The UJA-Federation of New York has announced an additional $6.67 million in emergency spending from its endowment in support of safety-net services and Jewish education, boosting the organization's total allocation for emergency COVID-19 relief to more than $52 million.
The grants include nearly $4.6 million to strengthen and expand safety-net services for two hundred and twenty-five thousand New Yorkers impacted by job loss, food insecurity, economic hardship, and mental health challenges. Among other things, the funds will be used by grantees to provide emergency cash grants for in-need households; legal counseling; and workforce development, including sector-based job training, résumé writing, interview preparation, networking, and placement services.
The remaining $2.1 million will be used to help forty-seven Jewish day schools serving thirty-four thousand students reopen this fall. With $500,000 of the total contributed by the Paul E. Singer Foundation, the grants will help offset start-up and reopening costs for schools across the region, including building retrofits, the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), and technology upgrades.
UJA also will repurpose $2.5 million in existing COVID emergency loan funds to create a new loan program for the purchase of PPE by its nonprofit partners in the health and human service sector. And the organization has joined an initiative led by Jewish Federations of North America to efficiently source, manage the costs of, and distribute PPE to frontline agencies that need it.
"Since its inception over a hundred years ago, UJA has been a major supporter of New York's social service safety net, helping the most vulnerable in our community — Jews and non-Jews alike. We are also deeply committed to the cause of Jewish education," said UJA-Federation of New York CEO Eric S. Goldstein. "Today, we face unprecedented challenges on both fronts — which is why we're drawing from UJA-Federation's endowment to help support our community in crisis. This emergency funding is critical to help New Yorkers feed their families, find jobs, and receive counseling. At the same time, we have a duty to our Jewish schools to help support students and faculty returning to a safe and healthy school environment this fall."