In an unusual mid-fiscal year disbursement of Community Campaign funds, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh provided a total of $74,000 to the local and worldwide Jewish community: Half the funding will support local agencies that provide emergency cash to individuals in need, half will relieve suffering caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Including the $37,000 allocation of Campaign funds to Ukraine relief, to date the Federation has secured more than $300,000 in aid to people affected by the Ukraine crisis. The Federation has secured an additional $500,000 from a foundation with a long relationship with the Federation.
Funding for local debt relief will go to three Pittsburgh Jewish financial support services: Jewish Assistance Fund, Hebrew Free Loan, and Jewish Family and Community Services Squirrel Hill Food Pantry/Critical Needs Assistance. The services work together through JFunds jewishpgh.org/jfunds, a Federation-supported collaboration. Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh relief to Ukraine jewishpgh.org/ukraine-emergency-relief will flow through the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) as part of JFNA’s $20 million fundraising effort for Ukraine. JFNA, in turn, will send funds to partners with ongoing humanitarian operations overseas, including American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and World ORT.
The Federation set aside the $74,000 in summer 2021, realizing that emergent needs were likely to change quickly. “Throughout the COVID crisis, the Federation’s ability to target allocations precisely, according to need, has helped keep the Jewish community strong,” David D. Sufrin, chair, Jewish Federation Board of Directors said.
“Releasing the funding now sends help to Pittsburgh’s Jewish families and to Ukrainian Jews. Both are currently in situations that few foresaw eight months ago.”David D. Sufrin, chair, Jewish Federation Board of Directors
Pittsburgh’s Federation is among the first U.S. Federations to commit relief to Ukraine.
Research about the Pittsburgh Jewish community (see “Making Us Whole,” at jewishpgh.org/publications), commissioned in 2021 by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, revealed the extent and impact of first-time personal debt relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federation’s allocation of $37,000 to JFunds will increase the capacity of JFunds agencies to meet new and existing needs.
Jewish Federation relief to Ukraine will help JDC to continue offering critical welfare services and expand services to newly displaced people in multiple locations. JAFI will focus on helping displaced Ukrainians make aliyah (emigrate to Israel). Word ORT will use relief funds to secure five ORT schools and equip staff to respond to emergency needs.