the economy is really the key. “Without a strong economy, the rest would be moot,” said Korbman.
The money raised goes to support 27 partner agencies in the local community and four overseas partners: The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, World ORT, and Tikva Children’s Home in Odessa.