Exactly 100 years ago (give or take a few days), our New York Federation was born.
Specifically, on January 8, 1917, at the home of Felix Warburg (now the Jewish Museum) a group of Jewish leaders assembled and elected the Federation’s first officers. Two days later, on January 10, 1917, New York State chartered the “Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City.”
In combining 24 essential organizations under the banner of a single Federation, our early leaders made history, recognizing that the immense challenges of the day called for a fundamental shift in how individuals in the Jewish community contributed philanthropically.
Today, as we launch our second century, we’re excited to introduce another transformative shift, this one focused on how individuals in the Jewish community contribute their time.
We call it Time for Good, and it has the potential to mark 2017 as the year that changes how Jewish New York volunteers. The initiative was born from the reality that our network partners and grantees are being asked to do more and more with less, while at the same time, more and more people are looking to invest their lives with meaning and purpose.
Time for Good is about Jewish volunteerism that’s more high-impact, engaging, and meaningful than ever before. It aggregates volunteer opportunities from UJA’s hundreds of nonprofit partners and grantees on a single dynamic searchable site. It allows volunteers to match their abilities and interests with service needs across the five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island, dramatically enhancing our ability to meet communal challenges. We also support training for numerous partners and grantees to become Service Enterprises so they can more effectively utilize the skills and interests of volunteers for work that is critical to the agency’s mission.
I encourage you to visit the Time for Good site. You will see hundreds of volunteer opportunities arrayed across 12 categories: poverty & hunger, children & teens, the elderly, people with special needs, Jewish life, health & wellness, employment, education & literacy, the environment, emergency response, arts & culture, and community building. In other words, whatever your interest, we have an opportunity for you. And more and more opportunities will be added over time.
Very appropriately, the official launch of Time for Good is this weekend, honoring Martin Luther King’s message of service. And I’m delighted to report that as of this morning, 2,134 Jewish New Yorkers have already signed on to participate!
Our goal, supported by an extensive outreach campaign, is for volunteers to find their place and passion this weekend and beyond —and to come back as much as their lives and schedules allow.
The first century of UJA-Federation was filled with incredible achievements. The second century is ours to shape, starting right now.
This is the moment — and so we invite all of you to join us and make Time for Good.