The Jewish Resource Center provides opportunities to staff, donors, and lay leadership at UJA-Federation and its network of beneficiary agencies, to explore Jewish tradition, wisdom, values, and spirituality. Our goals are to strengthen Jewish identity, create community, strengthen relationships, and make Jewish tradition accessible as a resource for people to build ethical, spiritual lives and inform their actions as engaged members in the Jewish community.
The Jewish Resource Center is housed in the Educational Resources and Organizational Development Department of UJA-Federation of New York, along with the Wiener Educational Center, which offers professional development programs for individuals, institutions, and systems in the Jewish community, and Research Department, which is responsible for the Jewish Community Study of New York and other research projects.
A community-wide Beit Midrash (house of learning) takes place throughout the year around the Jewish holidays. The sessions are modeled after the traditional beit midrash, a rabbinical house of study featuring interactive group discussions. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn with friends and colleagues! View our events calendar to find upcoming Beit Midrash events.
Additional classes and learning sessions for leadership are organized through affinity groups. If you’re interested in exploring such a community, please contact the group's professional contact. Sessions for professionals are organized as requested. Please contact Jina Davidovich at at if you’d like to organize a session.
Rabbi Michael Paley is the Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar in Residence at the Jewish Resource Center of UJA-Federation of New York. He also teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism, City College, and the Ivry Prozdor High School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Newsweek magazine named him one of the 50 most influential rabbis.
Prior to his arrival at UJA-Federation, Rabbi Paley was a professor of Jewish studies and dean at Bard College, and vice president of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, where he remains a member of the permanent faculty. For many years, Rabbi Paley served as the university chaplain at Columbia University. He also founded the Edgar M. Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a program that brings together outstanding students from diverse Jewish backgrounds. Prior to the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, Rabbi Paley served as the Jewish chaplain at Dartmouth College.
Rabbi Paley earned his bachelor's degree at Brandeis University and graduate degrees in Jewish and Islamic philosophy and science at Temple University. He was ordained at Yeshivat B'nai Or and was a student at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Jerusalem.
At UJA-Federation, he lectures on a wide variety of subjects, including the weekly Torah portion, prayer and Jewish history, Jewish ethics, and Islam.