UJA-Federation of New York

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Spotlight On: Esther-Ann Asch

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Esther-Ann Asch
Esther-Ann Asch

“My whole life, basically, has been a federation life.”

With those words, Esther-Ann Asch provided the essence of her connection to UJA-Federation of New York, for her involvement with the organization literally began around the time that she was born.

Esther-Ann's parents adopted her as a very young child through Stephen Wise Adoption Agency, which subsequently became Louise Wise Services, an agency affiliated with UJA-Federation at the time. After completing graduate school, she joined Federation’s New Leadership Division (NLD) in Westchester, and more than 40 years ago became its chair. She even met the man who became her husband, Morton Asch, through that group, since he was chair of the Queens NLD.

“I believe very strongly in generation following generation,” Esther-Ann says. “That’s what my parents did for me, and that’s what I hope to do for my children and grandchildren.”

At UJA-Federation, Esther-Ann has been on the Commission on the Jewish People since its inception; she is not only a member of its cabinet but also chair of its Task Force on Russian-Speaking Jews in New York. And when she was chair of the Task Force on Jewish Women, it raised $400,000 for domestic-violence agencies from two all-volunteer productions of The Vagina Monologues.

“Since childhood, I’ve wanted to give back,” notes Esther-Ann, who is a vice president of community and foundation relations at F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System, a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency. “I get special satisfaction from working on causes that are important to the community. I want to leave the world better than I found it.”