JEWISH FEDERATION OF Greater MetroWest NJ has announced that its 2019 UJA Annual Campaign raised $24.4 million. This includes more than $20.81 million in unrestricted gifts (an increase of $160,000 over last year) and $3.54 million in designated gifts, making 2019 the third year in a row with an increase in unrestricted gifts.
The supplemental giving this year — which chiefly focused on security and mental health awareness — “made a significant impact on federation’s work,” said the organization’s president, Scott Krieger, “providing much-needed guidance and financial support to Jewish organizations and synagogues in Greater MetroWest. In addition, Greater MetroWest ABLE and our Jewish Family Service partners support and raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health.”
UJA Campaign chair Ira Steinberg said the year was “challenging [but] our incredible commUNITY Mission, our generous donors, the NextDor matching gift effort, our tireless lay and professional campaign team, and our Lions’ Leap effort ensured an up unrestricted campaign…. We implemented new strategies, overcame challenges, and inspired our supporters to give generously.”
The federation’s Women’s Philanthropy raised $7.7 million for the annual campaign. The Lions’ Leap initiative brought in $566,146 in new dollars, $50,000 of which will fund renovations to the Arad Music Conservatory in the partnership city of Arad in the Negev. During the campaign, 277 Lions of Judah — women giving $5,000 or more — increased their annual gifts by $500 or more, and there are 76 new Pomegranate donors — women giving $1,800 or more.
Women’s Philanthropy president Jody Hurwitz Caplan said, “We are a group of incredibly strong and caring women engaging in community leadership, responsibility, and philanthropy.”
The federation board of trustees approved allocations for the 2019-20 program year (see chart for more details). Among them:
• $8.4 million for programs and partners that connect people to Jewish life and learning
• $5 million to advocating for Jews in need, including those who are aging and those with challenges
• $3.6 million to initiatives that strengthen connections to Israel and overseas communities and empower people to advocate for Israel
• $2.3 million to community planning and strengthening institutions and agencies
Unified Allocations Council chair Maxine Murnick said, “Over 200 volunteers spent countless hours working together to allocate the resources of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.”