UJA's pandemic response: $23-million


The UJA-Federation of New York has pledged more than $23 million in immediate financial assistance to help New Yorkers affected by coronavirus.

The grants and loans are intended to offer immediate relief to those facing food insecurity and provide financial relief to UJA partner organizations so that they can continue to deliver essential health and human services to their communities.

“This first round of grants is a critical part of UJA’s broad effort to support the most vulnerable New Yorkers during this crisis,” said UJA CEO Eric Goldstein. “We’re deeply grateful to all our nonprofit partners on the front lines who work tirelessly — day in and day out, and in times of crisis — to sustain our community.”

UJA will establish a $20 million loan fund at the Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) to offer zero-interest loans to UJA partner agencies that are under financial stress. This loan fund is intended to stabilize at-risk organizations that provide essential health and human services for millions of New Yorkers. An additional $1 million loan will ensure that HFLS can continue to provide loans to small businesses.

The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty Met Council was granted $1.75 million — $1 million of which will cover operations and supplying food pantries across New York, addressing growing concerns about food insufficiency among homebound seniors, children who are not receiving city-funded hot meals and the unemployed. The remaining $750,000 will provide emergency Passover meals to more than 180,000 members of New York’s Jewish community in need.

“Met Council is on the front lines with UJA-Federation dealing with an unprecedented crisis unfolding in our city,” said the organization’s CEO, David Greenfield. “After health care, the No. 1 concern that we should have is feeding struggling, homebound and elderly New Yorkers. The emergency food-pantry system is strained in a way that we have never seen before. This emergency funding from UJA will allow us to serve hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are now in crisis.”

UJA is making $250,000 available for Passover meals to go that will be distributed to those who are newly isolated or quarantined, have relied on free or subsidized communal seders, or are newly financially vulnerable.