UJA-Federation of New York

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John W. Ruskay

John S. Ruskay and the Jewish Communal Landscape

Watch the program

On December 8, 2009, we presented a special program on Lessons Learned from a Decade of Strengthening the Jewish Community in cooperation with the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America.

The webcast includes a panel discussion with prominent Jewish leaders and Living Lives of Sacred Responsibility, a speech by John S. Ruskay, executive vice president & CEO of UJA-Federation.

Celebrating 10 Years of Leadership

John S. Ruskay is marking his 10th year serving as executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York. To celebrate the occasion, leading thinkers, commentators, and practitioners were invited to write in the Journal of Jewish Communal Service about UJA-Federation, Jewish communal work and Dr. Ruskay’s visionary role carrying our community forward into the 21st century.

See a story about the events commemorating the anniversary.

Read John S. Ruskay’s speech, “Living Lives of Sacred Responsibility,” that was part of the December 8, 2009 commemoration. Download PDF of speech.

Reflections on a Decade of Opportunity and Challenge

Preview these articles from the Journal of Jewish Communal Service and order your copy.

John S. Ruskay on Inspired Communities (interview with Jack Ukeles)
"This notion of inspiring and compelling community places the issue of community at the very center of our enterprise. And recognizes that in the open society, unless we have communities that are both inspiring and engage with people, people will seek other places." Download PDF on philanthropy.

Jerry W. Levin on Leading UJA-Federation
“We need to think in terms of evolutionary change, not revolutionary. The system is far too complex — and critical — to risk massive change." Download PDF on leadership.

Talia Levanon, Elisheva Flamm-Oren, and Debra Slonim on Responding to Terror
“If the aim of terror is to create fragmentation, helplessness, a sense of loss of control, loss of hope, and a feeling of isolation, the purpose of UJA-Federation of New York in bringing these experts together was to offer the opposite — a sense of control, a sense of continuity, hopefulness and a feeling of community and solidarity.” Download PDF on the Israel Trauma Coalition.

Jonathan Woocher on Jewish Identity in the 21st Century
“What we have learned is that the postulated centuries-long struggle between ‘Jewish identity’ and ‘assimilation’ is largely over — and both won!” Download PDF on identity.

Rabbi Michael Paley on Teaching Torah
“I once taught the Binding of Isaac to a very ill television executive. His first question was, What if Isaac were a girl? He then wanted to know, What is significant about the fact that the story takes place in the morning? Could we change it to the afternoon? I asked him why he wanted to change the story. He replied, 'Because I want to change mine.' ” Download PDF on Jewish education.

The Innovators Talk Back
Encouraging innovation in the Jewish community, in terms of delivering a wide variety of services and building community, has been a central effort of UJA-Federation of New York in the past decade. To assess that work, a roundtable discussion was convened, bringing together many leaders of New York-based organizations seen as innovative that have worked with and gained funding from UJA-Federation. Download PDF on Innovation.