Jewish Federations of North America

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Jewish Federations
of North America
FormationJanuary 31, 1935; 88 years ago (1935-01-31)[1]
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
HeadquartersNew York City
North America
President and CEO
Eric D. Fingerhut[2]
Chair of the board
Julie Platt[3]
  • United Israel Appeal Inc.[4]
  • JFBP LLC[4]
Revenue (2012)
US$49.0 million[4]
Expenses (2012)US$49.2 million[4]
Endowment (2012)US$26.1 million[4]
Employees (2012)
Volunteers (2012)
Formerly called
  • United Jewish Appeal[1]
  • United Jewish Communities[1]
Delegation of Jewish Federations of North America in Israel

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), formerly the United Jewish Communities (UJC),[5] is an American Jewish umbrella organization for the Jewish Federations system, representing over 350 independent Jewish communities across North America that raise and distribute over $2 billion annually, including through planned giving and endowment programs, to support social welfare, social services and educational needs. Jewish Federations also provides fundraising, organization assistance, training, and overall leadership to the Jewish Federations and communities throughout the United States and Canada. The Federation movement protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam, tzedakah and Torah.[6]

JFNA was formed from the merger of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), Council of Jewish Federations, and the United Israel Appeal. The organization hosts an annual General Assembly event for the broad North American Jewish community.[7]


Council of Jewish Federations[edit]

The original umbrella organization for the federations was the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds formed in 1932.[8][9] "National" was dropped from the name in 1935 and "Welfare Funds" was removed in 1979.[8]

Jewish Federations of North America[edit]

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.[10]

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.[11]

After a couple of years of lower staff layoffs in February 2010, new CEO Jerry Silverman laid off three senior vice presidents that made an estimated $750,000 to $1 million combined.[12] JFNA declined to run the decennial National Jewish Population Survey in 2010 due to re-prioritizing.[13]

In 2021, it announced the $54 million LiveSecure campaign, which it described as the largest campaign to secure North America's Jewish communities in history.[14][15]

National Jewish Population Survey[edit]

JFNA administered the National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), a decennial census of the Jewish community in the United States. The NJPS has elicited controversy. The 1990 survey indicated that the intermarriage rate was 52 percent, but this claim was questioned by demographers. The 2000-2001 edition of the NJPS 2000-01 used a different survey method, cost $6 million, and the data was lost. JFNA would not fund the 2010 survey due to re-prioritizing given decreased revenue given its limited direct benefits with some Jewish federations like the New York federation. JFNA was then open to partnering with other agencies on the national survey.[13]


In 2022, the JFNA pressured the Jewish Council for Public Affairs to fold their organization into a larger organization and mute its progressive politics or to break away and lose funding from dozens of Jewish federations across the United States. While the JCPA supports a progressive political agenda and a Zionist stance that are in line with majority thinking among American Jews, the JCPA's progressivism has alienated conservative donors who are further to the right than most American Jews. The organization refused to mute or repudiate their progressive politics, choosing independence and losing their ability to speak for 16 Jewish national organizations and 125 Jewish "community relations councils", almost all of which are part of local federations.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "The Jewish Federations of North America, Inc." Division of Corporations, State Records, and UCC. State of New York. Accessed on December 31, 2015.
  2. ^ Carroll, Ed (16 May 2019). "Eric Fingerhut leaves top post at Hillel to head Jewish Federations of North America". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Julie Platt Confirmed as Chair of Jewish Federations of North America". Jewish Federations of North America. 13 June 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Jewish Federations of North America Inc. Guidestar. June 30, 2013.
  5. ^ Berkman, Jakob (June 9, 2009). "UJC to Change Name". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  6. ^ "About JFNA". JFNA. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  7. ^ "JFNA Briefing: Registration Opens for the 2012 General Assembly". Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  8. ^ a b c Karesh, Sara E.; Hurvitz, Mitchell M. (2006). "United Jewish Communities". In Melton, J. Gordon (ed.). Encyclopedia of Judaism. Infobase Publishing. pp. 534–535. ISBN 978-0-8160-5457-2. Retrieved June 14, 2011. In 1932 the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds (NCJFWF) united the Jewish federations across the country. In 1935 the organization changed its name to the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds (CJFWF), and in 1979 the name became the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF). [...] In 1999, the United Jewish Appeal and the Council of Jewish Federations merged to become the United Jewish Communities.
  9. ^ Elazar, Daniel Judah (1995) [1976]. Community and polity:the organizational dynamics of American Jewry. Jewish Publication Society. p. 413. ISBN 978-0-8276-0565-7. Retrieved June 14, 2011. This new phenomenon was incorporated into campaign strategy, particularly through "Super Sunday," a day-long happening featuring marches on behalf of some special financial need and massive telephoning of potential donors in a more exciting carnival-like atmosphere.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Jewish Federation of Greater Washington adaptation of JFNA logo". The Jewish Federations of North America. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  12. ^ Berkman, Jacob (February 23, 2010). "Inside the top-level layoffs at Jewish Federations of North America". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Heilman, Uriel (July 12, 2011). "Is the era of national surveys of American Jews at an end?". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Amid antisemitism concerns, 101 local Jewish federations to spend $54M on improving security". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2021-10-04. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  15. ^ Winer, Stuart (October 4, 2021). "Jewish Federations announces $54m plan to protect US communities". Times of Israel. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  16. ^ "Pressed over liberal politics, Jewish public affairs group declares independence". The Forward. Retrieved 2023-04-01.

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