Newly 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)