UJA-Federation of New York is a powerful voice that works to preserve and enhance the capacity of our network of agencies to help those who are poor and vulnerable.
We regularly meet and speak with elected officials, government agency staff, and policy makers on the city, state, and federal levels of government about issues that affect not only our beneficiary agencies, but also the New York Jewish and community at large. Throughout the transition in city government over the past few months, the Government Relations department has prioritized introducing UJA-Federation and our network of agencies to our new city leaders.
We also work with many other advocacy organizations and service providers to advocate on behalf of seniors, children and families, and special populations, as well as on issues such as education, economic self-sufficiency, mental health, affordable housing, and health care. Through our legislative and budget advocacy, we have been able to make a significant impact on local, state, and federal public policy.
See below for a few highlights of our advocacy work:
- Universal Pre-Kindergarten and After-School – Many of the agencies in our network participate in the city’s after-school and early childhood education programs. UJA-Federation is supportive of the expansion of programs and looks forward to working with state and city officials to ensure that our agencies are able to participate and have the resources they need to do so. If you have any questions, contact Sandy Myers at or 212.836.1658.
- ABLE Act – The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act would create tax-advantaged accounts to enable people with disabilities to save money and pay for a wide range of qualified expenses from education to rent while remaining eligible for critical federal benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). More than 330 representatives and 60 senators from both sides of the aisle co-sponsor this federal bill, including both New York senators and most representatives in our catchment area. For a detailed overview of ABLE, see this JFNA one-pager. To become involved in advocacy efforts, contact Sarah Friedman at or 212.836.1635.
- Day School Advocacy – Our Day School Advocacy Initiative helps support the over 300 local Jewish day schools and yeshivot by advocating for continued and enhanced federal and state government funding, in addition to mobilizing the day school and yeshiva community as a unified grassroots constituency in support of its interests. For more information, visit our Day School Advocacy page, or contact Ron Soloway at or 212.836.1736.
- Managed Care – New York State has embarked on an aggressive restructuring of the delivery of all Medicaid-funded healthcare services using a managed-care model. We continue to advocate on the state level and work with our network agencies on the ground to assist in the implementation of the reforms that are restructuring the healthcare and human services delivery systems. This change to care management for all is being implemented first in the delivery of community based long-term care (using managed long-term care plans), and is also underway in the behavioral health service system for the seriously ill (using Health Homes). In addition, over the next 12 months, the developmental disability service system will be restructured implementing care management (using Developmental Disabilities Individual Support and Care Coordination Organizations,). UJA-Federation beneficiary agencies are well represented as leaders in both managed long-term care plans and in Health Home development, and are currently positioning themselves for the Developmental Disabilities Individual Support and Care Coordination Organizations establishment. For more information, contact Edie Mesick at or 518.436.1091.