Press Releases
Funds will be used primarily to help families in Israel suffering from food insecurity and economic hardship
December 16th, 2020

NEW YORK CITY (December 16, 2020) – As the number of Israeli families suffering from financial hardship and related challenges increases dramatically amid the coronavirus pandemic, UJA-Federation of New York (UJA) announces nearly $3.5 million in new emergency Covid-19 relief grants in Israel. UJA will award grants to several organizations that support the most at-risk Israelis, including children, the newly poor, and struggling small businesses. In addition, the grants will help strengthen Israel’s ability to respond to Covid-related challenges with enhanced leadership and volunteer networks and technological innovations. These emergency grants, which will come from UJA’s endowment, are in addition to the tens of millions of dollars UJA allocates annually to support the ongoing work of its global partners, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). JDC and JAFI have been offering large scale Covid response in Israel since the start of the pandemic, including in the areas of workforce development and caring for the elderly.

“As Israelis continue to suffer from the devastating effects of Covid-19, we feel compelled to provide emergency assistance to help the most vulnerable Israelis meet urgent needs,” said Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York.  

Food Insecurity: Latet and Leket, leading Israeli organizations that provide food aid, will each receive funding to provide 1.8 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and food packages for approximately 5,500 low-income households. UJA funding will also support Amanina, a nonprofit leader in Arab communities in Israel, to supply food packages to hundreds of families living below the poverty line in Arab towns. UJA’s funding in this area will total $1.5 million. The money will be allocated as “challenge grants,” with the receiving organizations expected to raise $3 million in matching funds from Israeli philanthropy — in order to leverage UJA’s funding to increase the overall philanthropic support for the field.  

Helping the “New Poor” and Small Businesses: As more Israelis lose jobs because of the pandemic and become the “new poor,” the need for financial consulting has grown exponentially to help prevent families from spiraling into poverty. UJA will provide a grant to Paamonim to enhance their capacity to provide financial consulting to Israelis — online and in person. In addition, UJA will fund several initiatives to help small businesses in Israel’s periphery to better manage the challenges to their businesses, including through strengthening e-commerce capabilities.  

Youth Support: UJA will provide funding to The Israeli Association of Community Centers in order to launch several holistic youth support centers in under-resourced communities that provide services to children and teens who are facing emotional and academic challenges. It will also fund ELEM, Israel’s leading organization for identifying and supporting youth at risk.  

Keeping Israeli Cities Resilient: UJA will provide a grant to Maoz to expand its work helping local government officials develop strategies for managing the crisis to additional cities. UJA will also fund the Shachaf Foundation and The Council on Volunteerism for their work of mobilizing volunteers across Israel.  

Tech for Social Innovation: UJA will provide a grant to Hilma — an innovative Israeli organization that develops technologies to respond to social needs. The grant will support its work on tech products that battle Covid-19 challenges and that can be utilized both in Israel and around the world.  


About UJA-Federation of New York 

Working with a network of hundreds of nonprofits, UJA extends its reach from New York to Israel to nearly 70 other countries around the world, touching the lives of 4.5 million people each year. To date, UJA has allocated $64 million in emergency funding to help respond to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, above and beyond its over $130 million in annual budgeted allocations. For more information, please visit