New UJA Federation Head Seeks More Invlovement With NY’s Orthodox Jewish Community


uja goldsteinNewly elected CEO and executive vice president of UJA-Federation of New York, Eric Goldstein says he’ll seek inroads between the UJA and the Modern Orthodox community and other religious communities. Goldstein, 54, will succeed John Ruskay, the charity’s current CEO and executive vice president, who will be stepping down in June.

In a lengthy interview with The Jewish Week, Goldstein said he feels a special responsibility to encourage his religious peers to become involved in the federation world, noting that they are “under-represented.”

“I tell them that UJA-Federation is the best kept secret in town,” particularly with respect to its support for day schools, a critical concern for Orthodox parents with children in yeshivas and day schools and facing high tuition costs. He said UJA-Federation is “doing more for the day school community than any other organization today,” noting its funding of millions of dollars through the Jewish Education Project, teacher benefits via the Gruss Foundation, lobbying in Albany for government benefits, and a more than three-year effort to create a Day School Challenge Fund, which Goldstein chairs.

“I think these efforts reflect UJA-Federation’s commitment to day schools,” said Goldstein.

Goldstein described the Jewish Federation model as “the closest thing we have to a kehillah [traditionally, a sacred community with a shared purpose].”

(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)


  1. “The closest thing we have to a Kehillah (traditionally a sacred community with a shared purpose).” He has got to be kidding! KAJ (Washington Heights), Skver, Kiryas Viznitz, Kiryas Yoel, Williamsburg, and others (Belz, Ger, etc.) are ALL traditional and sacred communities. This sounds like the cry of the chazir who points to his split hooves and claims to be kosher.

    One thing is certain. They sense that Jewish continuity is being realized primarily in the observant sectors of the community. If the UJA is to survive they have no choice but to reach out to “the Modern Orthodox Community” (as pointed out above). Certainly the less secular-minded/driven groups will not accept their offers.

  2. A JOKE ORG. It has done nothing to spread authentic Yiddishkeit. They need us because they are losing their support with the reform and conservative.

  3. I think Mr. Goldstein is talking about cultitvating relationships with individuals who have a lot of money (i.e., those on the Upper West and East Sides of NYC).

    These are the individuals who will most likley support those who send their children to yeshivas.

    @Yitzchoky: UJA was never a frum organization. It was established to help Jews wether they be orthodox, reform, convervative, etc.

    Unfortunately, many organizations did not engage the up and coming younger generation to get involved (volunteer, donate money) until they realized it was “high noon”.

    @Shuali: A Kehillah doesn’t have to be Chassidic to have tradition and be sanctified. I belong to a MO shule and we are definately a kehilla. The amount of chesid and tzedaka performed on a daily, weekly, monthly basis is out of this world. A true Kiddush HaShem.

  4. All you guys must live in NY. Outside of NYC, the UJA is not “assur” and schools and organizations proudly display the logos on their website when they receive funding from the UJA.

  5. Truthsharer : what you say is true – that the logo is proudly displayed, etc. But are you also aware that in some, perhaps many cities, official Federation policy is that m’shulachim may not collect donations from individuals, only from the federation. Do you realize how much that hurts many, countless numbers of our brothers and sisters?

  6. 7, Whatdoes the federation have to do with meshulachim? I think you are confusing the federations with a local Vaad, who sometimes has that policy.

  7. Walton 157: the first Kehillah I listed was KAJ (the German Kehillah of Washington Heights). They are not chassidim, but they do have community minhagim, community kashrus, a mesorah on nusach ha’tefillah, etc.

  8. The UJA in Los Angeles is anti-Frum and completely treif. The whole Jewish Federation of Los Angeles is anti-frum and treif because there are so many of “those liberal kinds” in Los Angeles who put up the money. Unfortunately, some wealthy frum members were hoodwinked into giving large amounts of their money to these menivlim mostly for the Kovod and recognition with the “goyim”.

  9. My point being that communities withna mesorah – whether Ashkenaz, Sefard, Ados Mizrach, Teimoni, etc. are all valid. Chassidishe kehilos likewise all have a centuries long, Torah based and Torah backed mesorah. The federation does not.

  10. Sure. Can I sell them the Brooklyn Bridge? Theyre proudly supporting Menuval organizations.

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